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Multi Purpose Marine Simulator- Another Transocean FIRST!

Article from TSF 'On Location' magazine.

The new Marine Simulator has just been installed at the Company's training centre in Aberdeen. The simulator capable of holding up to 8 personnel and is mounted on a computer controlled motion platform that will provide a realistic training base for personnel who require courses for semi-submersibles and jack-up drilling rigs.

Aberdeen Training Center will now be able to train our personnel in Stability, Major Emergency Management and Marine Operations for Self-Elevating Platforms (Jack-Ups) and also be able to carry out OIM assessments. As a result, 5 courses that have traditionally been carried out by external providers will now be done in-house using our own policies and procedures ensuring that we comply with legislation and Transoceans corporate minimum standards.

This is the only facility in the world that is capable of combining both marine and emergency response simulations to give true reproduction of cause and affect. Another Transocean FIRST!

The simulator, as the name suggests, is multi-purpose, and can reproduce the environment of a Jacking Control Room for a jack up rig and 3 classes of semi-submersibles - a 710 series, Aker H4.2 and a GVA 4000. The simulator is capable of 15 degrees (half amplitude) combined pitch and roll using linear actuator motors rather than hydraulics, that are computer controlled. This can simulate the effects of inclination, wave motion as experienced by a floating vessel and also any jolts, judders and lurches that might be associated with jack-up punch through, explosions, structural failure, collision etc.

There are 3 main parts of the simulator - a training room that is mounted on a motion platform, an instructors suite, and a separate observer/assessors room where the training can monitored by company and independent assessors. The training room is fitted out with two consoles, controlling Marine Operations and the other controlling Emergency Systems such as Fire & Gas panels.

The Marine console on the platform contains all the functionality of a ballast control room, with eight touch-sensitive screens for the control of all functions that a Ballast Control Operator would have associated with ballasting, mooring and weatherconditions to realistically, and accurately, simulate the behaviour of a rig. This includes shifting of weight on deck, in pontoons and on the cranes etc. The influence of the environment be it flat calm or blowing a hurricane and damage to the installation.

The Emergency Response Console also houses 8 touch sensitive screens that replicates each rig's fire and gas alarm system, ESD's, Alarm system and power generation management systems

The trainees using the touch sensitive screens control mimics of panels, displayed on the screens, to control various functions. The consequence of the trainees actions result in the simulation software interpreting the action then producing a relevant response that results in the change in the status of displays, and, if appropriate, platform motion and alarms etc.

The room is also outfitted with 4 CCTV cameras so Training and Assessments can be recorded onto VHS or DVD-RW to demonstrate competency of the personnel and be used as a training aid. In addition there are 4 telephones, 4 VHF radios and two PA points digitally fed sound effects.

The Instructor's suite, replicates the consoles in the training room, but with the added facility of "Instructor Intervention" to input variables into the various scenarios to produce various results for cause and affect, depending on how the scenario is progressing. The instructor's suite also has facilities for role players to act as Coastguard SAR coordinators, Stand-by Vessel, police etc.

The Observers Room is located in a separate area and does not have any control functionality, other than to give messages to the instructor if the assessor wishes to give some instruction to the instructor to address some action. The main objective of the Observers Room is to allow observation of activities and events within the training room and the Instructor's suite.

Training for Emergency Response will include such scenarios as , Machinery Space Explosion and Fire, Accomodation Fire, Helicopter incidents, Collision or wave damage causing structural collapse, evacuation, loss of communications, loss of essential facilities and loss of mooring. And if that is not enough, if you are on the Jack Up simulation we can also give you Jack Up punch throughs, leg subsidence, loss of leg integrity, evacuation procedures etc.

Transocean awarded the contract to PiSYS, an Aberdeen based technical software company who have considerable previous experience in the building of training simulator systems, but this is the first time emergency response simulator training has been integrated with marine training for jack-ups and semi-submersibles that will give the actual cause and effect.

The Training Center was fortunate to receive a visit by Transocean's CEO Mike Talbert, Bob Long (President & COO) and Jeff Chaistain (VP Investor Relations & Communications), during their recent trip to Aberdeen. After being "put through their paces" with the rig pitching and rolling over 10 degrees during a force 12 hurricane and failed mooring systems, they escaped very impressed (but not too shaken) with the capability of the simulator, and the type of training it is capable of offering.

Jim Finlay

Training Manager