Ker Yacht Design uses state-of-the-art technology, techniques and processes throughout the research and design processes, and uses the whole gamut of them. Most of the research work is done in-house, (the size of the "house" increases somewhat for very large projects such as Americas Cup), however where a certain speciality skill or knowlege is required, we can rely on a strong network of consultants who include our software suppliers.
We use software to both make the process faster and the results better. We habitually set up streamlined processes that allow us to carry out repetitive tasks automatically and through the time saved focus our attendition on the creative aspects of the job where the real gains are to be found. These systems capture knowledge efficiently and allow designers to spend their time designing with powerful tools rather than spend their time entering/collecting data or as IT administrators.
Fluid Dynamics -
The shift in computing power and CFD accuracy in recent years means that CFD has become an incredibly useful design tool. Over the years we have gradually amassed a large amount of data from Tank Test, Wind Tunnel and High-Fidelity CFD computations and we use this data to continuoussly validate new CFD processes and software. We see the different forms of available technology as complimentary, each having its place according to its combination of accuracy, speed and cost.
Flowlogic- A specialised panel code intensively developed by Egan Technology over the last decade and beta tested by Ker Design since 2004, current versions of Flowlogic show remarkable accuracy over most of the relevant speed range for racing yachts and it's speed (a full VPP matrix overnight on a laptop computer) and ease of use allows for many possiblities to be tested.
- Tank Testing Tank testing at large scale remains the most trusted technique for measurement of potential yacht performance, however for most yacht design projects the timescale and cost of tank testing becomes impractable. In certain circumstances and longer-term projects tank testing becomes an invaluable tool albeit one that is now used mainly to validate the CFD software and techniques
Siemens NX CAD (unigraphics)Since 2003 all Ker designs have been entirely modelled in the computer in 3d using NX, to ensure a high degree of accuracy of the surfaces, to ensure that the design solutions really work and to be able to design the structural layouts and internal details before the hull shapes and appendage positions are finalised, then updated simply by replacing the outer surfaces. This allows more design time to be spent where it really matters. Other extensive users of this software include Red Bull Racing F1 team and many aerospace companies.