A methodology for topside design and integration in preliminary warship design
This thesis investigates warship topside design and integration and proposes a methodology that provides, during the preliminary design stages, an enhanced topside design capability above that currently available. The feasibility of such a system is demonstrated through a number of individual investigations and ship design studies for both conventional and unconventional naval vessels. A recommended implementation of the methodology, integrating it with the recently produced layout system, is proposed as the way forward. Topside design is a complex task resulting from the requirement to locate all the necessary equipment on the weatherdeck and superstructure of a warship whilst minimising interactions. The current tools and design methodologies fail to cohesively address design issues at the concept stage. This is often due to the specialist nature of the analyses, which require detailed definitions only available later in the design process as well as expert knowledge in the application of the techniques. The proposed methodology provides guidance as different design solutions are developed and evaluated, allowing earlier identification of potential problems. It operates in an 'open' manner providing the naval architect with the flexibility to investigate and analyse the design as it evolves without dictating design decisions or requiring expert application knowledge. The major issues that need to be considered during preliminary warship design are discussed. Current design methods and the shortfalls associated with each of them are considered. A methodology is outlined detailing the principles that are applicable and the important components and characteristics of any solution identified. The major aspects in topside integration are investigated and design tools proposed and evaluated. A framework for the integration of these tools is developed which is suitable for implementation using current computer technology. The suitability of this framework to incorporate other less complex but important topside design issues is evaluated and appropriate techniques identified.