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Numerical Model of Towing Dynamics of a Long Flexible Life Raft in Irregular Waves

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The equations of motion for the coupled dynamics of a long flexible life raft and fast rescue craft in an irregular ocean wave are formulated in two dimensions using the methods of Kane and Levinson (Dynamics: Theory and Applications, McGraw Hill Inc., 1985). The flexible raft is modeled as spring-connected lumped masses, and it is assumed that the motion normal to the wave surface is small and can be neglected; that is, the bodies move along the propagating wave profile. The wave forces are applied using Morison's equation for bodies in accelerated flow. Wind loads are similarly modeled using drag coefficients. The equations are solved numerically using the Runge-Kutta routine “ode45” of MATLAB. The numerical model provides guidelines for predicting the tow loads and motions in severe sea states.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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