Combined hydrodynamic and structural models are used to simulate structural responses on ship hulls in a seaway for design and risk assessment purposes. From a safety and inspection perspective, there is demand for continuously monitoring the ship hull conditions to estimate the structural utilization in real time. However, setting up the computer models and running the analysis are time consuming and costly, preventing such models from being used operationally. We developed a statistical model that approximates the wave bending moment output from the computer model, by linking the wave bending moment to ship design parameters and environmental information. This statistical model is computationally cheap and much faster to run than a hydrodynamic model, and may thus act as a virtual indicator sensor for structural condition monitoring. The approximated wave bending moment can also be used to compute fatigue damage for a ship as an indicator for crack risk. Although somewhat sensitive to the training dataset, a validation study reveals that the statistical model performs decently well. For fatigue rates, relative errors range from1.4% to 60% for out-of-sample results with weighted least squares, which is deemed acceptable for an indicator model used for screening a fleet of vessels.

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