Pilot project 1 – Improved fire evacuation VR model of a ship engine room

CHALLENGE! To provide improved, more realistic, albeit safer environment for onboard firefighting training. 

HOW? By building fire scenario in a virtual reality (VR) environment of a ship engine room (ER), based on fire spread results obtained by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis.  

WHY? The problem of the current VR models is that the fire is modelled rudimentary, i.e. as a concentrated flame that does not spread, making users less susceptible on the stimulus. 

FINAL RESULT→ Functional VR model of fire spread in ship ER, reaching TRL4/TRL5. 

GOALS FOR INNO2MARE PROJECT: To advance maritime fire safety and to digitalize maritime education and training (MET) process making it possible to be conducted onsite and online. 


Vukelic, G.; Ogrizovic, D.; Bernecic, D.; Glujic, D.; Vizentin, G. Application of VR Technology for Maritime Firefighting and Evacuation Training—A Review. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11, 1732. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11091732

Abstract: Firefighting and evacuation training are important tasks in maritime education and training, especially for crews working on large passenger ships, to ensure the safety of the vessel, cargo and passengers. With the evolution of virtual reality (VR) technology and the introduction of wearable hardware, a change in paradigm has happened in firefighting and evacuation training where these new technologies are being introduced. This paper serves as a review on the use of VR technology in maritime firefighting and evacuation training, trying to answer the following questions: what is the current state of using VR technology, and what are the research gaps that need to be addressed to further accelerate the implementation of VR? Research shows that other industries have adopted the use of VR technology relatively quickly, but the maritime industry still seems reluctant. As for the research gaps, the physics-based modelling of fire spread is discussed along with two other topics: the lack of immersive solutions for evacuation and the potential for developing search and rescue scenarios onboard a ship.

Keywords: virtual reality; firefighting; evacuation; maritime education and training; passenger ship

Goran Vizentin; Darko Glujic; Goran Vukelic; Dean Bernecic; Dario Ogrizovic. Coupling CFD and VR for Advanced Fire Training in Ship Engine Room. Proceedings of the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) Conference. https://aga23.samk.fi/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/IAMU_Proceedings2023_Finalized.pdf

Abstract: Fire hazards on marine structures and vessels affect significantly the structural design, engineering decision making and crew training procedures. An on-board fire is extremely dynamic and case dependent phenomenon. New technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) offer a valid alternative for training in such dangerous situations. Fire and smoke exhibit fluid like behavior so computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling approach is necessary to ensure the realism of fire models in VR. A CFD and VR integration methodology for development of improved fire hazard marine training, comprising of ship engine room vector and bitmap model generation, CFD fire behavior analysis, results validation and
CFD/VR integration, is presented here. SMARTFIRE, an advanced CFD software package, is used to calculate fire parameters, analyze its development and spreading. Heat and smoke progression in a ship engine room environment are visualized in a VR system based on Unreal Engine. The evaluated model is
then transferred to the VR environment by linking the fire visualization parameters to the CFD analysis
data. In this first phase of the research the CFD-VR integration is done on case to case scenario basis, using the CFD time dependent results with the goal is to produce an interactive dynamical VR simulator realistic fire training environment.

Keywords: marine fire training; CFD fire modeling; VR engine room

Vukelic Goran, VR fire in ship engine room – case studies, YouTube videos, 2023. Videos are showing progress in developing an improved model of fire spread in the virtual reality (VR) of a ship engine room (ER). Fire spread is modeled on evidence-based research, using CFD tools, making the VR experience more accurate and realistic. This helps in fire and escape training process. ER is two storey, 16×20 m enclosed space, with two main and two backup engines, two generators and various auxiliary equipment. All the models and solutions have been made by the team of the Faculty of Maritime Studies Rijeka, Croatia.

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