Maritime Tech Trends Digital
With digitalization technologies sweeping through maritime, Henrik Segercrantz, Maritime Reporter’s correspondent in Helsinki, explores latest developments in the quest to harness the power of 'big data.'Wärtsilä's Smart Marine EcosystemWärtsilä continues to build its leadership resume in marine and energy markets, boasting net sales of $5.7 billion last year, supported by 18,000 employees with operations in more than 80 countries. Increasingly Wärtsilä is using ‘smart’ technologies in its growing scope of products for the maritime industry…
Satellite Images Reveal Ocean Acidification
Ocean acidification can now be seen from space, highlighting an ongoing danger of climate change and revealing the regions most at risk. Pioneering techniques that use satellites to monitor ocean acidification are set to revolutionize the way that marine biologists and climate scientists study the ocean. This new approach offers remote monitoring of large swathes of inaccessible ocean from satellites that orbit the Earth some 700 km above our heads. Seawater absorbs about a quarter of the carbon dioxide…
De Boer Remorquage SARL Orders Custom Tugs from Damen
Baggerbedrijf De Boer B.V. (Dutch Dredging B.V.) has ordered two custom, special-purpose tugs to be built at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld in the Netherlands through the subsidiairy De Boer Remorquage SARL. The tugs are for a 10-year contract with Grand Port Maritime de Guyane in the ports of Cayenne and Kourou in French Guyana. Their primary functions will be assisting vessels entering and leaving port, and rendering help in the event of emergencies including fire-fighting. An important secondary role for both vessels will be assisting with maintenance dredging operations in both ports.
BMT Achieves Strong Financial Results
BMT Group Ltd, the international design, engineering and risk management consultancy, announced today that it has achieved strong financial results, despite a difficult year for the global economy and the maritime industry in particular. A turnover of £142m provided the group with an underlying operating profit of £11m in the year to 30 September 2010, £5.8m of which has been distributed to the staff through the company’s profit share schemes. Comprising 23 subsidiary companies…
Inmarsat Launches Voice Distress Service on Fleetbroadband
Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT) has announced the commercial availability of a new voice distress service on FleetBroadband. The free-to-use service ensures that, in the event of an emergency, all non-priority telephone calls underway on the vessel’s FleetBroadband are interrupted, connecting the caller directly to a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC). The new voice distress service requires a simple software and hardware add-on, which provides a ‘red button’ for one-touch easy use. The new service also utilises the enhanced capability of the FleetBroadband network, as it simultaneously sends an email to the MRCC and network controllers to alert them to a call, providing additional data such as vessel name, identification and position.
Inmarsat Alphasat Satellite Launch Successfrul
Inmarsat provider of global mobile satellite communications services, confirms the successful launch of Alphasat, the largest satellite, designated I-4A F4. Alphasat was launched on an Ariane 5 ECA, the latest version of the Ariane 5 launcher, from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana at 20.54hrs BST on 25th July (16.54hrs Kourou local time). Arianespace confirmed a successful spacecraft separation at 27 minutes 45 seconds after launch and the Alphasat Mission Operations Team confirmed telemetry reception and that they have command of the satellite at 21.47 BST.
New Data Safety Service for Inmarsat FleetBroadband
Supported by European Space Agency (ESA) funding, Inmarsat’s forthcoming Maritime Safety Data Service (MSDS) for FleetBroadband, delivers an increased data capability over the Inmarsat-4 network, including the Alphasat satellite, providing global coverage and the same reliability of over 99.9 per cent associated with the Inmarsat network. MSDS will continue to offer distress alerting, priority messaging and SafetyNET safety information broadcasts, but also deliver greater data capability than is currently available with Inmarsat C safety services.
Navy Space-Based Orbital Debris Sensor Gets Patent
Small orbital debris objects can threaten vital space-based assets. The Navy's patented compact debris detection device can detect debris in near real-time and provide essential trajectory data for future use. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Geospace Science and Technology Branch, received U.S. patent (#8976245), March 10, for the Optical Orbital Debris Spotter - a compact, low power, low cost, local space debris detection concept that can be integrated into larger satellite designs, or flown independently on-board nano-satellite platforms. Man-made debris orbiting the Earth continues to increase at an alarming rate - with objects smaller than one centimeter (cm) exceeding 100 million.
Threats to Global Navigation Satellite Systems
Originally developed to guide Allied convoys safely across the Atlantic, the use of synchronized low frequency radio signals as a navigational aid revolutionized modern maritime navigation in the 1940s. Faced with operating ships and aircraft over vast areas, researchers pioneered the use of radio signals to aid navigation in regions where poor weather conditions made traditional methods—such as dead reckoning and celestial navigation—exceptionally difficult. This system was eventually named LORAN.
Maritime Surveillance Drone Testing to Begin this Summer
The AR5 Life Ray UAS, developed by TEKEVER, has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to demonstrate the first European maritime surveillance system where drones are integral to operations. The first demonstration will be performed this summer over the Maltese waters of the Mediterranean sea, said Pedro Sinogas, TEKEVER CEO, at the AUVSI Xponential show in New Orleans, La. Maritime operations have been brought into focus in Europe by the unprecedented migrant crisis.
GPS Satellites Launched, Stray Off Course
Following an announcement made by Arianespace on the anomalies of the orbit injection of the Galileo satellites, the teams of industries and agencies involved in the early operations of the satellites are investigating the potential implications on the mission, says the European Space Agency (ESA). Both satellites have been acquired and are safely controlled and operated from ESOC, ESA’s Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Further information on the status of the satellites will be made available after the preliminary analysis of the situation.
EU and China Set to Collaborate on GALILEO
An agreement has been reached between the European Union and China on its participation in the GALILEO program. This agreement was initialled in Beijing on September 18 by F. Lamoureux, Director-General of Energy and Transport at the European Commission, and M Shi Dinghuan, Secretary General of China's Ministry of Science and Technology. “China will help GALILEO to become the major world infrastructure for the growing market for location services,” said Loyola de Palacio, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for the GALILEO programme. Her counterpart in the negotiations, China's Science and Technology Minister Xu Guanhua highlighted that “China supports GALILEO and plans to participate actively in its construction and application for mutual benefits”.
Human Remains and Belongings Found from Plane Crash at Sea
Egypt said on Friday its navy had found human remains, wreckage and the personal belongings of passengers floating in the Mediterranean, confirmation that an EgyptAir jet had plunged into the sea with 66 people on board. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered condolences for those on board, amounting to Egypt's official acknowledgement of their deaths, although there was still no explanation of why the Airbus had crashed. "The Egyptian navy was able to retrieve more debris from the plane, some of the passengers' belongings, human remains, and plane seats," the Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement. The navy was searching an area about 290 km (180 miles) north of the port city of Alexandria, just south of where the signal from the plane was lost early on Thursday.
Giant Iceberg Breaks off Antarctica
One of the biggest icebergs on record has broken away from Antarctica, scientists said on Wednesday, creating an extra hazard for ships around the continent as it breaks up. The one trillion tonne iceberg, measuring 5,800 square km, calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica sometime between July 10 and 12, said scientists at the University of Swansea and the British Antarctic Survey. The iceberg, which is roughly the size of the U.S. state of Delaware or the Indonesian island of Bali, has been close to breaking off for a few months.
Microsatellites Launched for Maritime Monitoring, Comms and Science
The Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) announced the successful launch of two Norwegian microsatellites developed and built by SFL for the Norwegian Space Centre with support from the Norwegian Coastal Authority, Space Norway and the European Space Agency. The Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying the satellites into orbit launched from Baikonur at 06:36:49 UTC Friday, July 14, 2017. Shortly after launch both satellites were contacted from ground stations in Svalbard and Vardo, Norway. Both satellites are healthy based on initial telemetry, and commissioning is underway.
TeamSurv Ocean Survey Project Boosted
TeamSurv, the crowd sourcing project to create better nautical charts, has won support and endorsement from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC). TeamSurv has won a call by ESA to enter their Business Incubation Centre (BIC) at Harwell, Oxford. This provides TeamSurv with finance, with business and technical support, and with office space for the next year to enable a plan for a sustainable future, and to grow with the number of vessels and the amount of data produced.
Satellite Maps Arctic Ocean Floor
While the main objective of the polar-orbiting CryoSat is to measure the thickness of polar sea ice and ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica, its radar altimeter can also measure tiny changes in sea level, 'Terra Daily' is informed by a European Space Agency report. Variation in sea level mimics the rises and dips of the ocean floor beneath due to the pull of gravity, as areas of greater mass such as underwater mountains have a stronger pull, attracting more water and producing a minor increase in ocean-surface height, researchers said. The CryoSat data combined with ongoing ocean mapping will result in global seafloor topography -- bathymetry -- two to four times more accurate than measurements currently available, they said.
New Satellite Navigation Service from Fugro
Oslo based navigation specialist Fugro Seastar AS has announced the introduction of a new service: SeaSTAR G2. This new high performance navigation service combines the navigation satellites of both the American GPS constellation and the Russian GLONASS constellation, to produce a composite GPS/GLONASS position solution. The service utilizes Fugro’s own network of dual system reference stations to calculate ‘orbit and clock’ errors on a satellite by satellite basis for all 50…
European GPS Slated for 2014 Launch
Galileo, the EU satellite navigation program (the European GPS) and Copernicus, the EU Earth monitoring program, are in decisive phases this year. With the launch of six additional Galileo satellites, Europeans will soon be able to enjoy their own satellite navigation system. The first Copernicus satellite launch in March will also enable considerable progress in improving maritime security, climate change monitoring and providing support in emergency and crisis situations. The progress in both European space programs - Galileo and Copernicus - was announced by Vice President Antonio Tajani following a meeting with Jean Jacques Dordain…
Arctic Ocean Free of Ice in Summer Perhaps in a Few Years
Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected according to latest dedicated satellite data. Preliminary results from the European Space Agency's CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year. This rate of loss is 50% higher than most scenarios outlined by polar scientists and suggests that global warming, triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions, is beginning to have a major impact on the region. In a few years the Arctic ocean could be free of ice in summer, triggering a rush to exploit its fish stocks, oil, minerals and sea routes.
‘VoyagOR’ Project Seeks Shipping Participants
Shipping companies are being sought to assist the ‘VoyagOR’ project, which aims use route optimization systems to make shipping operations more cost-effective. The VoyagOR project team is keen to engage with businesses that stand to benefit from improved route Optimization. A better understanding of such companies will help the project develop VoyagOR to best meet user requirements. VoyagOR utilizes a cloud-based voyage optimization system to provide a support tool to achieve fuel and emissions savings on short sea routes as well as improved scheduling.
New Satellite Images Earth Environment, Monitors Disasters
Europe has launched the first satellite of its multibillion-euro 'Copernicus' Earth observation project that will supply valuable images in the event of natural disasters, ocean oil pollution, or even a plane crash. The Sentinel-1a satellite, which blasted off into Earth's orbit from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana, carries a 12-metre-long (40-foot-long) radar antenna and has two 10 metre-long solar panels, and is now orbiting the planet at 693 km (439 miles) above the earth.
Galileo Navigation Satellite Project Update
Europe’s latest Galileo navigation satellite has arrived at the European Space Agency’s (ESA) technical centre in the Netherlands for testing, as the previous two satellites are prepared for shipping to French Guiana for launch this summer. ESA explains that the new satellite arrived at ESA’s Technical Centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, in the Netherlands, safely enclosed within an air-conditioned and environmentally controlled container from manufacturer OHB of Bremen, Germany. Meanwhile…