Syroco is developing a simulation and digital modelling platform, Syroco EfficientShip. We asked Baptiste to explain what he does within the Syroco research team and why it matters. Here is what he explained.
I am an engineer specialising in simulation and I have worked extensively on autopilots for boats of all kinds. Passionate about kiteboating, I was lucky to start working on foiling sailboats during the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda, then to repair and sail on L'dorado, a foiling kiteboat. The concept of aile d’eau has kept me awake at night for years, so it was logical that I heard about the Syroco project very early on! We exchanged on our projects several times with the technical team, then I met Alex Caizergues somewhat by chance during a kitesurf competition. A few days later, he called and offered me a job at Syroco.
Having joined Syroco as a simulation and control engineer, I started to work on the control system of the radio-controlled prototype, on both electronics hardware and software. We had to define the sensors we were going to use, the on-board computer, the telecommunications systems, the emergency release devices, the batteries to power everything. Then, we had to gradually configure all these different elements, test them separately and then integrate them from a mechanical and electronic point of view.
Finally, the assembly must be tested as much as possible in the workshop, in order to maximise the duration of test sessions at sea. With good preparation, things can work on the first attempt. However, we must remain cautious and make the necessary improvements for the proper development of the prototype.
I continued my adventure at Syroco within the EfficientShip project, where the core technology stems from our research on the energy efficiency of wind. I am part of the development team for this platform that simulates the behaviour of ships using digital twins, in order to obtain data aimed at optimising their energy efficiency. One of my missions is to put into equation the physical systems that influence ships, creating the models which, assembled, constitute the digital twin of the ship. Naturally, we carry out numerous tests in order to improve our models by comparing them to the actual data measured and collected on board the ships.
One of the advantages of working for a startup is to be in close contact with the founders and the rest of the team, to participate in improving the company and to work together on what it will become tomorrow. Working as a team allows us to take advantage of our complementarities to move forward together! And I'm also very proud to contribute to the pursuit of the dream of the aile d’eau, and thus to open up the field of possibilities.