With funding from the Office of Naval Research and along with co-PI’s Associate Professor Matthew Collette and David Singer, Professor Tim McCoy has established the first-of-its-kind multi-physics hardware lab dedicated to marine engineering systems in the United States for his project, Data Model Fusion: Design, Experiments, and Frameworks for Surface Platforms.
The Marine Engineering Laboratory will be housed in the NAME building on North Campus and features a scaled representation of a shipboard electric power and propulsion system, a seawater cooling system and a fuel system. All of these systems are interconnected as they would be aboard a ship enabling the dynamics of one system to affect the others. Each system is equipped with the ability to insert equipment faults to simulate a variety of failure modes. The data acquisition and control system manages over 100 signals and will allow the collection of large data sets.
The initial use of the lab will be to investigate equipment and system failures to improve understanding of how component reliability affects overall mission accomplishment. The large data sets gathered will allow researchers to apply machine learning techniques to failure prediction with the ultimate goal of enabling autonomous machinery systems for surface vessels.
“This new lab was funded by ONR to investigate machinery reliability for autonomous vessels,” explains McCoy. “It features several representative marine engineering systems, including electric power and propulsion, seawater cooling, and fuel service. This lab will provide many new opportunities for both teaching and research. Adding energy storage and renewable energy sources to the electrical system are being planned.”