The Maneuvering Submarine

This VRML application allows to observe the maneuvering motion of a submarine in three-dimensional space. The time history of this 16 minutes and 40 seconds long underwater cruise was provided in form of a comprehensive data set by a German submarine builder, the shipyard HDW (Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG). The data set represents the results of a maneuvering simulation for a 500-ton class submarine. HDW is currently building a new Class 214 submarine. Maneuvering simulations like this are an important part of design analysis and verification for any new development.

Class 214 Submarine (courtesy of HDW)

The objective of this animated simulation is to visualize speed and movement of the submarine together with the changing settings for the rudder, the stern hydroplane, and the forward hydroplane. An interactive button (labeled "controls") allows for the display of these settings. A second button (labeled "path") shows the entire path of the simulated dive as a curve in 3D space.

Three-dimensional path of submarine maneuver

Instruments showing rudder and hydroplane angles

Other interactive buttons control the animation similar to the operation of a VCR (play/pause and restart). In addition, a moving slider indicates the current position on a time axis. The slider can be dragged forwards or backwards to any point in the simulation.

To facilitate the understanding of the submarine's movement in 3D space, three orthogonal planes with superimposed grid lines are displayed as background reference and a moving shadow of the submarine is projected onto the bottom plane.

While running the simulation, the user can select a viewpoint from a list of pre-defined viewpoints. The scene can be observed from various static positions or from animated viewpoints (suffix AnimView) that follow the submarine's path.

The application was implemented using VRML 2.0, the Virtual Reality Modeling Language for the World Wide Web. To use the application, a VRML plug-in need to be installed. We recommend the CosmoPlayer plug-in (a free download) fort this application.

Load the VRML Model of the Maneuvering Submarine (483K)

Notes: The submarine model used in this VRML application is that of a classical submarine (not the actual submarine used in the maneuvering simulation). The model can be easily replaced by any other geometry. The time scale of the animation has been compressed to speed up the simulation.

Credits: The VRML application was developed by Stéphane Sigrist from ENSIETA (an Engineering School in Brest, France) during his Internship at the Virtual Reality Laboratory. The underlying data set was furnished by the German shipyard HDW (Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG). The valuable advise provided for this project by Volker Bertram from ENSIETA and Hans-Juergen Bohlmann from HDW is highly appreciated.
Last update: November 6, 2003, kpb
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