Artemis Technologies unveils 'world's most advanced marine simulator'

Artemis Technologies chief executive Dr Iain Percy unveils the world’s most advanced marine simulator at the company’s base in Lisburn. Picture by Kelvin Boyes.
Ryan McAleer

THE company behind a programme to develop a new class of zero-emission high speed vessels in Belfast has unveiled what it says is the world’s most advanced marine simulator.

Artemis Technologies said the mechanical hardware in the loop (mHIL) simulator represents a multi-million-pound investment over the past decade.

In June 2020, the shipbuilding consortium led by double Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy’s company, won a £33 million UK Government innovation grant to develop zero emissions ferries in Belfast.

Artemis Technologies said the grant would initially create 125 jobs, adding that the maritime project could eventually create over 1,000 jobs.

The company said it will use the new mHIL simulator at its Lisburn head office to streamline the development process and prototyping of its eFoiler electric propulsion system and new green high-speed vessels, targeting the ferry and workboat markets.

The installation was unveiled ahead of the upcoming America’s Cup yacht race, of which Iain Percy is a four-time veteran.

“We originally built the simulator for Artemis Racing taking part in the America’s Cup, and are hugely excited to bring this incredible technology to Northern Ireland,” said Mr Percy.

“There is nothing else like this in the world, it’s the most advanced of its kind, and it’s right here.

“Behind the device is all our collective learning, over 10 years and hundreds of millions of pounds in investment, learning about the marine environment and how vessels operate in that environment.

“The result is when we want to test something new, like a zero-emission vessel, we can confidently do that.”

The mHIL simulator features a 4.5 metre high, 210 degree screen, which conveys images from three laser phosphor projectors, wrapped around a physical platform similar to those used for flight and motorsport simulators, providing an incredibly immersive experience.

“With the Belfast Maritime Consortium, we are trying to create a number of world’s firsts, the first ever zero-emission high-speed fast ferry. As this has never been done before, by definition, you need a digital twin,” continued the chief executive.

“It is a representation of all the same physical forces you experience on the water, including the wind, the waves, the boat itself, and how it performs.

“Out of that, we create a digital environment where we can test new equipment, we can train crew and improve the whole system, without actually having to build anything.

“The net result of a digital twin manufacturing environment is huge productivity gains. Where you used to have to produce a number of different prototypes followed by learning from your mistakes, now you can literally test tens of thousands of prototypes in the digital world to arrive at the optimal solution, before you have to make anything physical.

“The power of the digital twin is lower cost, better product, reduced waste, in a shorter time.”

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