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A Framework for Vulnerability Reduction in Early Stage Design of Naval Ship Systems

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Naval ships are designed to operate and survive in hostile environments. As such, vulnerability reduction is a major topic of interest during the design of a naval ship. For modern naval ships the vulnerability is largely determined by the design and layout of distributed systems. The vulnerability of these systems needs to be assessed early on, as design decisions made in this stage are decisive for the vulnerability of the final ship. Various early stage methods for assessing vulnerability exist, but a clear structure on when to use what types of methods, how these methods relate to each other, and how these methods provide relevant answers, is still lacking. To address this gap, this paper introduces a framework for early stage design of distributed systems, in the context of vulnerability reduction. This framework supports in choosing the right vulnerability method at the right design stage. The framework considers an operationally oriented systems perspective on vulnerability, and a physically oriented ship perspective. In addition to that, early stage design is subdivided in concept exploration and concept definition, which have different purposes and contributions in the design process. The framework provides examples of methods that can be used to investigate vulnerability for the various perspectives and design stages. These examples consider methods that have been developed by joint Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) research efforts, as well as other methods. Opportunities and challenges for integrating these methods between themselves and in the design process in general are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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  • The Naval Engineers Journal is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE). ASNE is the leading professional engineering society for engineers, scientists and allied professionals who conceive, design, develop, test, construct, outfit, operate and maintain complex naval and maritime ships, submarines and aircraft and their associated systems and subsystems.
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