The OpenSHIP project – creating high quality computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to predict the hydrodynamic performance of the propeller/hull system in an OpenSOURCE environment - is researching the hydrodynamic performance of ships' propeller/hull systems, aiming to improve efficiency and reduce the design and installation costs for shipbuilding companies.

The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund regional operational programme 2007-2013 under the objective of Regional Competitiveness and Employment for Friuli Venezia Giulia, as part of Activity 1.1.b), “Support for industrial research projects with a high systemic impact to strengthen research and innovation networks and technology innovation districts”.

Ancora OpenSHIP was ranked second out of the fourteen projects presented for the tender for industrial research projects in the ship and yacht building sectors.
OpenSHIP was launched on 1 October 2010 and lasts 36 months; it has received a total of approximately 720,000 euros in funding, with total costs of 800,000 euros.

The project is managed by a partnership comprising:
 > a large enterprise: CETENA S.p.A - The Italian Ship Research Centre (project leader);
 > a small/medium-sized enterprise: Spring Firm S.r.l.
 > two universities: University of Trieste - Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture and SISSA, the International School for Advanced Studies
 > a science and technology park: Friuli Innovazione Research and Technology Transfer Centre

The project's activities involve solutions that combine High Performance Computing (HPC) and high-fidelity simulations of the movement of fluid around the hull and propeller, based on OpenSource software.

This type of software, which either replaces or is integrated into commercial software, is a way to overcome the critical aspect of the licensing cost, and also allows greater flexibility and customisation, meaning it adapts better to the "environments" of high-performance computing.

International literature on the subject and the experience gained by its proponents show that the OpenSource environment is now sufficiently developed to sit alongside commercial software, providing equal, or, indeed, in certain cases, better results, due to the operator's focused attention on the numerical grids and the computational mesh.

The idea behind the research is to develop a virtual prototype that considers the effects the wake generated by the hull and the functioning of the propeller have on one another. This is an ambitious aim, as it would be the first time that a procedure of this type has been included in the standards for ship design.

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