The overarching goal of the CREATE-Ships project is to develop software that enables comprehensive exploration of trade space design options for complex maritime systems; provides confidence in the results of computational predictions in required disciplines across all phases of the acquisition process; and meets required acquisition timelines for DoD clients, primarily the US Navy.


CREATE-SH (Maritime Vessels) RSDE

Rapid Ship Design Environment (RSDE) is a concept design tool that allows engineers and naval architects to assess the trade-offs inherent in designing ships to meet a spectrum of competing performance parameters. RSDE provides the following critical capabilities: 1) Generates a wide range of ship concept options with corresponding design and analysis data, 2) Supports a set-based design down-selection process leading to the discovery of low-cost, robust, candidate design solutions; and 3) Develops data for physics-based response surfaces to aid in the visualization of design, cost, and performance trade-offs of a multi-dimensional design space. Employing the concept of design space exploration, RSDE enables engineers and naval architects to provide data for decision makers on the impact of trade-offs in capability, such as, range, speed, armament, and aviation support versus cost drivers of a proposed ship concept. RSDE can generate tens of thousands of candidate ship designs with varying hull form size and shape, systems, structures, powering, and payloads. To date, RSDE has been used to support set-based design on numerous Navy acquisition programs, providing data necessary to enable the set-based down-selection process, as well as additional design information and reduced uncertainty. The RSDE effort is also supporting the development of a submarine design space exploration tool to support similar capabilities for submarine platform design.

CREATE-SH (Maritime Vessels) IHDE – Hydrodynamics

The HPCMP CREATE™-SH Integrated Hydrodynamic Design Environment (IHDE) is a workbench-like desktop application that integrates a suite of hull form design and analysis tools for users to evaluate hydrodynamic performance, including visualization, in a simplified and timely manner.  IHDE provides a highly-automated environment that allows naval architects and hydrodynamicists to build computational models, submit “jobs” to local or HPC resources, and retrieve and validate results for various required areas of hydrodynamics, and at varying levels of fidelity.  Ship hull designers are able to assess ship performance in areas of resistance, seakeeping, hydrodynamic loads, and operability in the form of percent time operable (PTO) for several different mission types. The development plan calls for additional capabilities related to ship powering and maneuvering performance characterization and multi-objective hull form optimization. The IHDE also includes an analysis tool validation engine, which provides the user with validation information by leveraging historical model test data and best-practice precomputed solutions for user driven comparisons. The advantages of the IHDE include automated analysis preparation, automated grid generation, and integrated visualization.  The Leading-Edge Architecture for Prototyping Systems (LEAPS) product model is used to manage geometry and analysis information, and allows data sharing between several knowledge domains. LEAPS provides a warehouse for ship model information, which provides distinct advantages in maintaining an accurate ship ontology: 1) Interoperability for different activities which already use LEAPS; 2) Creation of a foundation of common terms across different disciplines for ship geometries and characteristics, thereby preventing translation errors; and 3) Synergy in software development and integration using a common product model that can be shared with other activities, eliminating inefficient and time-consuming resetting of the same ship modeling inputs when using different analysis methods.  The IHDE utilizes a LEAPS database as a starting point for any hydrodynamic analysis, and is further enabled by the use of the LEAPS Morpheus preprocessor to define the ship model from CAD information.  The end-state vision for the IHDE is to provide an integrated suite of design and analysis tools that cover a range of fidelity and corresponding computational expense, in order to fully characterize a ship design concept across relevant ship performance areas with an appropriate level of definition. The advantages of the IHDE include automation of analysis preparation, improving efficiency and reducing input errors, automated grid generation, parallel execution, and integrated visualization capabilities.

CREATE-SH (Maritime Vessels) NavyFOAM – High-Fidelity Hydrodynamics

The HPCMP CREATE™-SH NavyFOAM tool is a high-end, full-physics code that is Navy-developed and Navy- maintained. It is based on the OpenFOAM libraries and code architecture. NavyFOAM is a fully parallelized, multi-physics, computational fluid dynamics framework developed using modern, object-oriented programming. The code enables high-fidelity hydrodynamic analysis and prediction of ship performance, including resistance, propulsion, maneuvering, seakeeping, and seaway loads. It has demonstrated accuracy against experimental data for several target applications, such as resistance, propeller characteristics, hull-propulsor interaction, and six-degrees-of-freedom ship motion for underwater vehicles and surface ships. Offering a suite of Navier-Stokes-based flow solvers tailored to specific applications, including single- and multi-phase solvers. NavyFOAM allows assessment of alternative hull and propulsor designs. The capabilities of automated workflow have been recently integrated into NavyFOAM. The Python-based automation includes setting up multiple cases, pre-processing, submitting and monitoring jobs, post-processing, collecting data, and generating reports. Within the framework for automation, the Virtual Towing Tank (VTT) and Virtual Rotating-Arm (VRA) are specifically designed for resistance and rotating-arm simulations, respectively. With NavyFOAM, users can evaluate a ship’s performance in a wide array of operating conditions, including subsea and surface operations. It has been applied to many naval systems including the development of heavy weather guidance for the DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class guided-missile destroyer, assessment of various propeller designs, and characterizing the hydrodynamic performance of the US Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle. Most recently, the NavyFOAM program has supported the new Columbia Class SSBN program, using a custom physical model for flow predictions, and rotating-arm simulations to better understand the underlying physics and help inform design decisions.

CREATE-SH (Maritime Vessels) NESM

Shock/Damage Analysis NESM builds on the Department of Energy Sandia National Laboratory’s structural analysis tools within Sierra Mechanics to provide a means to assess ship and component response to external shock and blast using physics-based HPC tools. NESM can reduce the time and expense associated with physical shock testing of ship classes. It also improves the initial ship design process by assessing planned component installations for shock performance prior to final arrangement and installation decisions. Capabilities include structural dynamics (implicit linear-elastic solvers), solid mechanics (explicit and implicit plasticity solvers), fluid dynamics (Euler solvers), and fluid-structure interaction. The solution algorithms in NESM exploit massively parallel computers and scale to tens-of-thousands of cores, enabling efficient computer use and the ability to address full-sized naval vessels up to, and including, next-generation aircraft carriers and submarines. NESM is being used to support Live-Fire Test and Evaluation requirements for the new Ford Class nuclear powered aircraft carriers. All ship classes are required to be tested for shock damage resistance. Historically this has been done exclusively via physical testing using underwater explosion phenomena. Effects were recorded and necessary alterations were designed and implemented for the ship class. This not only required a ship to be dedicated to the lengthy test process, but also requires any deficiencies in shock resilience to be retrofitted into the ship design. NESM enables an improved shock design process including computational assessment of equipment survivability while still in the design stage, when fixes can be incorporated prior to construction. NESM has been approved by the Navy as the M&S tool to achieve the shock trial alternative process.

Software Updates

NSWCCD Code 823 Future Ship and Submarine Design Tools Branch is pleased to announce the release of the Rapid Ship Design Environment (RSDE) v4.0, along with the Leading Edge Architecture for Prototyping Systems (LEAPS) v5.21.  This latest set of software provides improved software stability and robustness, as well as increased capability, functionality, and usability in support of Navy ship design studies and acquisition programs.

RSDE v4.0

RSDE v4.0 has further increased the stability, robustness, and usability of the software, while also increasing capability and functionality. The major feature for the v4.0 release was the addition of the ability to run a User Defined design space exploration (DSE). This capability was achieved through a linkage to the Python scripting language. The resulting feature allows users to link RSDE to any sampling methodology that can be codified as a Python script. Thus providing a robust, flexible, and highly adaptable capability for RSDE users. The RSDE Help documentation provides a description of the new feature, how to use the feature, and an example to walk new users through the application of the feature.

LEAPS v5.2.1

The LEAPS software and product model has been updated to support product modeling and data storage for the RSDE v4.0 and IHDE v9.2 software releases. Users will want to install both the LEAPS v5.2.1 External Libraries and the LEAPS v5.2.1 executable, before installing RSDE v4.0 or IHDE v9.2. As always, be aware that models are not backwards compatible to older versions of LEAPS. 

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