MARINS platform


With MARINS, the French Maritime Academy, ENSM, strengthens its position as a key stakeholder in maritime cybersecurity and human factors.

The MARINS simulation platform is one of the major tools in the ENSM Research Center. Designed for research and development purposes in relation to cybersecurity and situational awareness, it is dedicated to experimental work and tests that could not be carried out on an educational platform.Marins consists of a navigation simulator and two bridges from commercial ships, allowing to simulate two independent ships in a predefined environment with modifiable parameters, such as weather or presence of other ships.
From the instructor workstation, series of malfunctions, cyberattacks and anomalies can be triggered to compromise the data provided by each subsystem.
Also, the MARINS structure was designed to interact with real maritime interfaces, equipment and communication protocols.
Real systems can be integrated and tested as in operational conditions.
The integrated bridges are modular in order to integrate real equipment, manufactured by third parties involved in research experiments.
It is then possible to test innovative technologies in operational conditions and evaluate their relevance and ergonomics.

MARINS integrates powerful features to record experimental work: scenario data but also physiological data of the participants, such as heart rate, dilation of the pupils…

Cyber risk not only covers systems and their integrity, but also the impacts of an attack on the operation of a facility.
The pilot and other crew members are confronted with altered or even false information.
Human behavior is an essential component when deterring attacks, while the crew members are, or are not, aware of the situation.
On this aspect, MARINS is a truly original equipment as a research tool that offers the possibility to confront operators with a cyber-attack on a maritime system involving several ships, and to evaluate the effects in action.
A combination of malfunctions, cyberattacks and anomalies can be triggered from the instructor workstation to compromise the availability or integrity of the data provided by each subsystem.
These may include, for example, GPS jamming, AIS spoofing, network intrusion, changes to route information…
MARINS integrates powerful features to record experimental work: scenario data, actions performed, responses of the ship in association with the bridge video, physiological data of the participants such as heart rate, dilation of the pupils … The superposition of these tracks offers a multidimensional vision of what happened, bringing persons closer to the situation he/she lived and the actions he/she executed.


The ship navigation and research simulation equipment MARINS installed at the French Maritime Academy ENSM in its Le Havre campus hosts the simulator “Mistral 4000 Simulation live System” manufactured by the Italian company 5Ks.

UIl comprises an instructor control station connected to two navigation bridges, either independent or interconnected, which comprise all the electronic equipment of an integrated navigation bridge and provide for a full simulation of ship navigation and maneuvering assisted by :
• Two Radars (Decca – ARPA – Bridge Master E Radar and a Generic radar – ARPA)
• A GPS receiver (W-GPS Differential)
• AIS (an AIS transceiver)
• GMDSS console (IMMARSAT A-B-C– UHF – VHF receiver)
• A Navtex receiver
• An EPIRB receiver (SAR Direction Finder)
• An echo sounder
• A Doppler log
• Bearing-controlled binoculars (optical and night vision)
• As well as ship handling equipment :
• rudder control (one / two)
• an autopilot (with synchronized or independent helm)
• a control to adjust the ship propulsion (RPM or propeller pitch) (one or two engines), one or two propellers (CPP or FPP)

• and safety equipment:
• an EPC receiver (fire alarms, power failure)


– Under the “research simulator” purpose, the MARINS equipment with its powerful data, video recording and replay capabilities, gives the opportunity to study human factors, to simulate equipment malfunctions due to breakdown or cyber-attacks, to integrate and simulate the operation of equipment under development, implementing innovative technologies in order to measure how equipment perform and comply with criteria related to on-board operations, and finally, highlights the added value obtained.
– Under its “navigation simulator” purpose, the various technical capabilities of the MARINS simulator allow to use navigation scenarios ranging from high seas to coastal areas, or congested or port waters, based on real and complex situations as well as emergency situations, in changing environmental conditions. All the different types of commercial ships, some of which use tug assistance, can be involved.


Pierre Ferrant
Chairman of the Research Committee
“Just like the rest of our industry, the maritime world with its strategically role, is constantly evolving to meet the challenges due to energy transition and the increased use of digital technologies.
In developing relevant measures to answer these challenges, the specificities of the maritime sector shall be taken into account.
Thus, research in marine science and engineering has a key role to play in removing scientific and technological barriers and in sharing progress with all stakeholders in the maritime economy.
The MARINS platform is an original equipment dedicated to research, on which the work of ENSM teams will be able to rely.
In the field of cyber security, being able to simulate an attack on systems gives the possibility to measure the impact on ship handling, as well as the impact on nautical and environmental safety.
In addition, this platform will offer the possibility to develop and test in-situation some practices and methods followed to respond to an attack, and also equipment used for such threats.
The ENSM, with its teams and technological platforms, is strengthening its research and innovation capabilities to support maritime stakeholders in dealing with these challenges. »

Aude Charbonnel
Professor in Nautical sciences
“MARINS is a collaborative simulation and research platform set up at the French Maritime Academy ENSM.
Its objective is both simple and ambitious: provide a collaborative approach to research laboratories, industry and maritime experts (professors, seafarers, students) for work in synergy on technical and human issues related to ship handling.
This synergy is achieved by reproducing reality closely thanks to a navigation simulator dedicated to research and thanks to the ENSM’s expertise in the design, conduct and analysis of simulations.
The technical structure
The MARINS (Maritime Research In Navigation System) is a navigation simulator developed by 5KS; it is equipped with two navigation bridges and a control center, to supervise the two bridges and the later extraction of a certain number of parameters for analysis purposes. It provides a mean to test, in an immersive environment, seafarers’ reactions as much as procedures or equipment, and this under an innovative approach.
This tool, unique in France, is part of “Le Havre Smart port City” project, winner of the 3rd State investment program for the future, titled “Territoire d’innovation”.
Currently, two main topics are being studied through MARINS: cybersecurity and under vigilance. »

Jean-Pierre Clostermann
Former ENSM professor, project designer
“The ENSM research center was scheduled as early as 2012 in the planification for the Quai Frissard building.
The size of classes for new students had increased so it was necessary to use the space planned for student training simulation and think about a specific additional facility.
MARINS came out of this reconfiguration.
The Normandy Region, willing to provide the Academy with an efficient research tool, together with CODAH and through the SMART PORT CITY project, have been the caring and reliable partners in this adventure.
MARINS is now active and allows students to participate and enjoy research projects.
Today, the evolution of methods and technology is so fast that teaching must rely on research to keep up to date with the latest developments in the profession.
The next step will consist in opening a larger access to research at ENSM by encouraging the active participation of simulator instructors to create a training-research symbiosis, particularly easy to implement thanks to the close access to training simulators, which not only helps students broadening their minds but also allows for sound experiments thanks to large cohorts “.

Claire Giot
ENSM Researcher
“The COMETE-INSERM laboratory is carrying out, in partnership with the ENSM, a project aimed at assessing and restoring the vigilance of watchkeepers on the bridge (helms) of a merchant vessel, in order to prevent risks of accidents related to low vigilance (hypovigilance).
The experiment work that we conducted on the maritime navigation simulator MARINS aimed at determining in a series of physiological variables, which are the best to predict states of alertness, as factors responsible for lower officer performances.
Volunteering cadet officers were tested after a normal night and in a sleep deprivation situation.
The scenarios used on the simulator offered both complex navigation passages, for example including the “anti-collision”, as well as less eventful passages and cyber-attack type events.
Thanks to a simulator, it is possible to safely study the behavior of watchkeepers in various situations, designed to change their level of alertness. »

Francis Vanoosten
Maritime expert
“I worked with the MARINS experimental research platform for two missions.
As part of the experiment work on seafarers vigilance (Thesis by Claire GIOT), I created scenarios where navigation system failure and cyber security attacks were simulated for about ten sessions.
I observed and evaluated the reaction capacity of students volunteering, when coping with complex situations during sessions, with or without sleep deprivation.
– As part of the collaborative project E PANEMA supported by the ADEME, I am in charge of public contracts aiming at the integration of industrial bricks into the MARINS platform.
Thanks to these industrial bricks, it is possible to greatly improve the safety of navigation and to offer enhanced protection of the environment, through the reduction of collisions and the support to decision-making.
The platform allows for testing the bricks before their industrial integration on board and it highlights the added value obtained.
This platform allows, being as close to real conditions as possible, to test innovative tools before their release on the market. »


“Just as higher education requires research, support to maritime stakeholders also requires research projects.
Technological advances, digital development, new environmental regulations, the corporate social commitment by shipowners and other industry partners justify the two strong research axes chosen by ENSM, focused on maritime risks and energy efficiency.
Dominique Follut, who has just taken over as Director of Research, brings together a team of professors and researchers mobilized around these topics at the ENSM, on the four campuses: Marseille, Nantes, Saint Malo and Le Havre.
The MARINS Research Center or platform “MARINS” is a valuable tool for developing experimental work with stakeholders in the maritime industry, on all topics related to safety and security at sea, from cyber-attacks to watchkeeper fatigue. Composed of two integrated, open and adaptable bridges, the platform allows to mimic the ship of the future.
I would like to thank the Normandy Region for its support and the Smart Port City for its recognition.
We are grateful to all partners who have made it possible to set up and develop this platform “
Caroline Grégoire, Director General of ENSM

For more information :
Contact : Dominique Follut
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