VIRTUAL HULL MONITORING: CONTINUOUS FATIGUE ASSESSMENT WITHOUT ADDITIONAL INSTRUMENTATION

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I M Thompson

Abstract

A novel technique to monitor hull stresses using data currently collected on most ships is explored. This technique, referred to herein as virtual hull monitoring, uses global position signals, measured or numerically-modelled wave data, and a database of calculated stress transfer functions. This enables monitoring of short-term stress states and corresponding fatigue damage accumulation for many structural locations, either onboard or at a central location, for an entire fleet. The components, benefits, and limitations of this proposed technique are discussed. Wave buoy and strain gauge measurements from a full-scale naval vessel trial are used in comparisons with hindcast wave data and the calculated stress spectra for one structural location. Close agreement between the wave data sources and corresponding stress spectra warrants further examination of virtual hull monitoring. 


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Technical Notes