Fast & Flexible: streamlining a simulation- based approach to collision risk assessments

Nicholas Horne, Pal Schmitt, Ross M. Culloch, Ben Wilson, Andrew Dale, Jonathan Houghton, Louise Kregting

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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It is critical that tools for assessing potential environmental impacts are, amongst other things, fit to reduce uncertainty and provide sufficient confidence to permit decision. To address collision risk between marine mammals and tidal energy devices a simulation-based approach was developed to create a robust system that can adapt to any typical scenario and include novel device designs and ecological parameters. The approach here makes use of an open-source game-engine, Blender, to simulate a tidal energy device, the animal, and its movement in 3D to calculate collision probabilities. This free-to-use software offers an economical solution, however, the complexity of simulating a 3D environment, and adapting game-design software for the purposes of environmental questions poses challenges such as the time required for simulations to complete and the computing power required (e.g. number of CPU cores). The aim of this current study was to streamline the simulation-based approach and outline a more efficient process so that the time to produce results is greatly reduced. Simulation runtime has been significantly reduced by employing increased parallelisation and enabling running the software on a high-performance computer. The end-to-end runtime was reduced by a factor of 17 to greatly improve efficiency. Further improvements to this simulation-based approach gives industry a greater number of options for robust quantification of collision risk and, consequently this work can aid regulators in making decisions during the consent, and post-consent phases of tidal energy developments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC) 2021: Proceedings
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2022
EventEuropean Wave and Tidal Energy Conference: European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference - University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom, PL4 8AA, Plymouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 05 Sep 202109 Sep 2021
Conference number: 14

Publication series

NameThe European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC)
ISSN (Print)2706-6932
ISSN (Electronic)2706-6940


ConferenceEuropean Wave and Tidal Energy Conference
Abbreviated titleEWTEC2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Collision Risk, Modelling, Tidal Energy


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