In response to the threat of invasive marine species, Sweden-based Kockum Sonics AB has developed a new concept for safe and efficient ballast water exchange on high seas. The concept is based on their two products LoadRite and Levelmaster - as exchanging ballast water in deep water requires careful planning.
LoadRite, with its full 3-D description of the hull, is being used for hydrostatic calculations. It has been developed further to include the powerful Ballast Exchange Support Tool for the ship officers to define the fastest and safest way of ballast exchange at sea.
A simulation of the complete ballast exchange process is followed by an online supervision in real-time as well as predicting future conditions.
While simulating the ballast exchange process of any selected tanks and sequence, the responsible officer can overview the process in detail at any time interval. Values of certain limits may also be adjusted at this stage. Time bars give the user a quick and clear overview of the situation at any moment of the process. Parameters of the ship's drafts, stability and longitudinal strength are calculated at any stage and compared with allowable limits.
Should the chosen sequence at any time exceed any parameter limits, the program will display a visual warning, giving the user the signal to amend the defined process. After an acceptable simulation, LoadRite exchanges information on-line with Kockum Sonics' Levelmaster and its new patented intelligent CALM-sensors (Computer Aided Level Measurement).
The CALM-sensors constantly feed LoadRite with actual and accurate levels and flows in the tanks, supervising the real-time process. Predictions and data on future conditions are constantly being calculated and warnings are given if limits are being exceeded, thus giving a second layer of protection. Both simulation and online supervision are crucial, since the actual process could deviate from the approved simulation, due to a failure such as a broken pump.