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World’s Largest Civilian Ship Simulation Net-Work: Sea Traffic Management Becomes Reality

The European research project to improve the exchange of information and the optimisation of route guidance in maritime transport STM Validation has reached the middle of its duration. Occasion at the Midterm Conference in September to take a look at what has been achieved so far.

The Fraunhofer CML is the technical coordinator of the European Ship Simulator Network and is involved in a large number of developments in the project. The aim of STM Validation is to make international maritime transport more ecological, economical and efficient.

n order to improve maritime safety, different approaches to the regulation, management and monitoring of ship movements are being implemented today. These include the introduction of traffic separation systems, radar surveillance and traffic management concepts. The impact of these solutions as well as their influence on the behavior of the ships is missing reliable data bases so far. Due to this backdrop, the CML and its partners in the STM Validation research project carried out an expert survey in which around 350 nautical officers assessed different maritime traffic situations with regard to their collision risk. The results are used to develop the Maritime Safety Index (MSI). The MSI is an indicator of the risk of ship collision or stranding. Using different fuzzy logic models, the index can be determined for each individual ship at any point along its route.

Real-time data from the automatic identification system AIS are used as input variables for the evaluation of current or past traffic situations and to determine the respective safety level. In addition to the established navigation variables, such as the Closest Point of Approach and the course, many other input parameters are used. The different fuzzy logic models required to determine the MSI are implemented and further validated by navigation experts. The MSI can assume sizes between 0 and 10, where 0 indicates an unsafe, and 10 indicates a safe situation. Due to the model consolidation, the index does not indicate what kind of risk potential exists. However, it can serve as a first indication of a worsening situation, which can be perceived by a monitoring station, so that third parties also become aware of a dangerous situation at an early stage.

n November, the next test runs will be carried out within the framework of STM in the European Maritime Simulator Network EMSN. In the EMSN, more than 30 bridges at 13 locations are now interconnected. The aim of the simulation is to test the newly developed systems for the secure and effective exchange of information between seagoing ships, e. g. the course and the planned route. In addition, improved coordination of maritime transport, improved monitoring of critical situations and manoeuvres, as well as the reduction of port layovers and waiting times will be achieved. In November, the next simulation runs will take place in the southern Baltic Sea and the English Channel.
Source: Fraunhofer Center For Maritime Logistics And Services CML

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