Tag: ProteusDS

Why parts libraries are essential to save time in mooring design

After a disastrous World War 2 naval battle, a lone allied warship was left surrounded behind enemy lines. Vastly outnumbered and outgunned, the situation seemed very grim. Still, the crew came up with a plan to sneak back home: disguise the warship as an island. The crew gathered as much foliage as they could from nearby islands to meticulously cover the entire ship.

A stranded World War 2 allied warship sneakily made its way back home by disguising itself as an island. Picture credit: Wikipedia

They patiently stayed at anchor by day, only travelling at night to avoid detection. To help their disguise, they picked a meandering route that would keep them near other islands on their way. They eventually made their way back to allied territory safely, but it was slow going and took a lot of time.

Now taking a lot of time might make sense in some circumstances, especially when safety is on the line. But in oceanographic mooring design, there’s often a time crunch. Without realizing it, you may be taking a meandering route in your design process. But a parts library can help speed up the process and get you where you need to be with a solid design in your hands much faster. What we’re going to cover is:

  1. finding part information
  2. avoiding input error
  3. starting with a finite pool of parts

First, we’re going to start with finding part information.

It may seem a little counterintuitive

But despite the massive amount of information on the Internet, it can still be hard to find what you need. Equipment suppliers do a great job putting part information on their websites and in catalogues for you to find. But the big problem is that sometimes not all the information you need is on a single technical specification sheet.

Sometimes, the information you need is in more than one spot

This might mean looking at more than one spec sheet just for one component. But complicating this is that sometimes the very layout of your go-to websites can change over time, too, shifting around where you previously found the information you needed.

All of this boils down to a lot of time spent crawling websites looking for key pieces of information. And when you don’t find what you need? You have to play phone or email tag with staff at the equipment supplier to fill the holes in your information.

See a sample snapshot of an equipment supplier website below: Mooring Systems Inc. has a lot of really useful information on their website. But you often need to find more information to make an entire mooring design.

Equipment supplier websites like Mooring Systems, Inc have a lot of useful information for their mooring components

A parts library ready to go saves the time needed to find this information

It saves a lot of time following up with equipment suppliers, trying to fill in the gaps in the information you need. This is definitely a significant aspect of how parts libraries save time in mooring design. But it’s not the only one. This brings us to the next point on reducing input errors.

What do we mean by avoiding input errors?

Avoiding input errors just means making sure you have the right understanding and the right numbers going into your design. When looking at breaking strength, did you confuse metric tons with short tons? Or did you perhaps make a mistake when converting another from one type of unit to another?

Input errors may happen if you are rushing to get a design done

Just a typo for a particular input can cause havoc with the design numbers. Did you put in 400kg for net flotation or 4,000kg? These input errors can be subtle, yet still have a significant impact on the mooring.

But how does reducing input error save time?

Often, with enough experience, you can get a sense if something seems wrong with the design. Tracking down just where that input error is can take a lot of time. It can leave you scratching your head, pouring over all the inputs in your entire mooring, trying to find what went wrong. Parts libraries significantly reduce these kinds of input errors. This is especially important when you are copying numbers from a technical specification into your mooring design tools.

Of course, nobody wants to make mistakes

While saving time by avoiding input errors is helpful, it’s not something substantial, especially when you are faced with an empty drawing board at the start of your design project. This brings us to the third and final point in how parts libraries help save time: working with a finite pool of parts.

When faced with thousands of choices, it can be easy to freeze up

Why do you freeze up? Your brain wants to evaluate every possible option: you can get analysis paralysis. You can face a similar kind of situation at the start of a mooring project. There are dozens of connector types and sizes, wire sizes, and hundreds of fibre rope materials.

It’s a situation ripe for analysis paralysis

But if you have a finite pool of parts to start with, it helps break you out of this paralysis. You don’t have nearly as many choices to make. You can start clicking together something resembling a mooring and then tweak the design as needed without infinite variation or refinement in the parts. In this way, working with the finite pool of parts in your library saves you time and gets you to the next step.

Will I need a ton of time to get a parts library up and running?

Not necessarily. The benefits start to grow as your parts library grows in size. You don’t need to make one up all at once in a single go. But collecting the information is only the first part. It’s crucial to save the information in a format that makes it easy for you to re-use over and over again. Better yet, if there’s a way you can share this with your team in your group, you all contribute and benefit, spreading the work and benefits around.

So what might a parts library look like?

It depends on what mooring analysis and design tools you’re working with. The most basic form might just be a spreadsheet, or better yet, a cloud spreadsheet that you can easily collaborate with your team for everyone to work with. A Google Sheet with a range of columns for different properties would work well. But there’s also another option that is even more effective.

Proteus Oceanographic comes with a Parts Library Editor

The free toolbox Proteus Oceanographic comes with a Parts Library Editor. It makes it easy to add new parts and makes a database file you can share with your colleagues.

Proteus Oceanographic Parts Library Editor

But even better is that there’s an Official Parts Library waiting for you to use

You can always make your own local parts libraries with the Proteus Oceanographic Parts Library Editor. But in the meantime, we spend a lot of time collecting useful parts information and adding it to the Official Parts Library for everyone to use in their Proteus Oceanographic mooring designs.

We went through a few details on how Parts Libraries help out, so now it’s time to review

Even simple mooring designs can be deceptive in the amount of detail that’s involved. This detail comes in the form of all the parts, connectors, and instruments that make up the mooring. Coordinating this information can leave you struggling to get the right information to check your mooring design. It may be obvious that parts libraries save you time in looking up spec sheets. But it also reduces the risk of making an input error when copying new information or incorporating the numbers into your calculations. And then there’s the benefit of having a finite pool of parts to eliminate the chance of analysis paralysis and overwhelm with too much to choose from.

An allied warship hiding out by blending in with other islands. Picture credit: Wikipedia

An allied World War 2 warship disguised as an island could afford to take their time on a meandering route. Now, if you’re working without a parts library, you may without realizing it be taking your time on your own meandering route through your mooring design. Parts libraries will help you click together a design and get to your project’s next step quickly and with confidence.

Next Step

Read more about and download the free design toolbox Proteus Oceanographic here.

There are several video tutorials that help show how to use Proteus Oceanographic for mooring design. Check out the video tutorial below to learn more on how to work with parts libraries with Proteus Oceanographic and the Parts Library editor.

Thanks to Mooring Systems, Inc

Thanks to Lucas and James Cappellini from Mooring Systems Inc. for sharing information on their equipment to incorporate into the Proteus Oceanographic Official Parts Library.


ProteusDS Training @ Mari-Tech 2018

DSA believes training is at the core of our customer’s success; we want our clients to reach their goals, amaze their customers, and transform their business with the power of dynamic analysis.

Image of ProteusDS training in Singapore

Join DSA for a unique ProteusDS workshop in conjunction with Mari-Tech 2018 at the Victoria Conference Centre in Victoria BC where we will explore:

    • The new thruster model that is used for assessing the global performance of vessel motion.
    • The new cable state generator, which makes it much easier to create segments, create initial conditions, and assign element properties for cables. It also allows you to remesh a cable very quickly – adding resolution to the part of your model that needs it – through specification of the number of elements in each segment.
    • Other topics might be explored depending on demand.

When: April 8th, 2018
Time: 9am -12pm
Where: Victoria Conference Center, Metchosin Room  – Mari-Tech 2018

 What’s included?

  • Coffee and continental breakfast
  • A ProteusDS license for the duration of the training session


  • Regular: $300 CDN
  • Academic: $150 CDN

Who should attend?

  • Existing users looking to refresh or build skills and
  • Technologists, engineers, and scientists deploying working with ships, station keeping and those designing moorings.

All places are reserved on a first come first served basis. To reserve your spot, please contact:

Lauren Dunn
902-407-3722 ext 109

ProteusDS v2.43 is now available

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

ProteusDS v2.43 is now available for download.

The software is ready to go, and login credentials for active subscribers will allow you to access ProteusDS v2.43 from our website.


Button to download ProteusDS


In case you’re wondering what’s new, we’ve highlighted some of the critical new features below.

NEW Cable State Generator

First and particularly noteworthy, we’ve created a new way to define cable segments and elements in PST. Activate the new tool with the $CableSegmentMode property in the Cable input file. The new state generator makes it much easier to create segments and ensure that nodes are placed at the correct arc length. It also allows you to remesh a cable very quickly – adding resolution to the part of your model that needs it – through specification of the number of elements in each segment.

Image of the ProteusDS toolbox Cable State Generator

New cable state generator allows you to remesh quickly, and more efficiently match cable segment lengths with node positions.


NEW Net Modeling Enhancements

We’re introducing three key new features for net modellers: First, a default axial damping coefficient is now determined based on element lengths and stiffnesses. This option will typically speed up simulations which are not optimized for axial damping.

The second new feature permits the simulation of disk nets like the one shown in the figure below. By specifying edge lengths of 0 for Edge 1 (i.e. setting the inner radius to 0 in the disk net IC generator), the solver now automatically adds a constraint which prevents separation of the nodes along edge 1.

Lastly, the net state generator has been updated to recall what settings were used to create the net. A new framework has been built into PST that will allow us to remember more user’s settings and preferences going forward.

Image of net model enhancements in ProteusDS

The net model now allows you to model disk nets without a hole in the centre – which is much closer to how nets are constructed.

Wave Drift Modeling

We’ve added the ability to model slowly varying wave-drift loads using sum difference quadratic transfer functions (QTFs). This capability has been added to the RigidBodyRadDiffHydordynamic feature’s hydrodynamic database).

The capability has been validated using published data, and a description of the implemented approach has been described in a report available on our website here: Wave drift modeling report.

Thrusters and Propellers

You can now model thrusters and propellers through specification of thrust and torque curves. Modeling options that are supported include wake fraction, fluid dynamic inertia, thrust deduction, and azimuthing propellers.

The RPM of a propeller can be adjusted through the ProteusDS API, which is ideal for maneuvering of dynamic positioning studies in which you want maximal control over the propeller. A thruster is added to a RigidBody at a particular location, and orientation using a Thruster feature, much like when you add a hydrodynamic mesh model (e.g. cylinder or cuboid). This means that thruster/propeller model parameters can be centrally adjusted.

Image of a thruster in ProteusDS

Model propellers accurately for DP and seakeeping/maneuvering studies.


So, that’s ProteusDS 2.43 – we hope you enjoy it and find the new features useful.


For a complete list of additions, changes, and resolved issues

Top Reasons To Invest In ProteusDS Training

We work in technology-rich workplaces, where we need to keep skills current to ensure that the companies we work for stay competitive. Professional development has many benefits, and DSA wants to help you and your business to continue running effectively and efficiently.

Image of a keyboard with typing fingers


Whether you are a new ProteusDS user or a seasoned pro, regular professional development and software training can build skills within your company that will improve your bottom-line by ensuring you are using the most effective tools and processes.

We’ve compiled some of the top reasons to invest in ProteusDS software training:

#1 Keep up with industry changes

Ocean engineering best practices are always evolving, to avoid being left behind it’s important for you and your business to keep on top of them. At DSA we work across many ocean sectors which give us a tremendous knowledge base to draw upon in training sessions. To the benefit of all attendees, standards and recommended practices for analyses are frequently discussed during training.

#2 Keep in touch with the latest features

New features within ProteusDS are developed all the time! Our team announces these advancements in all our major releases updates. In a training session, you can discover first-hand how these new features are used. In addition, not every feature is discussed in the tutorials or in release announcements. We often dive into these lesser-known features in our training sessions.

#3 Keep one step ahead of the competition

Training helps users be more productive and efficient. Huge investments in tools without the appropriate training can signify inefficiencies that affect your company’s competitiveness. We find that users who invest in training find new and better ways to ProteusDS that save their businesses time and money.

#4 Keep connected with the software developers

Training with the software developers has three significant benefits. First, you are learning from the experts. Second, if you are encountering complex issues or have concerns with your simulations these issues are addressed quickly and efficiently.  Lastly, training sessions provide an invaluable opportunity for you to give feedback to DSA that can guide future developments that will make your ProteusDS usage more efficient and tailored to your specific needs.


Image of ProteusDS training in Singapore

A.J. Baron, Project Engineer with DSA leading ProteusDS training in Singapore, March 2017



Interested in learning more about ProteusDS training options? Want to book training today?

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ProteusDS v2.36 is now available

DSA is very pleased to announce the release of ProteusDS v2.36. The software is ready to go and active subscribers can use their login credentials to download the latest version from our website. We’ve highlighted some of the key new features below.

Support for visualization-only models

A good computational model is very different than a 3D model used for purely visualization purposes. Because of this, we have added the ability to handle models that are to be used for visualization purposes only. Now, in the ProteusDS Simulation Toolbox, you can add a $VisualizationModel property to a RigidBody. The model specified through this property is not used for computations. We have added functionality in both PostPDS and ProteusDS Simulation Toolbox to toggle visualization or computational models on or off.

Image of Blended copmutational vs visualization labels

Comparing computational and visualization display modes in PostPDS


Bathymetry analysis

We have released a set of powerful bathymetry analysis features in PostPDS that allow users to assess seabed slope and depth. To access these features, simply right-click on the Seabed item in the Categories tree in the UI, and select the appropriate Bathymetry Plotting option. The depth and slope plots now have legends that make it easy to interpret seabed data. The exclusion zone plot allows you to find safe regions to place equipment or position anchors.

Image of powerful bathymetry analysis features in PostPDS

PostPDS showing the slopes in a bathymetry file using the bathymetry plotting options


Modeling ropes that are sewn into nets

For our aquaculture and net-modeling users, we have added support for modeling rib-lines or “structural lines” that are frequently sewn into nets to add strength and shape. This is done within the Net DObject itself and not using additional Cable DObjects. This dramatically reduces the numbers of DObjects and connections required to simulate a net pen with rib lines leading to faster simulations. To apply a rib-line to a net, use the $ExtCableLongitudinal or $ExtCableTransverse property in the Net input file.

We have also added an option to connect the end of a line to any point on a net. You do not have to connect a line directly to a node! This is much easier for creating supporting lines in net pens. To create this connection specify the Net as the master and the Cable as the follower, and use the Point connection type.

Image of structural lines that are swen into net panels

Visualization of structural lines (indicated in yellow) that are sewn into net panels.This feature reduced net analysis complexity significantly.


So, that’s ProteusDS 2.36 – we hope you enjoy it and find the new features useful.

v2.36 Changelog


  • Added time history plot functionality for RigidBody DObject in PostPDS
  • Added legends for bathymetry plots in PostPDS
  • Added support for computational and visualization models in ProteusDS solver, PST, and PostPDS
  • Added height above seabed probe to RigidBody to check for clearance
  • Added inclination angle and tension output for ExtMass and ExtMassCylinder attachments
  • Added ability to connect the end of a cable to anywhere on a net panel
  • Added ExtCable functionality to Net DObject to allow for modeling of ropes which are sewn into nets to provide strength and shape


  • Enhanced ‘Duplicate Selected DObject(s)’ functionality to allow for optional duplication of connections

Resolved issues:

  • Addressed overlapping water rendering
  • Improved full-screen support with ability to toggle the display device that the full-screen window appears on by pressing ‘F1’
  • Addressed mooring line naming issue with taut leg mooring generator

View our 2015 changelog here