Investigating feasibility of flexible ship concepts using tradespace network formulations
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In this paper, we investigate the technical feasibility of flexible offshore ship design concepts with respect to retrofits. Flexibility is intended to improve performance, but there are often complex system interactions that are difficult to assess at the early design stage related to stability, resistance, hydrodynamic behavior and payload capacity. These aspects need to be understood and assessed at the conceptual stages. In this paper, we develop a tradespace network model and define transition rules to describe feasible retrofits. A multi-criteria utility function is used to assess the tradeoff between performance and cost. We demonstrate our approach using a case from offshore vessel design, where we investigate the feasibility and impact of retrofits. The low-fidelity quantitative analysis indicates that the beam is the least flexible design parameter. This knowledge can be important when defining a flexible marine platform “prepared” for future retrofits.