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A Library Based Approach for Exploring Style in Preliminary Ship Design

McDonald, T; (2010) A Library Based Approach for Exploring Style in Preliminary Ship Design. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The unique decision making environment that occurs in ship concept design prevents a full exploration of possible solution styles. However, alternative styles present distinct advantages in certain situations. This is particularly true for different hullform styles which can give significant performance benefits. To fully capitalise upon these alternatives, a comprehensive exploration should occur at the outset of the design process. Current ship design methods have been found to limit the designer’s ability to rapidly explore a large number of radically differing alternatives. This is a consequence of a common requirement for the early selection of design styles. Clearly, some approach able to support the designer in exploring alternative styles early in the design process would offer the designer significant advantages. This thesis begins with the identification of a gap in the design methods currently avail- able to the designer selecting hullform style early in the ship design process. It details a design approach aimed at closing this gap while targeting the early design stages of naval ships. A review of wider engineering design research has highlighted several promising models of design theory, knowledge and technology that could be usefully applied to this problem. Using these models a new Library Based approach has been proposed and developed. This Library Based approach employs decomposition and pre-calculation to create a library of sub-options that can be rapidly examined using a set of initial design requirements to develop a range of possible options. Comparison with a notional optimisation process suggests the proposed approach offers advantages for problems similar in characteristic to the selection of hullform style. The approach is then demonstrated through two example implementations which are applied to the initial design of several naval combatants including an existing design. The discussion on the proposed approach highlights its strengths and weaknesses compared to two lists of needs for ship concept design tools and also its potential to be employed in concert with other design methods, aiding the necessary decision-making that occurs early in the ship design process. The key conclusion of the research is that the gap in the selection of hullform style can be met through the application of the proposed Library Based approach. Finally, five areas of future research are recommended: exploring extensions of the approach presented able to extrapolate the contents of the library; extend the approach to provide insight into relationships and drivers; investigating alternative technologies for the library; applying parametric design tools to generate library data; and demonstrating links to other design methods.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:A Library Based Approach for Exploring Style in Preliminary Ship Design
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Mechanical Engineering

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