Ocean systems face a harsh and uncertain environment.

How can you learn what designs will work in advance?

Working in the marine environment can be costly and risky. New equipment and vessels are expensive to design and build. Projects face many uncertainties around design conditions. And eventually, you’re going to have to leave port and put your equipment, vessel, or structure in the ocean. But the ocean can be an unforgiving environment.

The saying goes, “If you can’t live without it, don’t put it in the ocean”. You can’t really afford to have a failure with your project or lose equipment in the sea. How do you get the assurance you need to deal with uncertain marine environments?

Wind, waves, and currents can easily cause failures in systems that aren’t designed to handle the strains and motions created by these powerful forces. How can we reduce the risk to losing or damaging costly equipment? How can safely and cost-effectively test your system in the wind and waves in advance?

You could burn and learn by trial and error

But the risk can be high and the costs of learning even higher. What’s needed is a way to evaluate what happens to equipment in marine environments ahead of time. Even a rudimentary idea of motions and loads of equipment in wind, waves, and currents helps designers, engineers, and planners to pick the right equipment that is suitable for the marine environment it will be used in.

Experience can be a big help. But experience alone doesn’t always help with new ideas and equipment. Experience also doesn’t translate into a systematic process to make sure equipment is evaluated consistently. Your clients or insurers might not accept the risk.

But there’s another way

What’s needed is software that computes equipment motions and loads in marine environments. There needs to be a way to check what happens in the harsh ocean environment when there’s wind, current, and waves. As a software design tool, it helps form part of a consistent analysis process. To really save time, it has to be easy to learn and use.

Introducing ProteusDS

ProteusDS is marine dynamic analysis software. It’s designed to calculate what happens to equipment in a marine environment when there’s wind, currents, and waves. Purpose-built toolsets make it easy to use and learn to solve common problems, like oceanographic mooring design.

Oceanographic toolset

Design moorings for surface and subsurface oceanographic moorings. Quickly and efficiently generate mooring diagrams, bill of materials, parts lists, and analysis reports. Check for submergence and knock-down. Evaluate breaking strength requirements.

ShipMo3D toolset

Configure detailed ship models for seakeeping and maneuvering. Rapidly evaluate ship motions in a wide range of forward speeds and sea state conditions. Verify the effect of anti-roll devices, and incorporate motion data and hydrodynamics into ProteusDS mooring analysis projects.

Fish Farm toolset

Systematically construct a finfish aquaculture mooring grid. Resolve mooring loads in an array of environmental conditions. Generate reports to establish how changes might effect safety factors for regulatory compliance in mooring design.

API toolset

Connect your own custom physics and control models to your ProteusDS project through the API. Explore complex scenarios in marine operations, autonomous vehicle navigation, marine renewable system energy and mooring performance, and more.

Quickly build hull structure and details with built-in parametric shapes. Exploring early concepts can mean a lot of time fighting a drawing program to make a hull shape. This is time you could be spending exploring what concepts will work and what won’t. Quickly generate a hull structure using built-in parametric shapes like cylinders, cuboids, and ellipsoids.

Evaluate your specific hull shape with custom hull mesh import. Sometimes a primitive shape doesn’t fit your design very well. Using the wrong shape can mean misleading results. Directly import a specific hull from your drawing program using open format OBJ mesh file type.

Calculate wave, current, and wind loads on variable wetted hull area using built-in mesh-based hydrodynamics. Loads and motions may be underestimated if you don’t account for changing wetted hull area. Hull submersion or peak motions or loads might be considerably off with simple models. ProteusDS uses mesh-based hydrodynamics to account for changing wetted hull area so you don’t need to worry about this limitation.

Resolve complex system motion with joints between rigid bodies. Floating systems are often more than just a single rigid body. Lumping too much into one body leaves out important details that might hurt performance and understanding. Configure complex rigid body systems using joints with various degrees of freedom and let the system dynamic response in wind, currents, and waves show you what happens.

Use a versatile finite element line model. Lines are more often far more complex than a simple linear spring. Capture detailed line response including axial, bending, and torsion effects, interaction with the seabed, and slack/snap load conditions with the nonlinear finite element line model.

Flexible access for teams. Avoid annoying software dongles, floating licenses, or shared workstations that slow down your work. ProteusDS is designed to be used collaboratively at large and small organizations. ProteusDS licensing makes the distribution and management of software as easy as possible.

Free tools to speed up collaboration. It’s hard to work together when we don’t have the same software tools. We make free software tools and features available to support everyone in the ocean industries that use ProteusDS. Accelerate collaboration between staff and other organizations using free functionality. For more information, visit the Community Users page.

Go far.

Go together.

The ProteusDS team works collaboratively and openly with its customers.  We work with government, university, and industrial research organizations all over the world. We actively research new techniques to use in our hydrodynamic models. Through these collaborations, we all learn together how to solve new problems. Picture credit: CSIRO/Marine National Facility

Dig in to all aspects of dynamic marine systems with ProteusDS

  • Address full linear and rotational effects with 6 degree of freedom motion models
  • Account for wave, current, and wind load effects on variable wetted hull area using mesh-based hydrodynamics
  • Calculate nonlinear Froude-Krylov, buoyancy, wind and current drag based on instantaneous hull wetted hull area
  • Import large hull wave diffraction and radiation effects computed by external potential flow solver tools
  • Capture slack and shock loads with a fully dynamic line model
  • Explore complex stretch hose line components using nonlinear axial rigidity
  • Design moorings with material property settings to account for chain, wire, fibre rope, etc
  • Explore detailed positioning or motion with winching on boundaries or traction on midline
  • Use in any water depth with wave kinematics affected by reference water depth
  • Automatic superimposed wind-driven current
  • Constant or variable wind conditions with gust spectrum
  • Single regular wave to irregular waves using a spectrum with or without spreading
  • Reach out for help with questions and feedback on the software from DSA Ocean’s ocean engineers
  • Incrementally build knowledge and expertise on mooring design with DSA Ocean’s email newsletter


Luciano Junior, Postdoc Researcher, Oceanography

CINTAL, Universidad do Algarve, Portugal

“For me it was very easy and straightforward the use of the software…”

CINTAL will deploy a real time observing system to monitor ocean sound. This observing system will include several hydrophones at discrete depths connected with a surface buoy where the data will be preprocessed and transmitted to nearby ships or to land.

I took some more time to explore the ProteusDS this weekend and I am very happy with the experience. For me it was very easy and straightforward the use of the software. I really liked that you have a very large list of equipment, buoys, cables etc. I also saw that you can add new items very easy. Your product is very robust!

Eric McCorquodale, Mechanical Engineer

JASCO Applied Sciences, NS, Canada

“Our company has been using this software for over a decade…”

ProteusDS allows us to model new mooring designs quickly and easily. We receive great support from DSA when modelling new and challenging designs. Our company has been using this software for over a decade and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend for use in oceanography. We typically use ProteusDS to evaluate single-leg mooring designs between 10 m and 2000 m in length and towed arrays up to 100 m in length.

Nathaniel Hayes, Lead Engineer, Autonomous Systems

Ocean Renewable Power Company, ME, USA

“ProteusDS gives us freedom in what we want to analyze over simpler tools that are on the market.”
ProteusDS does exactly what we need, for deployment analysis, we can easily visualize what we’re building, and if need be, we can bring in more complicated geometries from our CAD analysis. It allows us to play with what we are simulating, in a lot of different areas to see what is working best. ProteusDS gives us freedom in what we want to analyze over simpler tools that are on the market.

Tim Mundon, CTO

Oscilla Power Inc, WA, USA

… we have had very good experience in validating the ProteusDS models versus physical model results.”
Oscilla Power has used ProteusDS software to model and optimise the Triton Wave Energy Converter. The software has been particularly useful for modeling the hydrodynamics of the marine system while also allowing direct coupling to other subsystems like power takeoff and moorings. The line dynamics solver has been extremely effective at accurately modeling our mooring and umbilical systems, and we have had very good experience in validating the ProteusDS models versus physical model results.

Another invaluable feature is the API, which allows us to couple the ProteusDS solver to power takeoff models developed in third party software, e.g. Matlab/Simulink, allowing us to increase the fidelity of the WEC model. The DSA support team has been exceptional and the tutorials and lessons are second to none compared to other modeling packages. We are excited to keep using ProteusDS as a primary tool for modeling at Oscilla Power.

Cameron McNatt, Managing Director

Mocean Energy, Scotland

Mocean Energy uses ProteusDS to model the moorings, umbilical, and nonlinear behaviour of our wave energy converter designs. ProteusDS provides a full set of features that are straightforward to integrate into our existing software suite at a very competitive price.

Rafael Ramos, Senior Oceanographer

Woods Hole Group, TX, USA

…some of our mooring optimization analyses in WHOI Cable were getting just too lengthy…”
We were long time users of WHOI Cable and felt comfortable with it after a thorough validation of our modeling approach and element property considerations. We dealt with some of the limitations of WHOI Cable by creating support routines that allowed a combination of partial results. However, some features, such as the dynamic analysis, were always time-consuming because the software is extremely sensitive to the model setup and fine-tuning was a trial and error exercise on input parameters. We transitioned into ProteusDS when some of our mooring optimization analyses in WHOI Cable were getting just too lengthy.

ProteusDS is a much more modern tool with very convenient built-in options that provide analysis flexibility. The ability to start a dynamic mooring analysis from the static position to shorten the overall execution time has proven very valuable. In addition, we have been able to perform the design of some appurtenances that would not have been possible with WHOI Cable. We still need to develop some support routines to access and process the results provided by ProteusDS for some specialized analysis, but the process got a lot easier because of the always timely assistance of the ProteusDS support team from DSA Ocean.

Kristian Curran, Head of Ocean Engineering and Technology Section

DFO Bedford Institute of Oceanography, NS, Canada

ProteusDS provides our team with certainty and confidence.”
ProteusDS provides our team certainty and confidence in the modelling and design of our many ocean-going moorings located from the Bay of Fundy to Barrow Strait in the Arctic. The success of our field team at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography is attributed to the many private sector ocean technology vendors we rely on from Canada and around the world, including ProteusDS, to provide us the equipment we need to succeed.

Carlos Sousa, Research Assistant

CCMAR, Portugal

It is a great tool that significantly facilitates the process of mooring design and components selection.

How accurate is the software?

Accuracy is always a crucial factor. But it can be the hardest to answer because it depends on the specific scenario and level of detail involved. The published validation reports showcase various scenarios with comparison to real world data to help give an answer to accuracy.

How do I know the software is reliable?

Reliability is also a key factor – you need to know the software will work when you want it to and give you reasonable results. We use an extensive Quality Assurance process that is integrated into our software development and commercialization activities. We use version control technology with mandatory review processes so we can track code changes by different authors over time. Various automated testing systems are in place to check specific functions as well as the integrated solver. Each day, development builds of the software are checked against hundreds of tests to check expected results and accuracy as the code continues to develop. Ahead of release, we test the software by checking various mooring design and analysis workflows to evaluate the software as well. Even with all these checks, issues can come up with the software from time to time. We always keep the lines of communication open through our newsletter and also our support system that you can send inquiries to.

What if I’m not sure how to get started on my specific problem?

Learning new software alone takes time. Finding the best way to apply it can take even longer. Check other purpose-built applications like the ProteusDS Oceanographic or ProteusDS Fish Farm toolsets to see if they fit your requirements. Otherwise, DSA Ocean engineers can complete the work for you, or do just enough to set you up and accelerate your learning and use of the software for your application. Read more on DSA Ocean consulting services here.


Do I need an engineering degree to use this software?

Using ProteusDS and setting up problems from scratch can be intimidating if you don’t have an engineering or strong technical background. Basic system design and response is possible with only a limited technical background and experience with design software. But for more complex designs and unique applications, it helps to have an engineering background when you need to get into the details.

Do you offer software training?

Yes, and you have several choices. Use free online and video tutorials combined with live webmeetings to learn elements of the software. Work with DSA Ocean engineers through paid support options to accelerate learning and completing a project.

How do I get help on using the software?

We have many freely available tutorials and articles that can help. Email support is available, too, along with virtual training options. Read more on support options here.

Get a free demo to evaluate moorings in wind, waves, and currents

Apply for a 7-day fully functional demo of ProteusDS. You can use this to learn the software and evaluate how it works to compute system response in wind, waves, and currents.

What’s different about


When you are lost, a GPS is worth a lot to get you back on track. If you are working alone on a mooring design, it’s easy to feel lost. You can feel lost if you are working with a new mooring design you don’t have experience with. Or you can feel uncertain if you are facing an exposed mooring location with extreme environmental conditions like high speed ocean currents or waves.

When you are working with ProteusDS, you always have someone to ask for ideas and help. We work with mooring designers and engineers around the world and are experts in working with our software. If you are feeling lost, we are here to help give you ideas and find a way to take the next step in your design process.

Request ProteusDS pricing