Marine operations such as offshore oil platforms and renewable energy projects plus shipping to name a few depend on high quality information on sea-state (wave height, period, direction, steepness) for economic and safety decision making.
Photo credits: Transmanche Ferries, Tyler Hughen (Scripps Institute of Oceanography).
Marine operations such as offshore oil platforms and renewable energy projects plus shipping to name a few depend on high quality information on sea-state (wave height, period, direction, steepness) for economic and safety decision making. The information currently available is based on atmospheric/ocean models and lacks sufficient temporal and spatial resolution. As we know wave conditions are always changing and can vary tremendously over just 100km, or over a period of a few hours. Operators need to know what current conditions are before commencing an operation.
Novel sensors, provided by the Chelsea Technologies Group (CTG) were fitted to a cross-channel ferry to collect vessel motion data as part of the WaveSentry project which was managed by Marine South East. This motion data was processed to derive certain indirect sea-state measurements which will be merged with a range of other data feeds within the WaveSentry sea-state measurement and forecasting system.
As part of the WaveSentry project the sensor box, provided by CTG was fitted to a Transmanche ferry, the Seven Sisters, which crosses the channel daily. The data collected from the ship was relayed to the shore and analysed using software from WaveSentry collaborators, QinetiQ to infer the sea state from the ships motion throughout the crossing.
The data collected will be logged against the GPS position of the ship and will be merged with additional data streams by HR Wallingford, to enable much more accurate 'nowcasting' and forecasting of sea state including wave height, period, direction and steepness. The real-time ship data being collected by the CTG sensor on the Transmanche ferry will substantially enhance the data sources available to give more accurate sea-state predictions to multiple end-users. The sensor box fitted to the Seven Sisters ferry and will collect data for a period of around a year.
WaveSentry was conceived and developed through Marine South East's MEREX Knowledge Network and has secured co-funding from the Technology Strategy Board. The aim of the project is to develop a new information and forecasting tool for managing the risks of marine operations in adverse sea states.