HIL testing of marine systems

We verify proper operation of safety critical automation systems with a simulator-based test regime as an independent third party.

If the software in the control system has errors, or the integration between systems has problems, these can quickly develop into non-productive time, equipment damage or accidents.

Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing by DNV is an efficient method for testing and verifying control system software. Instead of being connected to the actual equipment on the vessel, the control system is connected to a HIL simulator with sophisticated models of the vessel and its equipment – a digital twin of the vessels relevant systems.

This enables the systematic and comprehensive testing of control system functionality and failure handling without risk to people, equipment or environment. Tests can easily be performed in a safe environment at the vendor’s facility at an early stage.

Once the systems are installed on board, it is recommended to test the systems after software updates, adding new connections with other systems or components, such as sensors, to the systems.

In this way the functionality and safety of the software is ensured. We support you with profound insights into the design and functionality of your control systems, and ensure transparency and dialogue between equipment manufacturers, yard, owner and charterer.

HIL testing may also be used for incident investigations to identify root causes of failures.

HIL tests for many types of systems

Our experts are capable of HIL testing for a wide range of control systems:

  • Dynamic positioning systems
  • Power management systems 
  • Steering, propulsion and thruster 
  • Drillfloor (such as drawwork, topdrive, pipe racker, in addition to zone management and integrated functionalities) 
  • Blowout preventer 
  • Managed pressure drilling 
  • Crane 
  • LNG as gas fuel 
  • Exhaust gas cleaning systems 
  • Emergency shutdown 
  • Fire and gas 
  • Integration testing between different systems and vendors

HIL testing with DNV provides many benefits:

  • A safer and more robust control system
  • Fewer software issues during operation and commissioning 
  • Compliance with owners’ specifications 
  • Check for design flaws and proper failure handling 
  • Independent third-party verification of control system software 
  • “Black box” testing – no need to disclose codes between manufacturers

Related links


Network Storm | Veracity by DNV


Dynamic Positioning Capability Assessment | Veracity by DNV