Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

SEA-AHED - making sailing safer

09.11.2004


Improved safety at sea for cruise ship passengers and crews will be the outcome of a research and development project, funded with the help of over €1.7m (euros) from the EU’s Framework Programme.



SEA-AHED (Simulation environment and advisory system for on-board help, and estimation of manoeuvring performance during design) was a 39-month project to produce a technology system that can predict the course of cruise ships within 10 to 20 metres - far more accurately than anything currently available commercially.

Today’s super-cruisers have the capacity to carry over 4,000 people so any collision has the potential to produce unprecedented carnage. SEA-AHED can help to significantly reduce the risk of this happening and can also contribute directly to safety through on-board training. It is capable of providing situational awareness and predicting the behaviour of the vessel in situations where some machinery fails. Safety of both the passengers and the ship makes it essential that the pilot be given the best possible information regarding the consequences of any manoeuvring actions. It also demands that he be automatically alerted with all speed in case of looming hazards.


“Large ships have a very great inertia and the time they take to respond to a manoeuvring action - be it rudder angle, thruster power, rpm, etc. - is a frustratingly long one”, says Rory Doyle, the project coordinator with British Maritime Technology. “Furthermore, during all that intervening time ships are affected in very complex ways by large numbers of external factors, such as wind speed & direction and prevailing currents. So, the art of manoeuvring a ship, particularly in restricted waters, is a very difficult one involving the mental ability to predict accurately in real-time the motion of a very large vessel subject to external actions. Very little can be done to change a course of action once it has been committed to, even if the pilot realises that he has made a mistake. As such, errors are potentially devastating, particularly with passenger ships.

SEA-AHED, developed by six partners in the UK, Germany, Italy and Poland, had three principal objectives:

  • Creation of systems to enable shipyards and ship owners to assess the manoeuvring characteristics of vessels at an early stage of design,
  • Development of a navigational aid displaying in real-time the vessels current position together with future predicted or simulated positions and capable of advising the pilot of potential hazards.
  • Development of a manoeuvring training aid that will allow crews to replay previous manoeuvres and demonstrate the effects of alternate actions on the basis of real environmental information.

The system takes account of wind speed, wind direction, water depth, currents, actual rudder angles, demanded rudder angles, thruster performances, etc. and consider the non-linear and time-varying manoeuvring characteristics of the vessel. It also exploits very recent advances in aerospace and robotics applications using a technique called the Julier-Ulhmann filter.

Current systems generally rely on constant rate models that do not provide the accuracy necessary for safe operation and the project consortium claim that, for the non-linear models under consideration, SEA-AHED far outperforms the industry standard extended Kalman Filter. “Safety has to be the number one priority for cruise ships with the continually growing number of passengers”, says Cliff Funnell Cliff Funnell, FP6UK National Contact Point for Surface Transport (Maritime). “SEA-AHED is an excellent example of the type of project Framework Funding is provided for and, as this contributed 50 per cent of the total €3.4 m (euros) project cost, it seems fair to assume that without it the project would not have been viable.

“The current Framework Programme (FP6) runs until 2006 and organisations wanting free, easy to access, information on the €19bn of funding available to support internationally collaborative R&D should log on to http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk or call central telephone support on 0870 600 6080.”

Project partners are predicting that SEA-AHED will create the demand for at least two more vessels - expected to secure around 2,300 jobs – as well as bringing considerable commercial benefits throughout the industry. This includes:

  • The system developers expect In excess of a 300% return in research investment in the 5 years following the completion of the project from direct sales.
  • Cruise ship operators can expect a reduction of approximately 5m euros per ship in terms of repair costs over a five-year period.
  • Shipbuilders can expect 0.3m euros per vessel in direct benefits through increased efficiency in the design process, and increased profit due to the ordering of more vessels (approximately 25m euros per vessel) due to increased demand for a product that will better match customer needs.

The possibilities opened up by research on the SEA-AHED project may also be extended to bulk carriers, tankers, container ships, Roll On-Roll Off and fast ferries by lending itself towards the development of intelligent cruise control, and automatic docking for these large vessels.

Other possibilities for future research include prediction and obstacle avoidance for commercial fixed wing aircraft, intelligent cruise control for cars, and automated underwater vehicles.

Dave Sanders | alfa
Further information:
http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>