The need to conduct Launch and Recovery (L/R) operations during the day and at night, in high sea states and with limited manpower requires a deep understanding of design factors, innovative analytical approaches, advanced engineering tools and experienced subject matter expertise.
Demanding mission requirements, novel hull forms, diverse manned and unmanned vehicle systems and emerging L/R concepts necessitate new thinking. BMT engineers provide that new thinking and are experienced in the design and integration of L/R systems.
The integration of stern ramp launch and recovery systems are especially challenging as components associated with steering gear, ship structure, ramps and closures, mooring, towing, astern refuelling, water management systems (WMS), boat capturing and traversing systems and other mission systems compete for the same design space. A properly-designed WMS provides adequate well depth and lubrication to increase the probability of successful boat recoveries. Boat capturing mechanisms are necessary to restrain the boat from sliding back down the ramp during recovery events. BMT engineers have contributed to the development of these technically challenging, highly dynamic systems on recent Coast Guard vessels.
BMT engineers are experienced with the characteristics and limitations of various single point and dual point davit systems that are used to launch and recover boats from the ship’s side, with experience in the analysis of davit location impacts, operator response, line handling, and mult-body dynamics and interference.
Modeling and Simulation
The BMT Modeling and Simulation Laboratory supports U.S. Navy and Coast Guard projects in evaluating L/R systems under various sea conditions. After a system has been selected for production, BMT's physics based, man-in-the-loop simulation tools provide an effective pre-deployment training aid for the ship’s crew.
In support of the Architectures, Interfaces and Modular Systems Program, BMT worked with the U.S. Navy to develop the “Guide for the Design of Modular Zones on U.S. Surface Combatants”. As part of this effort, BMT engineers investigated the establishment of a modular architecture to accommodate systems supporting L/R operations to enable change out of L/R mission packages and back-fit of new capabilities.
Human Factors Engineering
A key aspect of successful boat L/R system design is the understanding of the implications of human performance and safety considerations associated with operations and maintenance on the design of the human-machine interface. Identifying and mitigating human error, ergonomic, and injury risks significantly improves operational effectiveness, suitability, and safety. Our human factors engineers are experts at performing human performance analyses of L/R operations and systems to identify design, manpower, personnel, training, and safety issues as well as develop enhancement solutions.