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European Consortium To Develop A Ship Hull Integrity Program

An advanced ship-based system, designed to continuously monitor the structural condition of ship's hulls throughout their operational life, is to be developed and evaluated by a European consortium which includes Kelvin Hughes. Kelvin Hughes will work alongside British Maritime Technology Limited (BMT), the French classification society Bureau Veritas, and the Hellespont Steamship Corp. of Greece.

The Ship Hull Integrity Program (SHIP) is a European Union (EU) subsidized project which will require major investment by all the partners.

Kelvin Hughes will integrate its advanced vessel monitoring systems with stress monitoring devices and software techniques developed by BMT. Trials of a prototype system will take place aboard a tanker from Hellespont Steamship.

Based upon the continuous monitoring of the vessel's structural behavior, SHIP will develop a predictive system to identify normal safety parameters and abnormalities, calculate the significance on-line and indicate when remedial action must be taken.

Accumulated voyage data will be made available to vessel managers, enabling them to determine repair policy and set new operational limits to maintain a consistent standard of safety throughout the ship's life. A major feature of SHIP, not provided by existing monitoring systems, will be its ability to monitor through life corrosion, crack propagation and cumulative structural stress, as well as identifying when abnormal stresses are being encountered due to loss of structural strength. Kelvin Hughes, the Naval and Marine Division of Smiths Industries Aerospace, is a supplier of marine equipment and services, providing integrated bridge systems, radars, comprehensive conventional and electronic chart systems and nautical publications and full Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) equipment to navies and merchant fleet operators worldwide.

For more information on Kelvin Hughes, Circle 19 on Reader Service Card

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