Deakin expertise helps plan for Geelong’s future
5 May 2009
Deakin University facilities and expertise assisted the Victorian Regional Channels Authority (VRCA) to create a 3D vision of the Port of Geelong during a recent series of simulation workshops designed to show authorities and users how next generation ships will affect access to the Port.
The workshops were conducted at Deakin's Centre for Intelligent Systems Research (CISR) which is headed by Professor Saeid Nahavandi and is home to Australia's biggest team of academic experts in simulation, visualisation and haptics (touch) technology. They were deemed a success by CISR project leader Dr Doug Creighton.
"The workshops were well supported by participants from both Geelong and Melbourne and were a great success. They served to highlight the future infrastructure issues facing the Port of Geelong and I'm sure they will be a stimulus for ongoing discussion," he said.
Harbour Master with the VRCA Captain Dilip Abraham, said the project would help the Port of Geelong plan for the future.
"With bigger ships on the way we need to understand how our channels will cope, and how we can navigate the bigger ships safely into the Port, especially if conditions are difficult," he said.
The 3D simulation featured projection screens with a field of view of 200 degrees complemented by full surround-sound. The computer model for the simulation, NavSim, was developed by Australian oceanographic research company Cardno, Lawson Treloar as part of a strategic suite of investigations the VRCA is undertaking. In the simulation, wind direction and strength as well as tide and wave movements contributed to the sense of reality for the viewer.
Dr Creighton said CISR's capabilities in infrastructure modelling and visualisation made it ideally suited to research partnerships with a variety of companies and organisations, such as the collaboration with the VRCA.
"We have the capabilities, the facilities and the technology to create simulations using real data to model large, complex systems, such as the Port of Geelong. When someone sits in the laboratory with the ship's controls around them they can immerse themselves in what they see, feel and hear," Dr Creighton said.
The workshops were also an opportunity for CISR to showcase examples of its work to participants. One such example was a rapid modelling platform that is making advanced simulation available to small and medium enterprises and non-traditional users of the technology.
"This platform has application in logistics, manufacturing and healthcare for improving throughput, reducing cost, risk assessment and review of policy impact," Dr Creighton said.
CISR's expertise has already led to industry collaborations on research projects in the aviation, logistics and defence fields. In March this year CISR was awarded a major grant by the Defence Science & Technology Organisation to 'fast-track' the development of an intelligent robotic technology. CISR's work is something Dr Creighton believes Australian companies should be aware of.
"It is important that companies and organisations are aware of CISR and the facilities and expertise it has available locally here in Australia," he said.
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