A comprehensive motion and load evaluation for tug-barge-towline systems.



Executive Summary

Towsim is a comprehensive software tool used for design, evaluation, maintenance and failure analysis of simple or composite towlines used in open-ocean tug-barge-towline systems. It provides detailed towline and vessel performance data under arbitrary water depth and environmental conditions, including characteristic (r.m.s.) and peak towline loads in the forecast maximum storm for a particular route. The analysis can be used to optimize towline characteristics in trip planning for a specific route/environment and is suitable for on-board real-time use in an advisory capacity for setting optimal towline scope and/or optimal tug heading during storm penetration or survival preparations. Characteristics of the towline, including mass, hydrodynamic and elastic properties of each element of a multi-element towline, are fully specifiable. Tug-barge-towline systems are characterized by extreme nonlinearities at every phase of performance analysis; Towsim fully accommodates these nonlinearities at all levels, including system statics, quasi-statics (low-frequency oscillations, produced by variable wind and wave-drifting forces, with typical periods of oscillation of one to ten minutes) and dynamics (wave-induced oscillations with typical periods of 4 to 30 seconds). Direct comparison of Towsim's nonlinear dynamic load calculation with the quasi-static catenary calculation often used as an approximation is provided as an output option. Execution is carried out in the frequency domain, resulting in short running times and unambiguous predictions of statistical response values.

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