Arctic areas raise a continuously increasing interest for exploration and research expeditions that must be performed in more and more extreme conditions. Fierce competition and constraints in polar environment require technologic improvements that are progressively enabled by research activities. Amongst them HSVA and SIREHNA participate to the European DYPIC project ( that aims at improving ship design and dynamic positioning systems in ice-covered waters. Feasibility studies are being performed with free running ship models controlled by a dynamic positioning system installed in the ice tank facility. Main issues to be tackled are induced by the model scale that raises constraints in thruster fabrication, model equipment and real-time control. In parallel algorithms and guidance strategies have to be adapted to the characteristics of ice withstand forces that present a high variability in amplitude with respect of time. In conclusion trials demonstrate the feasibility of free running model tests in ice conditions where a high level of control performance is expected. The results obtained by model tests will be scaled real life, giving way to optimized ship design techniques, control means and guidance algorithms.

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