Shipping industry employees are prioritising greater efforts to improve diversity and inclusion, as well as workplace support for training and development - and are increasingly prepared to look for new jobs elsewhere, according to the results of a major annual survey.
Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress has been chosen to provide the connectivity backbone enabling images captured by the deep ocean research institute, Nekton from the floor of the Indian Ocean to be transmitted to audiences worldwide.
The Nekton Institute is an independent, not-for-profit research institute working in collaboration with the University of Oxford. It aims to accelerate the scientific exploration and protection of the oceans.
The maritime high-speed broadband service provided connectivity to relay broadcast images from Nekton’s submersible off the Seychelles last year. Along with Associated Press, Sky News and Sonardyne, it won the 2019 IBC Innovation Award for Content Distribution and the 2020 Royal Television Society News Technology Award.
The 2020 mission entitled ‘First Descent – Midnight Zone’ will include a 35-day long voyage starting in mid-March exploring biodiversity around the Maldives, Seychelles and the High Seas. Video, audio and - for the first time - data will be transmitted from the deepest parts of the High Seas in the Indian Ocean to the research vessel Pressure Drop, then relayed via Fleet Xpress to marine science projects focusing on sustainable oceans.
“The ocean is a key part of each Maldivian,” said president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of Maldives. “71 per cent rely on the ocean for their primary source of income. We have committed to a 5-year initiative to advance ocean protection and sustainably develop the blue economy. This expedition will help us establish the long-term sustainability of our economic growth, livelihoods and jobs through establishing marine protected areas to build ocean resilience”
Deep ocean locations are often also the farthest from shoreside support. For high-tech research vessels monitoring and managing subsea activities today, reliable connectivity is becoming an operational as well as a safety need.
“For all practical purposes, until now it has not been possible for research vessels in remote seas to transmit large quantities of data back to base in real time, let alone stream images suitable for high-definition TV broadcast,” said Peter Broadhurst, senior vice president, Inmarsat. “Nekton’s decision to work with Inmarsat has changed that.”
Pressure Drop’s video-streaming capability has already been proven through her role in the ‘Five Deeps Expedition’, supporting the world’s only manned submersible able to descend to full ocean depth (11,000m). For its new mission, data from submersibles will feed into the 2022 Indian Ocean Summit, where Seychelles and Maldivian governments, and ‘First Descent’ partners seek to create a sustainable management plan for 2,000,000km2 of ocean.
Part of the Pressure Drop project also sees Inmarsat installing Fleet Data, the maritime industry's first secure IoT platform, which extracts data from sensors and uploads it to a secure central cloud-based database for easy access with no additional airtime cost. Its use will enable the first-ever transmissions of water chemistry and geophysics datasets.
Fleet Data will also allow scientific research to be shared onto an open source platform, with processed datasets made available so that registered marine scientists around the world can participate in a virtual Hackathon to interrogate data and publish findings within two weeks. All datasets will be blockchain-coded to ensure security, transparency, and decentralisation.
“One of the biggest issues is that it can take months or even years to publish data analysis, by which time data may have less relevance and application. By using Fleet Data we can publish data in an instant via an Inmarsat API: this is ground-breaking for marine science and could accelerate the analysis and publication of ocean data,” said Oliver Steed, chief executive, and Nekton.
Inmarsat’s yachting partner YachtProjects designed, installed and commissioned Pressure Drop’s management and communications systems, including ECDIS, CCTV and open port capability.
Nekton’s research, sampling and survey technologies fully integrate with shipboard systems, with the YachtProjects’ Seawall package controlling the shipboard network and shaping bandwidth and streaming, with the terminal hardware provided by Intellian Technologies.
Bremen-based Fr. Lürssen shipyard, the Machine Tool Laboratory (WZL) at RWTH Aachen University and PROSTEP AG have launched the ProProS research project, with the aim of setting up a digital twin for the manufacturing and assembly processes at shipyards and to use it for status control and optimisation of shipbuilding production.
Japanese shipping company NYK has signed a long-term Industrial Research & Development project agreement with Tromsø-based Dualog that will see the development of digitised products and services across a tested of 50 vessels with the potential to roll out across NYK’s fleet of 250 ships.
A new report from the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) has identified the capabilities and limitations of automation at sea as part of new research that was carried out to understand how human-machine collaboration can strengthen operations at sea.
Sea IT has opened new office outside Gothenburg for support, R&D, and production to expand and recruit employees and test and produce equipment for worldwide shipping.
Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) reports that it has completed an assessment and feasibility study on a new navigation support system in conjunction with Japan’s National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI) and the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT), using an NMRI-owned ship handling risk simulator.
The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has confirmed that it has made a contribution to a new UK government-funded study on navigational requirements for autonomous maritime vessels, working on development of a prototype ‘Smart Chart’ navigational data system.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority, ABN AMRO and Samsung SDS, the logistics and IT arm of Samsung, have joined forces to launch a pilot project that will look to integrate physical, administrative and financial transactions within international distribution chains through the use of blockchain technology.
The Lloyd’s Register Safety Accelerator has opened a call to find new innovations to improve safety of life and assets, with up to four start-up winners to receive trial funding for their systems under separate categories.
Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.
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