Voyage Planning, Monitoring, System for MSC Fleet

Press Release
Sunday, June 17, 2012

MSC Cruises installs a Quality Postioning Services's VP & MS system in its fleet

MSC Cruises has worked with independent software design company Quality Positioning Services (QPS)  on a high performance, real-time vessel track, trace and emergency monitoring system. This voyage planning and monitoring system (VP & MS) allows MSC Cruises to implement route analysis and track each of its ships with an update rate of one second and an accuracy of less than five metres.

The system means that each ship is constantly sending information, including its own position, speed, heading and course together with all other ship targets within a 40 mile radius, to the shore based QPS Connect server in Sorrento. In order to provide a reliable traffic image, the QPS Connect server fuses the real-time vessel information with real-time information from  terrestrial based AIS networks.

A Qastor system, a precise navigation, piloting and docking software application, is used to plan ship routes in advance. Before the route is sent to the vessel a detailed route scan is performed in order to detect possible shallow and so-called “no go areas.” Following this scan, and only once the route is considered 100% safe, the route is then exported to the vessel’s ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) on board.

A route monitoring and alert system makes up part of the QPS Connect server. In case a vessel exceeds its predefined route limits, enters a no-go area or exceeds a predefined speed limit, an automated alarm is given to the shore based company offices. This alarm sounds within seconds of the event. The officer of the watch can then take immediate corrective action if required and guide the vessel back on its right course.

A dedicated website is available to other key maritime staff of MSC. The website provides a complete real-time overview of the position of each vessel. In addition to the past vessel track, the active route is also available to provide an up-to-date and accurate overview.

Additionally, trim and list data as well as data collected from the engine control system and the onboard weather system are also sent to the QPS Connect server in real-time. This data is continuously available to MSC Cruises maritime operations staff to support the tactical decision making process in case of emergency. All data is continuously stored for post analysis and support of training.

Environmental impact due to emissions is also kept to a minimum by monitoring technical data such as power and fuel consumption.


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