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Conveying metocean knowledge improvements onto shipping safety

Reference no: ENV4-CT98-0751
Period: September 1998 till October 2000
Status: Completed

This programme is aimed at demonstrating to major segments of the marine industry the benefits that the incorporation of satellite-derived information on sea surface winds and waves might bring to their operations. The two main areas selected are ship certification and the transportation of very large loads such as dock cranes and offshore platforms. Attention will also be paid to the operation of high speed craft used in coastal ferries.
What these segments have in common is their comparative isolation from satellite data. Where historical information on sea state has been required to evaluate ship or platform performance, then meteorological hindcasting was (and is) the favoured means of supply. It is only very recently that an independent assessment made within the industry itself has concluded that statistics derived from satellite observations appear the more believable. Other commercial concerns are now more prepared to test their current method of operation against the satellite record and this is what will be attempted in this proposal.
There is another important aspect to the study. While it might be expected that almost twelve years of continuous surveillance of the sea surface from polar orbiting spacecraft would provide reliable statistical records of average and extreme conditions required for design planning, it is much less obvious that satellites could provide real-time updates on sea state frequently enough throughout the day to assist in routine operations. The opportunity will be taken in this programme to investigate the minimum requirements of the engaged marine operations. It should be possible, if there is sufficient interest from a number of major segments, to introduce a 'fast-delivery' mode on all wave measuring satellites operating now and in the future. In the final analysis there may be a case for desigrling a cluster of rnini-satellites designed specifically to broadcast information on sea state directly to ships and platforms at sea.
There are six partners in this programme. The two from the marine industries will guide the investigations in their own area of interest and adjudicate the results. Of the remaining four, one is a large marine research organization, one a university department specialising in the statistics of waves, one an engineering Metocean studies company, and the last a leading EO value-added company specialising in providing satellite-derived marine information.
The deliverables of the programme will be a set of Demonstration Models for each of the sectors, aimed to show the usefulness of satellite wind and wave data to assist in the daily operation and in the classification and assessment of ship safety over selected shipping routes.
The programme is scheduled to be completed within 30 months from kick-off and it is planned to post progress on the EWSE through the demonstration modules which will be updated at regular intervals as results are analysed.
This is a Shared Cost, 30 months, action with a total estimated budget of 652 kECU of which 369 kECU is sought from Theme 3.3.

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