MarineTraffic launches high-resolution weather forecast tool
MarineTraffic has helped create a prototype that provides high resolution forecasts for near port and in port areas (try to understand operational needs due to weather conditions) which is already applied to fifty ports, but has the potential to s extend to all ports in the world. MarineTraffic publishes within the framework of the Accu-Waves project a prototype of a decision support tool for the management of navigation in ports.
Ports are vital links in the maritime network and their proper functioning is crucial for the efficiency and safety of maritime transport. Recent reports of maritime accidents show that most of them occur in ports. In many cases, these accidents could have been avoided if additional navigational support had been available. The Αccu-Waves (abbrev. for precise waves) project contributes to this direction by developing a decision support tool for navigation in ports that provides reliable data on the prevailing sea states in port approaches and basins. ports in three-day forecasts at 3h-intervals. Accu-Waves contributes to the safety of maritime transport, by analyzing sea states and understanding the associated environmental data. The impact of this contribution on the maritime ecosystem is twofold. It provides quality data to limit human error in navigation (IMO Electronic Navigation Strategy) and improves our understanding of operational conditions during towing and navigation services. The latter is a necessary step to support the EU Space Agency procedure for certified shipping lanes in ports. The tool is available online at the following link (http://accuwaves.eu/forecast/#).
The Accu-Waves project addressed two major challenges. The first challenge was to achieve a scientific breakthrough on the application of numerical hydrodynamic models. Members of the Port Works (NTUA) and Maritime Engineering (AUTh.) Laboratories consortium developed three hydrodynamic numerical models for this purpose and combined them so that the result takes advantage of the different characteristics and strengths of each model. A 3rd generation spectral wave model for wind-induced irregular wave fields was used to simulate waves in port approaches (Figure A), a gentle slope equation wave model addressed propagation and transformation waves inside harbors (Figure B), and a hydrodynamic model for the barotropic circulation incorporated effects related to storm surges and astronomical tides (information on sea surface elevation and currents in the statistics of Figure A).
Then, with regard to the particular characteristics of each port, the project combines the intermediate results of up to three of the numerical models developed, in a single very precise and concise forecast of the state of the sea (you can watch the video of the project for more details).
Accu-Waves’ second challenge was to build a system to acquire data for each model’s required initial conditions and orchestrate their executions. MarineTraffic has built such a system and provided a scalable data fusion and processing platform capable of acquiring daily low-resolution forecasts for atmospheric parameters (wind and sea level pressure), wave circulation and hydrodynamics. from open data repositories and transform them according to the needs of each model.
The system was implemented using modern and scalable software engineering technologies and it achieved its goal of synchronizing execution plans and providing end users with 3 day by 3 hour forecasts for 50 ports major in the world. The online system is capable of delivering results and possibly exceeding the planned number of ports depending on primary data availability and appropriate future configuration.
In addition to the visualization of digital models delivered to the end user of the project, the project also combines weather forecasts through its graphical user interface (UI) with the deep sea map layer, which represents useful information for navigation for each port such as the location and orientation of lights and traffic separation schemes, among others. Thus, the navigator can have a better understanding of the expected weather conditions as well as the navigation constraints that may apply during a stopover in a port.
The Accu-Waves project is co-funded by the European Union and Greek national funds under grant agreement T1EDK-05111. The project uses information from the EU’s Copernicus maritime service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Service and high seas charts.
Source: Marine Traffic