DNV has introduced a new class D for cloud-based simulation with Kongsberg Digital the first to attain certification
DNV has revised its standard for maritime simulators to cover cloud-based, which is in greater demand since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Its ST-0033 standard has introduced a new class D for all function areas covering cloud-based simulation, allowing DNV to begin certifying compliant simulators for remote seafarer training.
Shipping companies are increasingly using remote learning resources while travel is restricted, making physical attendance at training and examination centres difficult or impossible.
However, all real, virtual and cloud-based simulators used for training need to be DNV-certified under the SeaSkill learning programme. Its class D standard verifies seafarers’ existing certificates can be renewed in line with existing IMO Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) convention requirements and confirms new trainees can be educated to the correct STCW level.
DNV worked with simulator suppliers and end-users to develop the simulator class D for all function areas covering cloud-based distance learning simulators with virtual reality requirements.
A core focus was replacing hardware with a software-enabled artificial environment presented so a user would accept it as a real environment, while still maintaining the required behavioural realism.
Other important elements in remote setups are instructor and assessor facilities. D-class divides between interactive, synchronous, continuous online instructor-led simulation with detached, asynchronous student-led simulation.
It covers a combination of both, when operated synchronously or asynchronously, depending upon the nature of the exercise to meet training objectives.
“By formulating class D, DNV is helping to ensure seafarers can go through their required training in spite of Covid-19 restrictions,” says DNV SeaSkill simulator certification specialist Captain Aksel David Nordholm. “We are now ready to certify maritime simulators that comply with the new class.”
Kongsberg Digital says its K-Sim Engine, K-Sim Cargo and K-Sim Navigation simulator training solutions are the first to attain certification according to DNV’s class D standard.
It introduced a method of accessing cloud-based training in 2019 and rapidly added training solutions on its K-Sim Connect platform in 2020 as the pandemic hit. This included cloud-based simulator models and pre-existing exercises for navigation, engineroom and cargo control simulators to class D.
“Class D signifies that remote simulation can be conducted to the same standard as classroom-based,” says Capt Nordholm. “K-Sim Navigation, Cargo and Engine simulators are the first beneficiaries of this certification.”
Seafarers can use Kongsberg’s simulation programmes for e-navigation and accident avoidance training and certification
“Class D certification recognises the value contributed by cloud-based technology in recent months,” says Kongsberg Digital executive vice president for digital ocean Andreas Jagtøyen, “and how it can continue to be an integral part of maritime training in the future.”
The number of users continues to increase rapidly as these solutions are widely adopted by shipping companies and managers.
“The possibility to conduct remote training courses holds significant advantages for both the training centres and their students,” says Mr Jagtøyen. “Official approval of our cloud-based simulator technology in the shape of Class D certification underlines the value contributed by this service in recent months. We strongly believe this will be an integral part of maritime training in the future.”
There is still demand for physical simulators in specialist training centres. In June, Tolani Education Foundation in Mumbai, India ordered a suite of simulators from Kongsberg Digital. This included a full-mission K-Sim Navigation Class A bridge simulator and desktop software for engineroom and cargo handling training.
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