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Smart Docking: innovation for continuous monitoring of vessel's motions at berth.

Moored container vessels constantly move under the influence of the tide, wind, passing vessels, … Some motions are rather slow (e.g., the ship moves under the influence of the tide), while other motions are rather fast (e.g., the ship moves under the influence of passing vessel). For safety reasons, it is crucial to monitor these longitudinal and lateral movements. A large tidal range can slack the vessel's mooring lines and allowing the vessel to move dangerously at the berth. Furthermore, during cargo operation, the load on the vessel changes, and the vessel draft varies. Therefore the tightness of the mooring ropes/cables are affected. In addition, a sudden movement of a vessel in port either laterally or longitudinally may damage the fenders, quay-wall, cargo handling equipment, or shore-connected facilities such as mooring equipment, etc., catastrophic consequences of such incidents, justify the importance of the position monitoring and position fixing of ships while at berth. It is the responsibility of the ship's crew to monitor the vessel's stability and movement at berth and ensure it is in upright and stable condition, without undue movement. Any accident of this nature will damage the port's facilities or engage the port with undesirable repair, which eventually causes the business of the port to be affected. Unfortunately, the lateral and longitudinal movement of the vessel and distance from the quay-wall during berth are the parameters that are impossible to measure by ship's equipment. It is a normal practice onboard the ships to check the tightness of mooring lines regularly and prevent distancing from the quay wall. However, the possible negligence of the ship's crew may cause a disastrous accident in the port which can affect the port business for a long period. To guarantee the safety of terminal operations and protect the mooring or cargo operation's equipment and avoid possible accidents or downtime, the motions of large moored container vessels in the port of Antwerp at some exposed terminals are continuously monitored. Nowadays, this monitoring takes place with two GPS devices which are placed on the bridge of the vessel after arrival and will be removed before the vessel's departure. According to the port of Antwerp announcement, measuring vessel's movements during berth by portable GPS faced the following difficulties: - Labour intensive job to install/remove GPS instruments onboard - Going onboard, the vessels are not always possible (e.g., COVID 19) - Heavy battery required to have sufficient autonomy - Regular loss of satellite signal results in unreliable and interrupted data Therefore, the current practices for measuring the vessel's motion at berth are not reliable and efficient. And eventually, ports engaged with the problems which they weren't responsible for. In other words, the port is not responsible for measuring or monitoring the vessel's motions or positions at berth. Since the adjustment of the vessel's positions is the responsibility of the vessel's crew, therefore, monitoring of vessel movement must be done by the ship's crew and can be controlled by port too. The final goal of this innovation is to create a tool for the vessel's crew to monitor the lateral and longitudinal movement of their ship at berth with a 100% level of autonomy and reliability. The main idea is to use distance sensors to measure the vessel's movements and simulate the vessel's motions on the computer, taking proper action at the appropriate time at the full level of autonomy to prevent any accidents. For this purpose, a set of sensors need to be installed along the quay wall at predetermined and calculated positions. Regular sensor measurements transmission take place, and data are stored on the server. At the same time vessel's crew, port staff, crane operator, and shipping companies will be able to monitor the live vessel's positions and movement with a high level of accuracy via a user interface (UI) program.
Date:1 Jan 2022 →  31 Dec 2022
Disciplines:Intelligent transportation systems