Applied Weather Technology, Inc. (AWT) announced substantial advancements to its Bon Voyage (BVS) marine voyage optimization system with the release of BVS Version 7.0. The new developments are intended to help ship captains find safer and more fuel-efficient routes. BVS 7 includes access to high-resolution weather and ocean data via broadband, enhanced voyage optimization and new safety features.
Haydn Jones, AWT’s Director of International Operations, said, “In the present shipping economic environment of high bunker fuel costs, ship operators and suppliers across the world are looking at a wide range of initiatives to enhance efficiency. Although still valid efficiency solutions, many of these initiatives involve high capital investment or complex installations. Voyage optimization based on present and forecast weather conditions on the other hand is a low investment approach which we believe makes it an essential tool for ship owners and operators alike.”
BVS 7.0 comes with enhanced voyage optimization tools. BVS generates highly compressed color-enhanced maps and graphics allowing captains to easily view and interpret potential problem areas. With this data, captains have access to 16-day forecasts updated four times per day and other parameters such as pirate attack information, port vicinity forecasts, satellite imagery and high seas bulletins delivered in near real time. BVS automatically fails over to email data delivery in the event of an Internet interruption so the data never stops flowing to the vessel.
BVS 7.0 also has an improved optimization algorithm that includes customizable speed down and consumption curves that deliver more accurate estimates of fuel cost and time en route. The algorithm takes into account ECA areas and the cost differential of fuel types when providing the optimal route, and the route can be customized to use several other criteria including load-line restrictions and user-specified no-go areas. The improved optimization now also displays traffic separation lanes.
For planning voyages longer than 10 days, BVS 7.0 includes AWT’s proprietary weather speed loss model called Climatological Ship Resistance. This model uses historical weather from the past 12 years that evaluates the day of the year, vessel location, heading, ship type and the appropriate weather pattern (El Niño, La Niña or Neutral) to calculate the best long range speed loss due to weather. This model gives superior results for short or long term strategic route planning when optimizing a voyage and also when calculating the vessel arrival time.
BVS users now have access to port vicinity forecasts for more than 2,700 ports around the world. These forecasts include the air temperature, precipitation amount, visibility, winds and humidity near the port and the winds and waves at the pilot. The forecasts help captains evaluate if conditions on arrival might be a problem and planning weather windows of loading or discharging cargo.
BVS includes several safety features such as resonance alerts to inform captains of the potential for severe motions, and advanced environmental modeling that enables AWT to accurately forecast storm strengths and effects. BVS 7.0 also includes an easily accessible forecast indicating where rogue waves are more likely to occur. AWT’s proprietary forecast evaluates the type of rogue waves that are caused by waves opposed by a strong current.
With BVS 7.0, AWT adds near real-time access to the global pirate attacks from the IMB that are supplemented with reports from NATO. This information is clearly displayed on a color-coded chart indicating where, when and what type of attack, and a detailed summary can easily be accessed.