[Innovation] More than just a partner: the Joint Laboratory of Maritime Technology

12 January 2021 Innovation Defense Naval News

This joint laboratory is the embodiment of cooperation between academic and industrial partners at its best. That is what the Joint Laboratory of Maritime Technology (JLMT) is all about! It grew out of the desire of Naval Group and the École Centrale de Nantes to combine their research and innovation capabilities in order to help our ships maintain their operational superiority at sea. We asked three Naval Group Project Managers to give us an explanation.

Cédric Leblond, Head of Scientific Calculations and Simulations at Naval Group, Project Manager for Multiphysics and Multiparameter Simulations at the JLMT

“We have a vocation to provide cross-functional digital tools. For example, we have just developed a set of automatic learning algorithms in the field of mechanics. This work, originally the subject of a thesis supervised by the JLMT, was subsequently implemented from a software point of view. Our goal today is to experiment with it for the purposes of real-time monitoring of the composite mast on ships, using its physical instrumentation. The École Centrale de Nantes and the University of Nantes provide us with testing resources and multidisciplinary skills (mathematicians, opticians, mechanics) that Naval Group does not possess in-house. Once its readiness level has been validated, the technology at the heart of this POC (Proof Of Concept) can be used to monitor any composite structure.”

Jean-Jacques Maisonneuve, Head of Fluid Mechanics at Naval Group, Project Manager for Hydrodynamics at the JLMT

“The École Centrale de Nantes has historic expertise in naval hydrodynamics, and in particular in seakeeping. Together we have just completed a thesis on the subject of wind-wave propagation; the intended application is to anticipate a ship's movements by a few tens of seconds in order to make landing operations - of helicopters, for example - more secure, or to mitigate the impact of a powerful wave. This knowledge serves one of the key Naval Group themes, namely "Mastering a sea state”. A second joint project is in the pipeline for which confirmation is pending. It concerns the development of a generic test device for hull appendages. Watch this space…!”

Patrice Vinot, Project Manager for Additive Manufacturing at Naval Group and JLMT

“The development of wire deposition technology is the structuring project for our collaboration. In two years, it has enabled us to progress from making a solid propeller blade demonstrator in copper-aluminium to completing a hollow blade demonstrator in stainless steel - a world first - with great industrial prospects. If Naval Group relies on the JLMT, it is because it offers the means, a network, and the scientific resources for exploring low-TRL areas, with a degree of operational flexibility and error tolerance that we do not possess. Cooperation is based on close contact between our teams and a relationship of trust with no conflict of interest. And it goes well beyond wire deposition, thanks to the transparent sharing of all the topics in our R&D roadmaps.”