The Centre of Maritime Research facilitates the pooling of skills and resources in the maritime sector, the goal being the transfer of technology and knowledge and the optimal use of resulting synergies. A range of players in the maritime, industry and science sectors cooperate to strengthen research, development and innovation in the maritime field.
This institute, affiliated to the Maritime Faculty, deals with practice-related teaching, research, development and further training in the fields of maritime traffic and nautical technology. The institute makes use of the facilities of the Maritime Faculty and also of the competence and contacts of professors and members of the teaching and non-teaching staff.
A ship making way through water is lower in the water than one which is not, due to hydro-dynamic effects. The trim of the ship is also affected. Both these effects are covered by the term SQUAT. In the case of large or fast vessels the draught is increased by more than a metre. Squat is therefore an important factor for determining the keel clearance in shallow water.
The quantitative determination of Squat has always been unsatisfactory. A considerable degree of uncertainty in the theoretical projection requires a correspondingly high safety margin in the calculation of the permissible draught or the required water depth. Using numerical hydrodynamic methods (CFD, computational fluid dynamics) the IMS is working in cooperation with the physics department of the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg to develop a technique which will considerably improve the accuracy of the projection.
The expected results will be taken into account in vessels’ manoeuvring documents. Furthermore, waterways and shipping administrators can make use of the technique to improve the planning and operation of waterways. Both aspects are of great economical importance, as the capacity of ships, and respectively, that of waterways and hence of ports will be increased. The project is supported by the Federal Ministry for Education, Research and Technology.
Parallel to the theoretical studies, precise field measurements of the squat effects are carried out. Based on carrier phase GPS, the change in the ship’s vertical coordinates is measured in relation to a small escort craft. The variation in tide levels with its considerable uncertainties can thus be eliminated. The measurements are carried out in cooperation with the Institute for Measurement and Analysis (IMA) at the Jade University of Applied Science in Oldenburg. An application for external funding had been made.
In addition to the primary research tasks, the IMS offers further training courses for advanced professional training in the fields of ship operation and maritime economics and port management. The need for appropriate courses for ships’ officers and masters has grown in recent years, not least due to the international standards for the training of seafarers. In addition to the Master’s Certificate of Competency, specific ship types require additional qualifications which can be acquired at the institute. The appropriate preparatory training courses cover both technical aspects (for deployment on tankers, for example or for the proper handling of modern telecommunication systems) and management-oriented issues, such as how to deal with emergencies on passenger ships. The IMS also offers training courses in the use of innovative technology, such as simulator courses, loading computers and software products from the field of logistics. In addition the institute offers courses to people whose maritime interest lies in recreational sailing, creating an interface between professional and leisure seafaring.