MSHIPCO Granted Vessel Model Testing Patent
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
FLOWT Platform: Photo courtesy of MSHIPCO

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted MSHIPCO a patent for its Rapid Empirical Innovation (REI®) process including model testing method, platform structure and data acquisition systems.

“Time and money are two of the biggest barriers to naval innovation,” explains Bill Burns, Co-Founder of MSHIPCO. “The REI® platform lowers the cost of discovery by giving naval architects a practical, low-cost tool to explore ship design concepts in real time and real world conditions.”

The platform allows designers to compare new and existing ship designs in both calm and rough water for important operational considerations such as:

  • Which design provides the best ROI (return on investment) for my maritime service?
  • How far & how fast can a new design go in different sea states?
  • What is the fuel efficiency at different speeds and payloads?
  • Will the passengers be comfortable at high speeds in rough water?

Multiple designs can be evaluated simultaneously on a self-powered "Fast, Low-cost, Open Water Testing" (FLOWT) platform that provides real-time force, trim and acceleration measurements to optimize performance and ride quality.
Key features of the program include:
1.    Two model testing capability for direct comparison and optimization 
2.    Rough water testing for ride quality and motions measurements 
3.    Highly accurate drag measurements for power, speed, payload and range studies 

4.    Ultrasonic wave measurements for added resistance and rough water analysis
5.    Advanced array of high-frequency accelerometers for mapping shock loads 
6.    Hull models accurately fabricated using N/C-milled rapid prototyping techniques

The accuracy of the FLOWT data has been validated through a rigorous Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program at the U.S. Navy's David Taylor Model Basin (DTMB).

The REI® platform and services are available to naval architects and military planners.

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