Wake simulation for testing of situational awareness

Background & motivation

  • Autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) depend on a range of electromagnetic radiation sensors (EMRS) for situational awareness; e.g. cameras, radar and lidar.
  • Ship wakes have shown to disrupt the EMRS resulting in false and erroneous object detections.
  • To build trust in ASVs it is necessary to build advanced simulators capable of testing the full autonomy system including sensors and object detection algorithms.

Problem description

  • The assignment can be divided in three parallel challenges: modeling of ship wakes, modeling of how these propagate and interact with ocean waves, and how to simulate this in real time with sufficient accuracy on a GPU. 
  • The main goal of the assignment is not to achieve high simulation fidelity levels or study detailed hydrodynamic effects. Rather it is to find generic, practical solutions that can be employed for different hull types – both displacement and planing – to give sufficiently realistic results for simulation-based testing of the autonomy sensors.

Work proposal

  • The student is expected to improve the existing ocean model in the open-source research platform Gemini, which is built on the game engine Unity. 
  • The work includes investigating how ship wakes can be modeled using a GPU, how this can be combined with ocean waves, and implementation of a solution that can run in real time. 
  • Guidance on GPU programming in Unity will be given. The student will also have access to an existing ocean wave model implemented in Unity based on the Fourier transform.

Figure 1: Illustration of different sensor outputs.