Researchers from the University of Southampton are planning to develop a software that will be able to monitor the equipment, fuel and energy performance of a ship at sea.
The University of Southampton is part of the Ship Energy Assessment – Condition Optimisation & Routing Enhancement System (SEA-CORES) consortium, which aims to provide a live working model to evaluate ship performance on global operations. The company BAE systems is responsible for development of the software and this initiative is sponsored by Innovate UK.
SEA-CORES is being developed due to current increasing complexities encountered by modern warships and to capture the data generated by them. The technology would immensely benefit how the Royal Navy and BAE Systems maintain and support warships in the future. SEA-CORES incorporates genetic algorithm for tracking and capturing live data to establish correlation between the variables such as energy consumption and weather conditions that could affect the performance of the ship. It can provide the crew members on-board the ship to have greater understanding about the needs of the ship. The genetic algorithm is used identify the relationships between a ship’s systems, calculate their diverse permutations and eventually recommend an approach to enhance the vessel’s performance.
Researchers from Computer Science and Electronics will work closely on monitoring the ship load and apply novel machine learning algorithms to a domain where data collection is very poor until now.
Dr Sarvapali Ramchurn, Leader of Southampton research group, said: “Unleashing such technologies on the marine sector is likely to have a huge impact. The work we are doing at Southampton in terms of autonomous systems and machine learning will help improve the efficiency of ships and detect potential issues before they cause major damage”.
BAE systems have planned to develop and test the SEA-CORES software on a commercial vessel provided by James Fisher Marine Services. The trial is expected to analyse the ship’s vibration, hull state, monitor integrity of the ship’s superstructure and to trim the performance.
Chris Courtaux, Head of Engineering and Energy Services at BAE Systems, expressed that “SEA-CORES is able to consider all of the important components which affect the performance of a vessel during deployment. For instance, reducing speed may save fuel but increase the wear to the engine if below its optimum performance. This could in turn increase the maintenance requirements for these vessels and reduce their availability. It is crucial that we continue to analyse what more can be done to maintain these vessels in an efficient manner and increase the number of ships available for the Royal Navy fleet.”
The SEA-CORES software intends to connect various technologies in delivering fuel and engine optimisation through the use of the BAE Systems’ Ship Energy Assessment System (SEAS) coupled with big data analytics by using System Information Exploitation (SIE) technology.
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Source: BAE Systems