Due to the rapidly increasing demand for simulation in port and waterway development projects, navigation simulators have been considerably improved in the past decade, and they have now become essential validation tools for engineers in charge of such projects. Stakeholders have recognised the benefits and tremendous added value of navigation simulators. Sensitive development projects presenting new challenges to navigation or the environment have caught the attention of official bodies such as Transport Canada, which now strongly recommend the use of simulators for any such project.
A tremendous initial step forward can be made when there is the possibility of calling on a modern simulator capable of virtually representing all existing environmental conditions for any area, adding or modifying buildings or relevant structural elements, and using models identical to the ships that will most likely be calling at the proposed facilities. All manoeuvres, ship movements, winds, currents, interaction between ships, the sea and channel banks, squat and so forth can be quantified, measured and recorded to produce comprehensive reports for such purposes as discussions, validation, compulsory official control stages, and presentations to various authorities, for instance, at public hearings. Well conducted simulations will reveal limitations, establish or confirm operational limits, help in assessing the risks involved and in establishing procedures for safe operations…
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