October 2023, article in a peer-reviewed journal
Journal of Marine Science and Engineering

Martin Alejandro Gonzalez Jimenez, Andriarimina Daniel Rakotonirina, Bruno Sainte-Rose and David James Cox

  • Publication type: Article in peer-reviewed journal
  • Publication journal: Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
  • Publication date: October 2023
  • Collaborators: The Ocean Cleanup (NL)
  • DOI: /10.3390/jmse11101943


The Ocean Cleanup introduces a Digital Twin (DT) describing the cleanup systems made of netting to extract marine litter from our oceans. It consists of two wings forming a “U-shape” and a retention zone. During operation, the system is towed and drag-driven with a span-to-length ratio of 0.6 ≤ 𝑆𝑅∗ ≤ 0.8. The twine Reynolds number is ℛ𝑒∗𝑡∈[800:1600], making it experience various local drag coefficients. The DT was built with OrcaFlex (OF) aiming at: (i) avoiding over- or under-designing the system; (ii) supporting the scale-up of the system; and (iii) estimating the costs and/or the impact of our offshore operations. Therefore, we present an attempt to build an accurate DT using data from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). We developed a three-cycle validation: (i) initial guess applying Naumov’s semi-empirical drag coefficient to define the OF drag coefficients without the influence of the angles of attack 𝜃 of the wings; (ii) adjustment of the OF drag coefficients using AquaSim (AS) with its twine-by-twine drag correlation for various 𝜃; (iii) re-adjustment of the OF drag coefficients from two-dimensional CFD simulations using Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) for a twine-by-twine establishment of a drag correlation on a 1 m plane net, highlighting the shielding effects for 𝜃