FINROD is a fast (parallelised) 2-dimensional route optimisation model which combines flow information, topographical/environmental information and “timing” aspects to predict optimal navigation tracks.

The optimal route for seagoing vessels is highly dependent on many factors: not only topography and earth curvature, but also real-time flow velocity, wind and wave influence, vessel speed and the “timing” of vessel departure or arrival. The FINROD model combines all these factors to find one unique time-optimal navigation route for each set of input parameters, using a tracking algorithm based on expanding “level sets”. FINROD has been made suitable for the curved earth surface (WGS84 ellipsoid). Dependent on the scale and geographic location of the problem, the user may apply the Mercator projection, the azimuthal stereographic projection or just a simple Cartesian reference frame.

FINROD has recently been applied for long-distance vessel tracks on the earth’s surface as well as smaller-scale route optimisation and optimal “timing” for swimmers across the English Channel.

T. Lolla, M. P. Ueckermann, K. Yigit, P. J. Haley Jr. and P. F. J. Lermusiaux. Path Planning in Time Dependent Flow Fields using Level Set Methods. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, 2012.


  • Svašek Hydraulics


  • "Level set" tracking algorithm
  • 2D ocean flow data (active)
  • Wind and wave data (passive)
  • WGS84 ellipsoid
  • Mercator projection
  • Stereographic projection
  • Batch mode for optimal timing
  • Parallelised using OpenMP

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