Maneuvering through ice-covered waters requires a special ship design, commonly known as an icebreaker. Before an icebreaker is constructed, the hull is rigorously tested for its ice breaking capabilities in an ice tank. An ice tank is a refrigerated water tank in which a scale model of the ship’s hull is pulled by a gantry carriage through a layer of formed ice.
Problems inherent in the design of the ice tank can distort test results or even prevent testing completely. Often, the speed of the model ship becomes unstable when the gantry carriage is operating at low speeds. The force generated by the ship’s hull when breaking ice creates backlash between the gears driving the gantry carriage. In an attempt to compensate for the backlash, the controller causes the speed of the model ship to overshoot and then undershoot, causing damage to the test rig. To alleviate these issues, MapleSim, Maplesoft’s advanced system-level modeling and simulation tool, can be used to model the dynamics of an ice tank carriage and identify a mechanism to alleviate the backlash inherent in the design of the gearbox.
Contact Maplesoft to learn how MapleSim can be used in your projects.