Design Engineering

Canadian amphibious "tank" gets design boost from Autodesk

By Design Engineering Staff   

CAD/CAM/CAE ARKTOS Autodesk CAD simulation

Surrey, BC-based ARKTOS Developments uses Autodesk Simulation to evaluate how its ARKTOS Craft will perform in extreme environments.

Surrey, B.C.– ARKTOS Developments Ltd. (ADL) —the designer and manufacturer of a amphibious vehicle known as the ARKTOS Craft—is using simulation software from Autodesk, Inc to prepare its products to operate in some of the world’s most environmentally demanding locations.

Originally designed as an amphibious evacuation craft for Arctic offshore oil facilities, the ARKTOS Craft can move from frigid -50°C (-122°F) temperatures, through burning flames, and back again, as in the case of evacuating a burning oil rig. Additionally, the ARKTOS Craft can easily navigate ice-rubble fields, ice ridges and open water—and can even climb up or down vertical steps. The company’s Craft is currently operating in Alaska, China and the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan.

Delta, B.C.’s Valmont West Coast Engineering, which provides finite element analysis (FEA) services to ADL, was responsible for predicting vehicle performance in severe environments.

“We used Autodesk Simulation technology to predict critical stresses for the ARKTOS at extreme temperatures and loading conditions,” said Ioan Giosan, Ph.D., P.Eng at Valmont. “After finding an optimal design using FEA methods, we relied on physical testing and field use to validate the accuracy of our results.”


The key to the ARKTOS Craft’s mobility is an articulated arm between the vessel’s two main compartments. As the Craft climbs up onto an ice shelf from the water, the hydraulics in that arm help push the front unit of the Craft up out of the water so that the special track spikes can grab the ice.

Using the multiphysics capabilities of Autodesk Simulation, Valmont was able to show ADL engineers how thermal stress caused by temperature extremes would combine with mechanical stress within the articulated arm between the units. Additionally, since the arm would see repeated compressive and tensile loading, Valmont also analyzed fatigue life using the Autodesk Simulation multiphysics tools.

“We continue to modify the original ARKTOS Craft design for each of our new customer’s unique needs,” said Bruce Seligman, president at ADL. “Autodesk software makes it easy for us to design new attachments for the craft, and then simulate how those modifications will affect performance. Sharing early concepts and engineering analysis results with stakeholders digitally is a critical part of our development workflow today and is all powered by Autodesk software.”


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