Operational tempo and budgetary constraints make it difficult to send personnel away for training courses, refreshers or re-qualification. Incorporating training sessions on board a fully operational vessel, without disrupting its mission and manning, can be an excellent approach to the training dilemma. Our comprehensive On-Board Training System (OBTS) makes this a reality.
The L3Harris OBTS enables training of crew members aboard their vessels, using the same IPMS control consoles and interface that they use in the day-to-day operation of their ships. Training sessions can be conducted without additional training components aboard the vessel. Personnel can train during quiet periods and still maintain a state of readiness with respect to their primary duties. This innovative approach ensures a high standard of training and qualification, and a significant reduction in operational costs because personnel remain active members of the crew even while training.
On-Board Training System Concept
The OBTS provides operational training similar to that of a full scope simulator. By using the same IPMS Human-Machine Interface (HMI), control sequences and other control and monitoring software functions as are used on the operational IPMS, the L3Harris concept is to train an individual or a team at his usual IPMS station using a real-time simulated environment without affecting the simultaneous IPMS control and monitoring functions of the real plant. OBTS provides a realistic training environment. Whereas in traditional training an instructor would have to abort a scenario that might endanger machinery and personnel, using an OBTS simulation allows the instructor to push the training envelope further. OBTS allows for the full range of remedial actions / emergency responses, and the more realistic stress that normally comes with them. Performing the training scenario in full allows the trainee to be confronted with pages and interfaces he would rarely use during normal operations. It allows the trainee to go beyond the catastrophic failure point to bring about practical, real-time and realistic feedback to his actions, instead of the theoretical responses associated with the conventional approach.
The simulation software is installed on one or several IPMS stations in the vessel and can be activated while the IPMS remains in full control of the ship. Upon selecting the OBTS function at an IPMS station, the console ceases communication with the IPMS databus, thereby isolating itself from control of the machinery. In OBTS mode, the console in training runs independent of the main IPMS network. This provides an additional safety layer to prevent inadvertent interaction with the real plant.
Prior to entering training mode, all IPMS control and monitoring functions assigned to the student must be transferred to another station. If problems or emergencies arise, the training session can be immediately stopped and the training console returned to its primary control mode.
A prompt return to control mode is possible due to the uninterrupted update of the IPMS control database performed in the background of all the OBTS training actions. Although all actions from the trainee are isolated from the main IPMS control databus while in training mode, the console continues to receive every database refresh message from the real plant. This constant and real-time database update allows the console to return immediately to control mode without the need to reboot or to synchronize the database.
Individual and Team Training
Individual training is available at any IPMS console. Training can also be performed in a team environment where all trainees can interact with the same simulation scenario. Actions from one trainee will affect other trainees since they are all interacting with the same simulated environment. Any IPMS console can be designated as the instructor console, as is the case for a trainee console.
The simulation software necessary to support the OBTS functions is based on real-time plant dynamic simulation and is installed into each IPMS console with the OBTS feature. All relevant ship systems and main components, such as diesel engines, gas turbines and pumps, can be modeled using the well-proven L3Harris Orchid® Modeling Environment. Third-party models already developed can also be integrated or interfaced to the Orchid® Modeling Environment model to optimize development time and budget. In addition to the simulation of the plant, the OBTS also requires interface with the IPMS control and monitoring sequences. These sequences typically reside in Remote Terminal Units (RTU) distributed throughout the ship. In OBTS mode, the sequences from each RTU are emulated/simulated and incorporated into the simulation software.
The combination of using the actual control sequences with high-fidelity dynamic simulation constitutes the backbone of the simulation environment. This makes it possible to run a simulation of the machinery and ship systems through the Orchid® Modeling Environment model and to perform all IPMS functions using the control and monitoring sequence emulation/simulation. The student interface is performed with the same HMI used in real IPMS operations, rendering the whole OBTS environment as realistic as possible to the trainee.
Orchid® Instructor Station is also installed into each IPMS console with OBTS feature, making it possible to use any station as the instructor console for team and individual training. Orchid® Instructor Station includes all features necessary for an instructor to create a lesson plan, launch a training session, introduce faults, activate local control devices or modify the course of a scenario in real time.
To complement the OBTS, a land-based trainer can also be delivered to provide the same type of training environment as for the OBTS. This provides a training facility using the same tool and IPMS environment as offered on board the vessel.