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AquaSim is a time-domain FEA (Finite Element Analysis) software owned and developed by Aquastructures. AquaSim responds to an increasing need for analysis and simulation of combined flexible and stiff elements in larger systems, exposed to static, dynamic and hydrodynamic loads such as wind, current and waves.


AquaSim evolves from many years of research in Marine Technology and Civil Engineering at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology). New regulations, in the rising Norwegian aquaculture industry, introduced a demand for capacity control and structural analysis for all sites. Analytical tools at the time was developed for stiffer heavy weight structures, resulting in divergence for these slender and flexible systems. With a new approach in software engineering, AquaSim responded perfectly to the need for an analytic tool with the ability to analyze and simulate flexible systems under the influence of sea currents, wind, and waves.

AquaSim has been used commercially for more than a decade, and is the leading simulation and analysis software for aquaculture facilities in Norway.


AquaSim performs time domain simulations, and calculates the interaction between stiff and flexible components of different materials, cross sections and elasticity. AquaSim is an ideal software tool for coupled analysis of larger systems combining mooring lines, membrane and net structures, flexible floatation systems and stiff superstructures. AquaSim has been verified and validated through series of experiments, including analytical studies, scale models, and monitored full-scale experiments.

A flexible tool for aquaculture

Mooring analysis, net analysis, barge analysis and coupled analysis of large systems for the aquaculture industry are performed world wide through AquaSim. Through our easy to use graphical editors the user can build FE models representing the full system, or the system can be reduced down to specified parts or structurally exposed elements. The membrane elements in AquaSim enables variable studies of fluid interactions of nets and dense membranes made of e.g. nylon, PE, HMPE, including salmon lice skirts.

AquaSim in oil and gas

AquaSim provides analyses for the offshore oil and gas industry. Typical uses are mooring analysis, towing analysis, and subsea crane operations including slamming by surface penetration. During lift and submerging of equipment through the water surface, slamming loads from water entry might be critical. AquaSim is able to analyze and visualize the full operation including water entry and slamming loads. Vessel motions may be included to the dynamics, either by direct calculation or by RAO.

Work-flow and tools

AquaSim is tailored for a rapid work-flow. Through our rapid work-flow, from modeling to simulation, AquaSim will help you develop and find the optimal solution for your problems. AquaSim is continuously developed and improved with annual releases; the latest release is always at your fingertips through our licensing program. We also work closely with our clients to create customized experiences and tools enabling work efficiency.


AquaSim presents the results through attractive and easy to use visualizations, and has a range of post-processing tools at your disposal for easy reporting, and code check.

Courses, support, and consulting


To ensure the best use of our tools we offer courses (both courses for practical use, and courses on the theoretical foundation), and support you on your projects with relevant competence. We have a long experience working directly with our clients to ensure that the necessary knowledge and resources are available.

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Verification and references

Berstad, A.J.and Heimstad, L.F.(2015), “Numerical Formulation of Sea Loads to Impermeable Nets”VI International Conference on Computational Methods in Marine Engineering
MARINE 2015, Rome Italy.

Berstad, A.J., Heimstad, L.F. and Walaunet, J.(2014) “Model Testing of Fish Farms for Validation of Analysis Programs.” Proceedings of the ASME 2014 33rd International Conference on Ocean, O shore and Artic Engineering OMAE2014, (June 8-13 2014),
San Francisco, California. OMAE2014-2464

Berstad, A.J., Walaunet, J. and Heimstad, L.F (2012), “Loads from Currents and Waves on Net Structures.”Proceedings of the ASME 2012 31st International Conference on
Ocean, O shore and Artic Engineering OMAE2012, (July 1-6, 2012), Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil. OMAE2012-83757.

Berstad, A. J. and H. Tronstad (2008), “Use of Hydroelastic Analysis for Verification of Towed Equipment for Acquisition of Seismic Data” Proceedings of OMAE2008 27th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering (OMAE 2008) June 15-20 2008 Estoril, Portugal OMAE2008-57850

Berstad, A. J. and H. Tronstad (2007), “Development and design verification of a floating tidal power unit” OMAE 2007, The 26th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering San Diego, California, 10-15 June, 2007. Paper 29052.

Berstad, A.J (2006), “Verification and benchmarking of AquaSim, a softwaretool for safety simulation of flexible offshore facilities exposed to environmental and operational loads”, Aquastructures report 2003-002.

Berstad, A. J. and H. Tronstad (2005a), “Response from current and regular/irregular waves on a typical polyethylene fish farm” , Maritime Transportation and Exploitation of Ocean and Coastal Resources. Eds. C. Guedes Soares, Y. Garbatov, N. Fonseca. 2005 Taylor & Francis Group London. ISBN #: 0 415 39036 2.

Berstad, A. J., H. Tronstad, S. A. Sivertsen and E. Leite. (2005b), “Enhancement of Design Criteria for Fish Farm Facilities Including Operations” OMAE 2005, The 24th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering Halkidiki, Greece, 12-17 June, 2005. Paper 67451. ISBN #: 0791837599.

Berstad, A. J., Tronstad, H., Ytterland, A. (2004), “Design Rules for Marine Fish Farms in Norway. Calculation of the Structural Response of such Flexible Structures to Verify Structural Integrity.” Proceedings of OMAE2004 23rd International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering June 2004, Vancouver, Canada. OMAE2004-51577

Berstad, A.J. , H. Tronstad and A. Ytterland (2003), “Safety of aquaculture facilities in rough sea environment- bringing aquaculture beyond fjords and sheltered areas”, Aquaeuro 2003 Trondheim Norway.


Aquaculture systems

Combination of nets, moorings and collars


Slender hinged floating structures and mooring

Oil and gas

Moored offshore platform

Marine Operations

Will the equipment sustain being lifted into the sea?


Barge analysis, will the moorings introduce shock loads?

Support and consulting

We have long experience working directly with our clients to ensure the necessary knowledge and resources are available.