Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Improved piloting of ships through oceans of information

20.10.2004


The passage of ships in and out of ports could be safer if only pilots and masters had online access to vessel traffic service (VTS) information. The IPPA system fulfils this need and received a warm approval from ships’ pilots and harbourmasters alike.



The objective of the IST programme-funded IPPA project was to tap into the VTS information and make it available to pilots and ships’ masters in a user-friendly graphical format.

On trial at three ports


The system was trialled at three different ports. "First of all, we went to Tromsø, in Norway," says Mike Hadley of QinetiQ and IPPA coordinator. "We chose this port because it didn’t have VTS, but instead we had full access to data from the Norwegian Coastal Directorate. We could extract the relevant information and make it available to ships’ masters and pilots. Next, we took the system to Rotterdam, which has one of the world’s most advanced VTS’; we encountered problems with sending all the track tables over AIS [Automatic Identification System] and so had to settle for a small proportion of the non-AIS targets in the vicinity of the trials vessel. However, this only served to bear out the project’s view that that this was not a proper use of AIS. Finally, we took the system to the port of Genoa, where we were able to transmit the entire traffic table without a hitch."

One of the participants in the trials, Captain Allan Johansen, was very positive. "I took part in the Tromsø demonstration, and the IPPA system fulfilled all its performance requirements. Tromsø was selected for the trial in order to prove the capabilities of IPPA when operating outside a specific VTS-controlled area. Feedback from participants in the trial was very positive, and useful suggestions were made regarding improvements the capability of the IPPA equipment. The Norwegian company, Norsk Data Senter [www.nds.as, based in Moss], is now putting IPPA equipment into production."

Helping to minimise human error

The cause of around 70 per cent of maritime accidents can be traced back to human error of one sort or another. When pilots assist vessels to move through a port, they rely on visual and auditory information, VHF radio communications and radar. The accuracy of this is often outside their control, and when groundings or collisions occur it can sometimes by put down to over reliance on this information. Matters aren’t helped by language problems or misinterpreted messages between vessels, and the terms VHF- and radar-assisted collisions are consequently sometimes heard.

Since 2002, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has made it mandatory for vessels to carry AIS equipment. Vessels use AIS to broadcast data, such as the vessel’s identity, course, speed and position; supplementary information can also be broadcast if needed, such as tide height and keel clearance. The rate at which this information is broadcast is determined by the vessel’s status; more frequent updates when the vessel is manoeuvring, fewer updates when it’s stationary.

AIS data is available to ships’ masters and pilots, but it is not user-friendly, nor is it integrated with the main navigation system. VTS, however, makes good use of all this information, and uses it to produce up-to-the-minute situation reports.

"AIS was sponsored by IMO as a safety device," says Hadley. "Supplementary data could be transmitted via AIS. However, it can easily become overloaded; at the port of Rotterdam, there are typically 500 tracks at any one time, as vessels move, moor, etc. It doesn’t really have the capacity to carry large amounts of supplementary information, something that will become even clearer when AIS spreads to smaller and inland waterways vessels."

"We decided quite early on in the project to use GPRS (GSM packet radio service) to provide a readily-available data link for non-AIS VTS information," adds Hadley. "With IPPA, pilots only have to take is a pilot suitcase, which contains the AIS and also a stand alone heading device based on GPS when they board vessels, and they can receive updates on the tracks of all vessels in port, meteorological and hydrographical reports, and other information."

Looking ahead for IPPA

"Everyone who has seen the system is very impressed,” comments Hadley. “I have been struck be the level of interest that people are taking, including the harbourmasters from some of the largest ports in Europe. So, although the project was initially driven by the needs of pilots, it’s finding growing acceptance by harbourmasters too. We have even received very positive comments from US and Panamanian pilots."

"The future of the IPPA system looks pretty good,” says Hadley. “HITT, with whom we worked in Rotterdam but unfortunately were not partners in the project, are developing a carry-aboard unit for pilots, and this reflects the enthusiasm of the pilots for this technology. The harbourmaster of Rotterdam devoted an entire seminar to how to get IPPA fully integrated with future VTS. Whereas AIS is primarily a safety-related system, IPPA enables ships’ masters and harbourmasters to operate more safely through greater efficiency. It enables ports to operate closer to their maximum throughput for given weather and tide conditions because a lot of the uncertainty about conditions has been removed."

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans
16.01.2017 | University of Southern California

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT announces CloudTeams collaborative software development platform – join it for free
10.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>