The appropriate modeling approaches, their levels of accuracy and sophistication, and their utility for a accomplishing effective simulation training conceptually depend on the specific training objectives that need to be satisfied. As a practical matter, simulation capabilities are developed independently or training objectives. As a result, it becomes necessary to compare training objectives to available simulation resources to determine the suitability of simulation as a training medium or of specific simulation resources to meet specific training objectives.
Manned models offer an alternative to on-the-job training, subject to the trainees ability to adjust to the scaling factors and then to correctly translate the lessons learned back to the real-world. As suggested earlier in this appendix, the manned models are highly suitable and effective in instructing the experienced mariner and pilot about the principles of ship maneuvering and hydrodynamic interactions. Simulation-based shiphandling training for specific ports and waterways must necessarily rely on ship-bridge simulation capabilities with mathematical models. In this case, it is important that the accuracy of the trajectory prediction model is understood by all involved in a simulation so that false expectations are not created relative to real-world operating conditions.
The modeling of towing vessels alongside of pushing ahead and of integrated tug-and-barge combinations has not received the attention that has been given to the modeling of ship dynamics. Towing-vessel control modules with flanking rudder capabilities are available at only a few marine simulation facilities, limiting the availability of simulation training for towboats that routinely use this equipment. The type of operational situations that these vessels function in are almost always restricted waterways with strong currents, thus requiring highly developed environmental models for accurate training situations.
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