GeoVS was awarded a contract to supply and install its system in Poole Harbor, Dorset.
The system brings a step change in monitoring and managing ship movements in ports and restricted waterways.
Dr. Rafal Goralski, Technical Director of GeoVS, a University of Glamorgan spin off company, explained the system is particularly appropriate for Poole Harbor, a growing port with a narrow entrance and restricted channel leading to its cargo quays.
Captain Brian Murphy, Poole Harbormaster stated, “Navigating ships in and out of Poole Harbor requires precise management, and the GeoVS system enables our harbor control officers to see exactly where vessels are and whether they face any dangers.”
Existing vessel tracking systems largely rely on radar signals and present only a two dimensional picture of vessels on an electronic chart, displayed on computer screens. Two dimensional systems have significant limitations. They do not identify individual vessels, the performance of radars can be adversely affected by weather; radar blips can merge when vessels are close together and the systems don’t display tidal information. They only show the surface picture, not hazards that lie beneath the water, relying upon operators’ local knowledge for this information.
Dr. Goralski added, “Technological advances have now facilitated the development of a system which integrates data from many sensors to produce a real time, 3D traffic management and visualization system.”
“Research in Sweden has shown that using 3D electronic charts leads to a significant reduction in human error, and a similar increase in operators’ efficiency. Our system, called C-Vu 3D VTS, employs this sort of chart technology, and it can work either on its own, or as a bolt on to existing two dimensional systems.”
GeoVS’s system presents a comprehensive real time picture of what is happening in the waterway, identifying individual vessels in a way that is straightforward to understand. Its 3D image gives realistic representations of all the vessels, the waterway, port installations and navigational marks such as buoys. At the click of a mouse it shows the underwater picture and hazards vessels may encounter. This includes critical real time tidal data, so the operator knows exactly the depth of water beneath the keel of each vessel.
GeoVS’s system draws on information from existing radar systems, and supplements this with inputs from tidal gauges, meteorological stations and radio based automatic identification systems, which are now mandatory for all commercial vessels.
The system automatically records the picture and can store it for up to 10 years. This brings big benefits as a training aid and for investigation and analysis of incidents, particularly if there is litigation.