Frequently asked questions

  • What is dynamic analysis?

    In ocean engineering, dynamic analysis consists of testing numerical models of vessels and equipment operating in ocean conditions using time-domain simulation. Risk and uncertainty in vessel motions and loads on equipment are reduced by considering dynamic effects of ocean currents, wind and waves. The fidelity of the models vary depending on the application.

  • Where and when did ProteusDS start?

    ProteusDS is the in-house dynamic analysis software package developed by Dynamic Systems Analysis, which was founded in 2006.

    The initial code was based in Matlab and C++ and built by DSA co-founders Ryan Nicoll and Dean Steinke, during graduate school at the University of Victoria’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, in Victoria, BC.

    A core component of the initial software was a finite-element cable model developed by Dr. Brad Buckham, an associate professor at the University of Victoria.
    Over the past decade the code for ProteusDS has developed into a fully-featured hydrodynamic, mechanical and marine dynamic analysis software package.

  • Who makes ProteusDS?

    ProteusDS is developed in house by Dynamic Systems Analysis Ltd.

  • Can I get a perpetual license of ProteusDS?

    ProteusDS is available as a yearly subscription.

  • How many computers can I install my license of ProteusDS on?

    ProteusDS is a machine-locked single user license. You can switch computers periodically by contacting DSA support.

  • Can I purchase a subscription for more than one year (e.g. 5 years) to avoid the purchasing and approval headaches?

    Yes – because ProteusDS is avaiable as a yearly subscription we can issue a multi-year license.

  • Who typically uses ProteusDS?

    DSA makes it possible for anybody with business in the water to assess the motions and loads on vessels, structures, lines, and technologies in marine environments. Common ProteusDS user job titles include; Naval architects, ocean engineers, mechanical engineers, ocean technology experts, buoy designers, oceanographers, aquaculture equipment manufacturers, aquaculture producers engineering teams, offshore installation specialists, wave energy experts, tidal energy platform designers, students, professors, and more.

  • What skills and background are required to be able to successfully use the software?

    ProteusDS has been designed to be used with minimum training. However, some required models and numerical methods are complex – a background in engineering, mathematics, science, or technology is likely required.

    Many of the concepts contained within ProteusDS are likely not covered by typical academic curriculum. Users should proceed with caution and a) check that results are in line with expectations and b) keep models as simple as possible where possible.

  • How has ProteusDS been validated?

    To ensure the accuracy of the results produced with ProteusDS, DSA continually validates and verifies the software output using an extensive series of tests. To demonstrate these efforts a validation document has been created that describes key validation efforts undertaken, and the quality standards used in the development of ProteusDS.

  • Can I link ProteusDS with another application? Do you have an API or SDK?

    Yes – you can link with C++, Java, C# or nearly any other language using a C level interface. An API/SDK license is required, which is separate from the professional license. Academic users(as of July 2016) can get access to the API at no additional cost.

  • What kind of computer hardware is required to run ProteusDS? Do I need a multi-processor computer? (etc.)

    ProteusDS can be installed and run on:

    • Modern Windows Intel based pc’s (i5 or i7)
    • 4GB or more of RAM is recommended
    • More RAM may be required depending on the application (e.g. large bathymetric seabed meshes, spatially varying flow data). To utilize the batch processing function, perform design optimization or run multiple variation simulations in ProteusDS we recommend a multi-core or multi-CPU machine be used.
  • How are nets modeled?

    ProteusDS uses nonlinear lumped mass finite-element model with cubic elements. This model uses many of the same principles and advantages as the finite-element line/cable model. Net tension, drag and shielding are all modelled. Each net twine is not modelled in ProtuesDS, instead the loads and strains are lumped at nearby elements. This reduces computational demands and improves performance.

  • How are lines and cables modeled?

    ProteusDS uses a nonlinear lumped mass finite element model with cubic elements. The state consists of N nodes’ positions/velocities. Cable ends are defined in terms of nodes 0/N. Elements may have different properties (mass, axial, bending, torsional, hydrodynamic) as specified by entries in a parts library.

  • How are buoys modeled?

    Buoys can be modeled in ProteusDS in two ways – a rigid body or a point mass model.

    The point mass model is a 3 DOF model (position, no orientation) that has mass, a characteristic diameter for buoyancy and is defined by drag and added mass coefficients. This simplified model is effective for modeling buoys or floats.

    If you are interested in 6 DOF motion and advanced hydrodynamics, the rigid body model is required which is available in ProteusDS Professional.

  • How are vessels and platforms modeled?

    ProteusDS models structures and vessels using the base rigid body model. This model allows users to define a hull, RAOs, hydrodynamic databases, damping coefficients, along with many other parameters to model various scenarios.

  • Does ProteusDS support NEMOH/WAMIT files as input?

    Yes – DSA has converters for hydrodynamic databases generated with WAMIT and NEMOH. ShipMo3D, which has forward speed effects is supported through a direct export option.

  • Does ProteusDS read AutoDesk Inventor drawings ?

    ProteusDS cannot directly import Autodesk Inventor files. However, if your Inventor File represents a custom mesh (e.g for hydrodynamic loading) it may be possible to export your file to the Wavefront (.OBJ) format. This is a format ProteusDS can read, provided that the mesh is well conditioned for numerical use. Please see page 68 of our manual for further details.

  • Does ProteusDS support a networked license?

    Currently networked licenses are only supported at academic institutions in a lab environment.

  • Does ProteusDS support a floating network license?

    No – currently DSA only supports machine-locked single user license.

  • Do you issue dongles for licensing ProteusDS?

    No – DSA only supports machine locked licenses, which uses a license file issued by DSA. The licensing procedure is outlined here: https://dsa-ltd.ca/software/proteusds/license-files/

  • Do you provide academic licenses for educational or research use?

    Yes – DSA has an academic partner program that enables researchers and students at post-secondary institutions (i.e. colleges and universities) to access the full version of ProteusDS for training and research purposes. For more information or to submit your ProteusDS Academic License Agreement – Research Use

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  • What is CFD?

    In ProteusDS the influence of the structures on the environment is ignored. In specific cases some of these effects are incorporated, such as wave radiation and diffraction effects on large floating hulls as computed by ShipMo3D or wake models used for aquaculture nets.

    A full CFD model will natively account for every structure’s influence on the environment and the resulting effects on any other structure in the system. These additional calculations come with a substantial computational cost penalty compared to ProteusDS.

  • Is ProteusDS a CFD application? How is it different?

    No – ProteusDS is not a CFD application. ProteusDS focuses on solving the mechanical dynamic response of structures as they are subject to forces imposed from wind, current, and waves. These forces are resolved using empirical coefficients that are provided from experience, data, or other software tools. The advantage of this numerical simulation approach, is that once the coefficients are validated and the model configured, many variations in the design of a system can be tested quickly and accurately, enabling greater optimization and lower risk.

  • How is "dynamic analysis" / the type of modelling completed with ProteusDS different than CFD?

    In ProteusDS the influence of the structures on the environment is ignored. In specific cases some of these effects are incorporated, such as wave radiation and diffraction effects on large floating hulls as computed by ShipMo3D or wake models used for aquaculture nets.

    A full CFD model will natively account for every structure’s influence on the environment and the resulting effects on any other structure in the system. These additional calculations come with a substantial computational cost penalty compared to ProteusDS.

  • For small rigid bodies floating in sea waves, added mass in surge, sway and heave is a function of how much fluid the objects displace. If an object (a buoy) has motion relative to the free surface, added mass will vary as function of time. Does PreteusDS take this effect into consideration?

    Yes, both added mass and drag/damping will scale with how much fluid the objects displace (see section 5.3.1 in the manual). The custom mesh based feature for rigid bodies handles this in ProteusDS. The hydrodynamic database has an option to scale the damping/added mass with draft/displacement as well. Some models are sensitive to this, while others are not. With ProteusDS you have the option to test this.

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