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SNAME Transacfions, Vol. 106, 1998, pp.


Use of Operation

to Increase

Support Information Ship Safety and fficiency



Henry Chen, Member, Otean Systems Inc., Vincent Peter Lacey, Life Member, SeaRiver Maritime Inc.

Visitor, Oceanweather Inc., and

The reientless integration of computer technologv into all facets of society has also profoundly affected the marine industry. Onboard computers not only perform routine oflce work, but are also used for a variety of functions that extend human capabilities. For instance, global positioning system (GPS), together with electronic charts (ECDIS), has sign$cantly improved the accuracy and ease of navigation. The implementation of sophisticated weather models on fast super computers has allowed oceanographers fo achieve unprecedented accuracy in long range wind and wave forecasting. Advances in digital satellite communication make it possible for vessels to receive the forecast onboardfor planning voyuges and avoiding heavy weather damage. Real time seakeeping analyses, along with modest hull monitoring instrumentation, can supply useful information to the ships captain for making better-informed course and speed decisions. Even more sophisticated onboard computer-based applications such as voyage optimization algorithms and hull/propeIler/engine efJiciency monitoring have demonstrated signiJcant benefits in reducing fuel and repair cost due to he-y weather. The output from such systems can be seamlessly integrated into todays automated bridge. The data for real-time warning and post voyage analysis can be taken from the voyage data recorder (VDR), soon to become an MO carriage requirement. What all of these applications have in common is their use in providing operational guidance to the ships crew as well as shore-side management decision support, and are therefore referred to, in general, as Operation Support Information (OSr) technology. This paper describes the design and operational experiences of one of such system, the Vessel Optimization and Safety System (VOSS).

AVN or Aviation Model. The mathematical model of The use of modem electronics for navigation has the atmosphereused by NOAA at the National Center significantly improved the safety of navigation over the past decade. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and for Enviromnental Prediction (NCEP) to make global Electronic Chart Display System (ECDIS) are atmospheric weather forecasts twice daily out to 72 becoming standardequipment on modem ship bridges. hours. While sensorsand electronics help the mariner navigate Climatology. The average state of the atmosphereor accurately, ships are still damagedand sometimeslost the otean for a certain period of the year. It is derived because they operate in environmental regimes that fiom historical records. ECMWF. The European Center for Medium Range exceed their design expectations. Vessel damage and the lossesare all too often the result of a combination of WeatherForecasting,located in Reading, England. reduced safety margin on design standards,inadequate The U.S. Navy Fleet Numerical FNMOC. maintenance,and human error resulting from decisions Meteorology and Oceanography Center, located in basedon wrong or inadequateinformation. Monterey, California. With reduced manning both onboard and in the A measure of the accuracy of a Forecast Skills. offtce, critica1 operational data is obtennot collected or forecastrelative to some standard. Skill of 1 is perfect, not analyzed in a timely manner to alert the operators 0.5 is usetl and 0 is worthless. with reduced hull, propeller and engine efftciencies. MRF or Medium Range Forecast Model. The The management is sometimes not aware of fuel mathematical model of the atmosphereused by NOAA wastagedue to improper ship speed setting or lack of at the National Meteorological Center to make global atmospheric weather forecasts once daily out to 10 maintenance.The long-term effect of reducedoperating efficiency coupled with structural damageall results in days. significant life-cycle cost increases. Specifcation of the wind field Kinematic Analysis. In the past, designers and builders relied on the by direct analysis of wind observations rather than indirectly fiom consideration of the dynamical forces shipmasterto exercise prudent seamanshipto limit the risk of damage.Such knowledge often is the result of which drive the winds. NWP or Numerical Weather Prediction. The process many years of apprenticeship, and through lessons leamed fiom making costly mistakes. With todays of solving numerically a system of coupled differential equations which simulate dynamic and thermodynamic competitive shipbuilding industry, ships are often atmospheric processes and air-land-sea exchange designed and built to satisfy the minimum regulatory processes,to extrapolate an initial atmospheric state requirements. Increased structural fatigue cracks, frequent diesel engine overload due to reduced sea into future statesor forecasts. margins, and bow damageon large fast vesselsdue to ODGPZ. The fully verified wave model developed by slamming are a few of the newer issues facing the the Otean Data Gathering Program for tbe Gulf of operator. The exercise of prudent seamanship,without Mexico during 1969-1974. detining the safe operating limits and the long-term Persistence. A referente forecast assumes that the observed weather will persist exactly at all forecast effects on the ship, no longer guaranteesan acceptable leve1of risk. Managementcan improve competitiveness horizons. implemented A nadir pointing pulsed radar through timely performance assessments Radar Altimeter. mounted on an orbiting satellite, whose return signa1 in a fleet-wide energy conservation program. Strategic weather routing and hulllengine monitoring are needed may be analyzed to estimatenear surfacewind speedin to plan and execute safe and efftcient passages across the radar footprints. Radar Scatterometer. A side pointing pulsed radar the otean. Shipboard measurement systems and mounted on an orbiting satellite whose back-scattered decision support tools can help the operator by waming of impending danger and providing expert advice signa1may be analyzed to estimate near surface wind necessaryto reducethe risk of damage. speedin the radar footprint. The effort to develop an onboard guidance system Scatter Index. A measure of skill in verification of model predictions defmed as the ratio of the standard started in the late 1970s when shipboard computers were tirst introduced. The U.S. Coast Guard and Det deviation of the forecast- measurement differencesand NorskVeritas carried out important, pioneering work the mean of the measured data sample used for the (SO3 project) to bring seakeepingknowledge to ships at verification. sea. [Lindermann, and Cojeen, 19811.Severa1 attempts SOO-mb. A leve1 in the atmosphere at which the were later madeto develop commercial systems for the pressureis 500 millibar. Meteorologist use this chart to shipping industry [Fain, 1973; Liiderrnann et al. 1978, local jet streamand storm track.


Operation Suppott Information Technology

DeBord et a1.19841. Due to the high cost of computers range wind and wave forecast, is shown to enable the accurateprediction of involuntary and vohmtary speed and instrumentation, as well as lack of accurate wind reductions due to motion, structure, and engine and wave forecast at the time, early systemswere not overload constrains in heavy weather. Based on actual widely accepted by shipping companies as a costexperiences,it is shown that custom tailored response effective means of reducing damage.One of the more successful implementations was on offshore crane modeling coupled with a dynamic programming vessels,where the systembenefits outweighed its costs optimization algorithm greatly improves traditional weatherrouting techniques. [HotTman,19781. In addition, the paper discusses the design and Full featured shipboard weather routing and operation of a VDR. Justifications for the hardware seakeeping guidance systems, complemented with a selection and software architecture are presented in small, self-contained motion sensor package was available for merchant vessels during the early 1990s light of the recent IMO resolution on VDR performance standards.Use of the data for hull roughnessestimation, [Chen et al, 19931. Severa1progressive container and efficiency monitoring, engine overload alarm and tanker shipping companiesuse such systemsbecauseof the added benefits of enhanced safety and schedule playback of recordedvoyage data is demonstrated integrity over traditional weather routing services. Currently, there are on going efforts in United ADVANCES IN WIND AND WAVE FORECAST Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, France, The most important environmental factors relating Germany and Japan to develop similar capabilities. In the U.S., the Vessel Optimization and Safety System to ships safety and performance on the high seasare surface winds and waves. Accurate analysesand short (VOSS) project is a signifcant effort to continue the term forecasts(l-2 days) of these variables are needed development of the frst generation Integrated Marine for tactical planning and heavy weather damage Decision Support System (IMDSS) in this area. The avoidance, while accuratemedium range forecasts(3-7 VOSS project is supported by DARPA/Maritech days), together with a climatological data base for 7 tnding, and is a joint effort between Litton Marine days and beyond, are neededfor optimum ship routing. Systems Inc. (formerly Sperry Marine) and Otean Significant improvements have been made within the SystemsInc. past two decadesin the accuracy of real time marine Vessel Optimization and Safety System is a set of wind and sea state analyses and forecasts.Two major operation decision support tools for the navigator to plan a safe and efficient voyage by taking into developmentsare responsible for these improvements: considerationweather and ship responsecharacteristics. (1) the refinement of short term numerical weather prediction (NWP) forecast systemsand their extension Once underway, VOSS monitors the ship motion response and engine condition, and alarms if safe into the medium range; (2) the development of global operating limits are exceeded.Routes are modifed as spectral wave prediction models to the point where they new weather forecast become available or mission provide global ftelds of wave height and period limited requirement changeduring a passage.With this process in skill only by the accuracy of the wind used to drive of continue refinement, a safer and more economical such wave models. passageis thus possible. At the end of the voyage, the data on the VOSS Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) Medium Range Weather Forecasts NWP methods were extended into the medium provides the necessary database for performance evaluations. Fully implemented within an integrated range beginning in 1979 at the European Center for bridge system concept, these tools can reduce damage Medium Range Forecasting (ECMWF) and soon and fuel cost, increase schedule performance, and thereafter at other global weather prediction centers. Caretl verification of NWP model forecastsof surface prolong the ships operating life. The paper frst gives an overview of the recent weather systemsand 500 mb upper air contour pattems at severa1centers including the US National Oceanic advances in marine wind and wave forecast. The procedure of implementing the state-of-the-art forecast and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)s National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) [e.g. techniques for VOSS are discussed and results of Kalnay et al., 1990; Walker and Davis, 19951show that validation with actual measurementsfiom buoys, ship observation and satellite remote sensing are presented. these predictions exhibit excellent skill in the short Second, the accuracy and limitation of seakeeping range and useful skill out to about 7 days for surface theory is discussed based on actual implementation weather systems,and out to about 8-9 days for 500 mb weather pattems. [Chen et al., 19931 give some experiences. Judicious use of sensor feedback for examples of spectacular skill exhibited in NOAAs detection and prediction of damaging events is explored. The capability of ship response modeling, Medium RangeForecast(MRF) model in predicting the storm of the century as a result of intense marine coupled with the unprecedentedaccuracy in medium

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SWADE IOP-I Slgnlticant Wave

Heighf a Buoy44015

during October 1990

Figure 1. Comparisonof wave height predicted using different wind fields with actual buoy measurements. (+++ Measuredby buoy, generatedby t!te Third GenerationSpectra!Wave Mode! Hindcast) cyclogenesisduring an event occurred off the U.S. East Coast during the winter of 1993. Currently, NOAA producessurfacepressureforecasttwice a day out to 72 hours using the high resolution Aviation Model and once a day by the MRF out to 10 day forecasthorizon. Since about 1990, model ski!! appears to have reacheda comparableplateau at the various centersand this has led to the implementation of an ensemble approachat severa1 centers to extract more information from such models. In the ensemble approach [Sivillo and Ahlquist, 19971,the initial conditions of a given model are perturbed to simulate possible analysis errors and many parallel runs of the prediction model are made. The objective of the ensemble forecast is to investigate the effect of different initial conditions to forecast, thereby irjecting some human intelligence in choosing the correct input to the model. In the global wave forecast system, described below, that supports VOSS, a man-machine mix system comparableto that employed by NWS for North America is used to adjust the output 6om nominally issued NOAA forecast marine surface weather systems before global surface marine wind fields are calculated.
Otean Wave Prediction Models.

Within the past decade, al1 major forecast centers have replaced earlier parametric or subjective wave forecast systems with modem spectral wave model based systems,implemented on either global or basinspecific grid systems.Such models incorporate what is

known of the physics of wave generation, interaction and dissipation to generateotean waves describedas a discretized directional energy spectrum, and a method to propagatespectralcomponentsacrossthe basin along great circle paths in deep water or pat!tsalso affected by wave refraction in shallow water [e.g. Komen et al., 19941. Recentstudieshave shown that the most developed of the first and secondgenerationspectral wave models, and the severa1variants of the third generation (3G) model, al! produce comparable high-quality wave specifications of significant wave height (HS) when driven by high quality wind fields [Cardone et al., 19961.In this sensethe main errors and differences in operational wave analysesare associatedwith errors in the input wind fields. This is demonstratedmost clearly in a hindcast study of a stormy period off t!te US East Coast during the Surface Wave Dynamics Experiment (SWADE), during which many additional data buoys were placed offshore to measurewinds and sea states. Figure 1 [Cardone et al., 19951comparesthe altemative HS hindcastsproduced by the samemodel when driven by different wind fields. There are large errors in most operational center wind tields Ieading to t!te observed wave height errors, while the hindcast driven by kinematically reanalyzed wind felds provides almost an exact match to the buoy estimatesof HS. That study provides a glimpse of the skill that could be achieved globally in real time analyses and forecasts if wind fields were accurately !cnown. The main challenge in a


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real time system is to achieve the lowest possible surfacemarine wind errors both at analysis and forecast horizons.
A Global Wave Forecast System Dedicated to VOSS.

The global wind and wave forecast system outlined in Figure 2 has been operating since 1987 to support IMDSSNOSS. This system differs from govemment center wave prediction systems in a fundamenta! way. Both systems start from the gridded surface pressure and wind analysesand forecastsproduced by an NWP model. But at govemment centers, t!te NWP products are fed directly into a wave model and the model output products are disseminated without fiuther quality control. In the VOSS system, a process is added to ensurethat the surface wind analysesaccurately reflect all available measuredwind measurementsfrom ships, data buoys, and satellite sensorsand are consistent with the wave model requirements. This process is represented in Figure 2 by a graphical workstation which allows a Meteorologist to control and guide t!re assimilation of measured data !nto the wind field at analysis times, to modifl the model generated wind fields. The meteorologist has the ability to add as necessary smaller scale features to the analyses and forecaststypically missed by the NWP models, and to adjust the tracks and intensities of major storms based on me output from other forecastcenters.

The wave model used up through 1997 has been tie ODGPL spectra!growth/dissipation mode! [Cardone et al., 19761 coupled with a well-established global wave propagation scheme [Greenwood et al., 19851. This is essentially the same combination used operationally for severa1 years by the US Navy as their Global Spectra Otean Wave Model (GSOWM). ODGP2 is one of the most widely applied wave models, and has been used in dozensof regional studies to help define the wave climate for specification of extreme and operational design criteria for the offshore and coasta!engineering communities. Severa!recent studies have shown that ODGP2, a 2G model, provides comparable skill in specitication of signifcant wave height as more recent 3G models [e.g Cardone et al., 19961and that ODGPZ may actually outperform models in some respects, such as the specification of the directional spreading of wave energy [Forristal! and Greenwood, 19981. In the generation and propagation of low frequency swell energy, ODGP2 doesa better job than the U.S. Navys implementation of the 3G model [Wittmann and 0 Reilly, 19981. Up through 1997, the model was implemented on a grid spaced2.5 degreein latitude and longitude. A major upgradeto the system in early 1998 included reduction of the global grid spacingto 1.25 degreein latitude by 2.5 degrees!n Iongitude, in addition to the regional models with nested grids to provide tropical storm coverage of the major shipping lanes in the North Atlantic and North Pacilic Otean basins. Furthermore, enhancementsin the wave model are provided to run an implementation of 3-G physics [Khandekar et al., 19941,increasing the spectral frequency resolution from 15 to 23 bands, and adding the utilization of satellite altimeter measurement of significant wave height to quality control the initial wave analysis.
Tropical Cyclone Prediction System.

Figure 2. Flow chart depicting the Oceanweather Global ForecastSystemdedicatedfor VOSS.

lhe high-resolution grid is necessary to resolve Typhoon wind and wave conditions. A regional high resolution Tropical Cyclone Prediction System (CYCLOPS) designed for Typhoon and Hurricane forecast was developed to provide detailed site-specific wind and wave forecast for the offshore oil industry in the South China Seaand Gulf of Mexico. The approach utilizes known uncertainties in forecast of cyclones entering the South China Sea based on 20-years of actual forecast issued by the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Waming Center (JTWC) Guam, and the National Weather Services Miami Hurricane Center respectively, to predict maximum wave height and wind speed at user site with known confdence leve! The forecast is updated on a 6 hourly interval, and automatically sent to the users site via high-speed modem.

Operation Support Information Technology


Figure 3. CYCLOPS display of Typhoon Angela forecast in South China Sea

Figure 4. CYCLOPS display of Hurricane Strike probability in Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Figure 3 shows a screen of the CYCLOPS output. The program has been successfully incorporated into the Emergency Response Procedure by severa1 major oil companies, and has resulted in savings of millions of dollars for unnecessary evacuation and increased safety. [Corona et al., 19961



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Figure 5 Verification of wave forecastat Buoy 46005 (46.lN 131.OW) Verification has always beenan integral part of the VOSS forecastsystem.It is performed both in real time, to aid the forecastprocess,and again in non-real time at the end of each month, quarter, and year to provide statistical measuresof skill characteristic of the final issuedforecastproducts. Real time verifcation is a quality control tool as it provides the forecastera basis for evaluating the quality of the wind fields prepared to drive the wave models, and as a decision tool, to assess the need to iterate the wind field preparation and wave model run before it is released. It also provides an indication of bias in the guidance products used to provide background wind fields as part of the man-machinemix system.This real time verifcation includes a running comparison of global sea level pressureand 500-mb contour forecasts at all horizons out to 144 hours against the verifying analyses. This on-line system continuously updates comparisonsof forecastand measuredsite-specific time histories of wind speed, wind direction, significant wave height and peak spectral wave period at over 60

duing December1997.

locations (buoys, C-MAN stations, offshore platforms) distributed over the globe. Most of the measurements are made in the Northem Hemisphere adjacent to the continents, and reported in real time over the Global Telecommunication System. At the end of each month, a comprehensive verification of final issued wind and wave forecastsis carried out at all sites at which measurementsare available. Recently, this verification is extended to provide more uniform global coverageby using satellite mounted radar sensed wind speed and wave height measurements. Figure 5 is an example of the standard monthly verification time series plots in which analyses and site-measurementsare compared to forecasts at site-matched grid points of the global forecast model. During this typical month, the bias in HS was 9 cm at analysis time and never greater than 50 cm at any forecast horizon. The standard deviation of the difference between model and buoy HS was 58 cm (scatter index of 0.13) rising to 1 meter only beyond 96 hours (scatter index of 0.23). The bias in peak spectral period is less than 0.5 seconds at all horizons, an

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important property of a forecast to be used to predict vessel motions. In this particular month, skill in specification of HS was found to be positive relative to climatology or persistenceat all horizons, but positive only to 108 hours relative to an optimum combination of the two, which is again typical of skill in Northem Hemisphere mid-latitudes. The last parameter is a stringent measureof skill. Its decay with horizon at a location in the west central North Atlantic based on a one-year (1995) sample of forecastsis shown n Figure 6 for significant wave height. As expected, there is greater skill in the cold seasonthan the warm season, and positive skill in this measureout to about 5 days. The decay of skill is attributable almost completely to the unavoidable decay to the chaotic limit (at about 7 days) of predictability of the evolution of synoptic scale weather systems. Forcast Skillsat Buoy44141.1995 +Ql-m-Q2t-Q3eQ4-YEAR
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Figure 7. Verification of VOSS forecast wave height againstsatellite measurement in offshore WestAfrica offshore West Africa, carried out in 1997. The wave regime at these locations is such that almost all of wave energy shown is swell energy propagated to the area 6om wave generation areas in the deep southem latitudes of the South Atlantic Otean (typically storms east of Argentina and in the Weddell Sea). These plots are representativeof the excellent skill exhibited over the full year and indicate that the wave model analyses, and at least short range forecasts in these generation areas, must be commensurately accurate, and that the swell propagation scheme is quite accurate. The global forecast data base,afier being sectored into major otean areas and then compressed, are available for download by ships at sea over INMARSAT A/B or cellular phone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The VOSS Weather StaGonunpacks the data file and createsa complete list of color graphical weather mapsfor display as shown by figure 8.

..0 24 120 144 166 192 46Fora% l+C%mn


Figure 6. Decay of site-specific wave height forecast skill in West Central North Atlantic Otean. Skill is expressedrelative to a forecast based on an optimum combination of climatology and persistence following [Murphy and Epstein, 19841. Over most of the global oceans, and especially in the Southem Hemisphere, there are few, if any, wave measurement sites available for model verification. Therefore, satellite radar altimeter estimates of significant wave heights are used. In real time, these data are used in an inverse modeling sense by the forecastersto improve the quality of the wind fields developed to drive the global wave model. In non-real time, the available data may be binned spatially over model grid boxes and then compared to the model predictions as if they were in-situ measurements. Figure 7 is an example of this type of verification of the wave forecastsagainstaltimeter wave heights at one site

Major progress has been made in the field of ship motion and seakeepingprediction during the last two decades.Ship motion programs are now being accepted as a common tool in design and certification. More sophisticated computer codes are now available for large amplitude non-linear motion and load prediction. [Salvesen and Lin, 19931. While the limitations of linear theory are quite evident, experience shows the theory is suficiently accurate for the purpose of providing courselspeed guidance to avoid heavy


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weather damage. Greater variability is introduced by the input sea and swell parameters than the linea@ assumption itself. For example, linear theory may over predict the roll motion between 5% to 10% for large angles, whereas a difference of 2 seconds in wave period can result more than 50% difference of roll angle prediction in the vicinity of ships natural roll period. While it is important to incorporate the nonlinear characteristics for establishing design criteria, emphasis should be on the accurate modeling of multidirectional sea states for operational motion prediction. Common practice in naval architecture is to use theoretical two-parameter spectra and a cosine squared spreading function to compute ship motion responses. In reality, a ship often experiences multiple swells generated by previous distant storms. The numerical wave model can keep track of the wave energy propagated fi-om grid point to grid point, and shows in distinctive wave trains from severa1 directions. Ignoring the swells could introduce large errors, particularly for rol1 prediction. Figure 9 shows the comparisons of heave motion of a container ship computed with the ful1 directional spectra and with the simplitied signiflcant wave height and period specitication versus with sea and swell input. The accuracy improves significantly when multiple sea and swells are considered. VOSS currently implements up to three wave trains, when needed, to describe a sea state.

Se6 & Sweil


I 8

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Compuled by Full Directional Spectra

Figure 9. Comparison of Heave motion using different methods of wave parameterization. Having accurate wind and wave forecast available onboard removes much of the uncertainties for tactical maneuvering in heavy weather. In the past, the decision to change speed andlor heading in heavy weather based on only the shipmasters experience and trial-and-error approach. This practice can be dangerous, especially at night when sea and swell conditions cannot be observed


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-~_- -___.-_ __-____II__--_-

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properly. The VOSS tactical maneuvering program, called the Seakeeping Advisor, uses the basic response characteristics generated by the US Navy Ship Motion Program (SMP) [Meyers et al. 19811 to compute the expected ship motion, dynamic bending moment, shear forte and other seakeeping events based on the forecast or user input sea and swell conditions. By a mouse click, the user can easily explore how changes in ship speed, heading, drafis, and GM effects the vessel response. Ship motion computation removes much of the guesswork invoived in heavy weather maneuvering by answering many what if ? questions before they are carried out. An example of a Seakeeping advisory screen is shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10. Seakeeping Advisory Screen. ADVANCES IN HULL RESPONSE MQNITORING SYSTEMS Over the past twenty-fve years, many prominent maritime organizations, including owners and societies and universities, classifcation have participated in the development and application of ship hull stress and motion monitoring systems. The need for such a system was intensified by recent structural failures on large tankers [Melitz et al. 1992; Witmer 19941, and loss of bulk carriers. Various classification societies have encouraged the ship owners to use such systems to reduce the risk of damage. Hull stress monitoring systems are being ordered as a par-t of new shipbuilding programs. The Ship Structure Committee (SSC) sponsored an excellent and timely review of the current state of the art in Hull Response Monitoring. [Slaughter et al. 19971 Real-time hull response monitoring overcomes the limitation of the human operator to detect potentially damaging events such as synchronous rolling, bow slamming, and excessive stress or acceleration caused by severe sea states. The first generation hull stress monitoring systems typically relied on a large, complex

array of sensors that were expensive to purchase and install. The sensors are also sensitive to diurna1 temperature changes resulting in measurement errors as much as 8% [Shi, et al 19961. They typically require regular maintenance and calibration. Poorly maintained systems would go blind as sensors failed, or worse, send erroneous and conflicting information to the navigator who would eventually ignore the system. The use of a large number of exposed sensors increases cost and decreases reliability; such monitoring systems provide value not consistent by their initial and maintenance costs to repair damaged sensors in remote ports al1 over the world. Monitoring systems based on sensor instrumentation alone also lack predictive capability to either wam the operator of impending danger or to recommend the best course of action to reduce the risk of damage. VOSS implements a real-time monitoring system as par-t of the three levels of defense against heavy weather damage described in [Lacey and Chen 19951. The software continuously displays the hull response in the time domain, as well as in the frequency doma& for detecting slam events and resonante phenomena. Short term prediction of the most likely maximum for a specified duration, based on the envelop process of the Rayleigh distribution, are also presented along with the maximum, minimum and average period of the response as shown by Figure ll for example. The system allows the shipmaster to set various waming levels in order to take evasive actions for damage avoidance by the offcer on watch.

Figure ll.

Example of the motion monitoring screen.

One way to make the system more reliable and cost effective is to reduce the number of exposed sensors such as deck strain gages. Past experience with a ful1 measurement system on a tanker indicated that mid-ship deck strain caused by wave induced dynamic bending moment is closely correlated to the pitch angle and vertical acceleration. This intuitively makes sense since the inertia load contributes a lar-ge proportion to the



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vertical bending moment. Another approach to estimate the wave-induced loads is to use a validated ship motion program coupled with fmite element models. The input wave condition can be obtained by onboard wave measurement systems verified against ship motion measurementsas well as wave forecast. The advantages of such an approachare the reduction in life-cycle cost of the simplified sensor suite and the ability to predict dynamic structural responsesin many locations that are costly or impossible to measure.The disadvantage is the lack of actual recording of stress cycles and the peak-to-peak responseswhich can be important to prevent damages during ships cargo loading/unloading operations. Given that the static bending moment and shear stress can be accurately estimated by most loading computer programs, the ,wave induced structural responsescan be carried out in the frequency domain using zero crossing periods and most likely maximums. As a real-time waming system, the predicted maximum based on roo&mean-square responseis a better predictor than the measurementof individual past peak responses accumulated over the past few minutes [Lacey and Chen, 19951. With the encouragementfiom IMO, classification societies, insurance industry and regulatory bodies, continuous development and refinement of the current hull monitoring systemsare assured.The challenge is to design a systemwith a minimum number of sensorsthat is simple to operate and maintain while displaying sufficient, useful information for making speed/course decisions to minimize the risk of damagein severe sea states.

One of the most daunting tasks for a navigator is how to plan a safe and effcient passageconsidering the uncertainty of weather and schedule requirements. Traditionally, the ships master relied on weather facsimile char& and NavTex waming messagesas sources of information in planning passages. The quality and quantity of weather fax charts received onboard varies depending on otean regions and the reception by the shipboard radio/fax equipment. With the limited information content on weather maps,the art of weather routing is to plan the passage on the principie of storm avoidance as indicated by the low pressure centers on surface pressure char&. Unfortunately, this processis inadequatesince the ship reacts to wind and waves which can be caused by swells generated by storm afier the low pressure area has passed, or by swells that have propagated from distant storms occurred earlier. Therefore, severevessel motions and structure damagecan still occur even with skillful low pressure area avoidance. While the

weather facsimile charts are fiee, their usefulness is limited. Todays technology has provided a significant improvement in the quality and extent of wind and wave height forecast available to the onboard operators to make much more informed decisions. Shore-side based weather routing services attempt to improve the situation by employing professional meteorologists who have a more comprehensive array of weather forecast products such as surface pressure char& 500 mb upper air charts as well as real-time ship weather reports. The so-called Route Analyst would plan a route using a set of generic speed reduction curves to predict ship positions and expected weather conditions along intended routes. The speed reduction curves depict the percent of service speed in head, beam, and following seas as a function of Beaufort Wind Scale (invented during mid 1800). Afier severa1 candidate routes, the investigating recommended route is sent via telex to the ship requesting the service. Experiences fiom many ship captains who have used such services in the past indicate that the value of this guidance is marginal and inconsistent. One captain relates how such a weather routing service advisedhim to steer directly into the eye of a typhoon becausethe route analyst assumes the ship can make the speedto overtake the storm. In real@, the ship had to slow down due to advancing waves aheadof the typhoon eye. These typical shore-based routing errors are mainly due to the meteorologists lack of knowledge of specific ship responsesin different sea states,and little or no general sea-goingexperience. Given the dynamic nature of weather systemsand the ships capability to continuously change its speed during an otean passage, two factors control the success in finding an optimum route. (Optimum being defined as the route which provides an on time arrival while using the least amount of fuel and avoiding damage). The first factor is the accuracy of the weather forecast; the second factor is the ability to predict ship speed in forecast wind and wave conditions so that the future ship positions can be accurately dead-reckoned. Otherwise the routing is meaningless since the predicted environmental conditions would not be time synchronized with the ship position and the error increases with length of the passage. This is particularly important when taking evasive action in the vicinity of tropical cyclones as advancing waves from the storm center could slow the ship which is making an attemptto outrun the storm. The VOSS Weather Station software downloads compressedwind and sea state forecast data using high speed modems over the INMARSAT A/B satellite communication circuit. Having detailed forecast wind and wave data in both graphical and digital form available onboard allows the shipmaster to visually create a strategic passageplan. In order to translate the

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plan into a route, with way-points and ship speeds,the shipmasterneeds to accurately predict the ships speed in forecast wind and wave conditions. The ships speed is ofien less than the service speed due to involuntary and/or voluntary speed reduction. The former is the result of added resistance due to wind and waves as well as increasedhull roughnessover time. The latter is the action taken by the shipmasterin order to reducethe risk of damage to ship, cargo and crew due to bow slamming, green water, excessive motion, propeller racing, engine overload and other safety concems.Both of thesespeedreductions have to be accurately modeled

in order to estimatethe ship position in relation to the weather at different times along the route. Both types of speed reduction are addressedby a rational speed prediction algorithm as shown in figure 12. Calm water speed and power relationships at different drafts and trims are derived from ship trial and tank test data. ResponseAmplitude Operators (RAOs) for addedresistanceand ship motion are computedby a ship motion program. The engine and propeller characteristics are also used in predicting the ship speed,required Shafi Horsepower, and propeller RPM, as well as predicting the engine overload condition.

A Rational












Calculate Calm Resistance




and Trim

Resistance Due to VJind and Waves










Speed Exceeded 7

Engine Overload Cheracteristic Curves


Seakeeping Prediction Based on Response Characteristics and Forecast Sea and Swell

Calculate the Fuel Consumption

Specific Consumption

Fuel Curve

Figure 12 Ship Speedprediction algorithm usedin the route simulation.


Operation Supporl Information Technology

Figure 13. Comparison of simulated routes by arrival times and fuel consumption. The Windows Graphic User Interface (GUI), implemented by the VOSS Route Optimizer, allows a user to create and simulate routes taking into accouut the expected wind and wave conditions. The user can set the limits of a Safe Operating Envelop (SOE) within which simulated voluntary speed reduction is not necessary. These are critica1 motion and structural responses such as maximum roll, pitch angles, accelerations, bow slamming, propeller racing, bending moments and shear forces, as well as engine overload conditions. The software predicts speed and vessel response based on forecast wind and wave conditions along the intended track. If the SOE limits are exceeded, the simulation algorithm automatically slows the vessel (voluntary speed reduction) until forecast wave/wind values are such that it is safe to resume the desired speed. At the end of simulation, the user can compare ETA, total fnel consumption, ship motion and structural responses, as well as propeller RPM and engine load indicator values between severa1 candidate routes as shown in figure 13. Notice that the optimum route indicates a Fidel savings of 53 tons compared with the typical Great Circle and Rhumb line routes, and following these latter routes also results in arriving later. The optimum route is generated by a sophisticated 3-D dynamic programming optimization algorithm that allows the computer to systematically evaluate thousands of candidate routes over a grid. The least time route, as well as least cost routes for a range of arrival times, are calculated and presented to the user for selection. Using this simulation capability, shipmaster can improve his initial route to determine a better one that meets his requirements by trying severa1 different routes using the computer generated optimum route as a starting point. The theoretical derivation of the Dynamic Programming (DP) simulation algorithms, and the advantage and disadvantage of using them over other optimization techniques, have been discussed by severa1 researchers [Chen 1978, Calvert et al. 1991, Perakis et.al. 19891. The optimum ship routing problem involves finding the best route, defined by way-points and speeds, to arrive at the destination at the specified time with minimum cost (fuel consumption) while satisfying the Safe Operating constraints. On any transoceanic passage, the number of possible route is infinite-a challenging computational task for even todays fastest computers. Over the years, there have been severa1 attempts to implement an algorithm that can find the optimum solution in a reasonable amount of computer time. The first simplification was to reduce the problem to the two dimensional one (Latitude and Longitude as state variables) of fnding the minimum time route. For this simplification, there is no requirement for time states, since the vessel control is restricted to heading only. Simulating the passage in the general direction towards the destination por-t results in constant time curves, called isochrones. The minimum time route can be traced back once the isochrone reaches the destination port. [Hagiwara 1989, SPOC 19971. Another approach is to assume the ship sails at constant RPM, or constant


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engine power, and for the entire passage,to fnd the minimum time and fuel consumption route, which satisfiesthe specified departureand arrival time [Calvet et al. 1993, Caruso et al. 19941.Unfortunately, botb of these approaches results in a sub-optimum solution since the algorithm does not permit the ship to slow down in parts of the passage,e.g. to let a storm pass in order to take advantage of following seas for faster speedand less fuel consumption. In general, the routes generated by both of these methods tend to zigzag around storm paths. The VOSS Route Optimizer implements a true 3-D DP solution algorithm. Changing heading and speedare allowed at every grid point in botb time and position. For commercial ships, the objective is to minimize the total fuel consumption while satisfying the constraints imposed by the safe operating envelope and to arrive on-time. Slowing down to let the storm pass by is one of the strategieswhich enable the ship to consume less fuel. Once the storm has passed,the ship can increase speed and still arrive on time. To improve computational efficiency, the program automatically generates a grid according to user specified bounds. These user-defined bounds eliminate many route options which would not be practically possible-such as navigating acrossthe land. This optimization process would ideally be repeated daily with current ship position and updated weather forecast for each day the ship is at sea. The software allows the user to createand maintain a library of routes. Any of these routes can be exported to a electronic chart system (ECDIS) for verification and execution by an autopilot, if desired, or imported 6om an ECDIS for optimization on speedsettings only.

Instead of using a standardizeddistance table with advertised ship speed and daily fuel consumption to estimate the fuel cost allowance and passagetime in a voyage charter, the charterer can produce a histogram of fuel consumption, based on hundreds of simulated passages, using actual past weather. Such statistics can be used to give the charterer a more realistic picture of the vesselscapability. Minimum, average, most likely maximum, and standard deviation are some of the statistics the charterer can use to make better informed businessdecisions with a known level of contidence.
Post voyage simulation for Charter party speed claims

A post voyage analysis can be easily conductedby simulating the passage using ships position reports and archived wind and wave conditions. The results can document for a charter party dispute the reason for a weather related slow down. Such analysis can even be done before the ship arrives at the final destination.
Vessel Design Evaluation and Deployment Analysis

In selecting the right vessel for the trade-route, management is often faced with the uncertainty of whether tbe vessel can fulfil the mission requirements. The statisticson transit duration in different months can provide information on schedule reliability in a complex container inter-modal transportation network. This is particularly useful when establishing new services or trade routes into otean areas where the proposedship has not sailed. If the vessel is still being designed,the simulation can be performed on different hull variants (virtual ships), each of which possesses different speedkeeping as well as seakeeping capabilities. The results can be usedto determinewhich variant is optimum, or whether specific design features are costjustifed.
Route Specific Fatigue Life Estimation.

With the availability of these sophisticated tools which accurately model the ships responsesin arbitrary seaways, it is now possible to investigate many aspects of her intended mission using historical wind and wave data base.The general approach is called Monte Carlo Simulation in which a prescribed route is simulated repeatedly with different departure times using past synoptic weather data such as the recently completed40 year global re-analysis wave data base. This process realistically accounts for seasonaland yearly variations in wind and sea conditions along the route. Pertinent statistics such as transit time, fuel consumed,maximum accelerations,sea margin, stress cycles, slowdown due to slamming or engine overload, etc., can be collected for analysis. The following are a few examples which illustrate the usefulnessof this technique:
Voyage charter estimates. fuel c!nsumption and duration

Structural fatigue life can be estimatedusing route simulation results to account for actual number of cycles and stressranges instead less accurate,but obten used, seasonalbasedwave scatter data. Using validated stress Response Amplitude Operators, derived from coupling hydrodynamic and finite element stress analysis models, [e.g. Rolfe et al. 19931the simulations can be used to estimate the fatigue crack propagation life of a ship with a quantitiable confidence level. Such knowledge can provide the necessary foundation for formulating optimum inspection and repair strategies taking into account the ships past and future trade routes.
Design Criteria for Offshore Towing.

Substantial steel bracing is often needed to reinforce offshore jacket structures for barge


Operation Support InformationTechnology

transportation from the fabrication yard to the final installation site. The risk of storm damageis higher for these slow speedtows than for a typical ship passage, since the tow is too slow to effectively route around storms. In addition to exerting high stresseson the jacket structure, heavy weather can also cause the potentially disastrous towline to break-with consequences not to mention the tremendous cost penaltiesdue to delayed production. Establishing proper design criteria for the maximum accelerationsand loads while under tow is critica\ to the successful development of offshore oil fields. Rational design criteria can be based on statistics on acceleration, tow speed and bending moment and shear stress generated by the simulation. In addition, software can be used in real-time to assist the captain in making routing decisions, which account for uncertainties in the forecastwind and wave conditions.

different means of protecting the final recording media for different types of ships. Allow the data to be used for performance monitoring, alarm management, heavy weather damage avoidance, and other accident prevention purpos+without interfering with the VDR recording functions. Enable fully automated operation and protection againstbad input or tampering.

In November of 1997, the Intemational Maritime Organization (IMO) passed resolution: A86 l(20) entitled Performance Standardsfor Shipbome Voyage Data Recorders(VDRs) [IMO, 19971.This resolution invites port states to encourage its shipowners and operatorsto install, as soon as possible, VDRs on their ships, especially considering that the carriage of VDRs may soon be made mandatory for certain types of ships under the SOLAS Convention. The purpose of a Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) is to automatically record bridge orders, and machinery responsesto these orders, as well as other important ship operating conditions and activities, so that the data can be used later for accident investigation and training. Data from equipment on the ships bridge, machinery, steering gear, and other sensors related to the ships maneuvering and safety, can be interfaced with, and recordedby, the VDR. Data files are in a form that can be easily transferred and used by both shipboard crew and shore-sidemanagementin a timely manner. As a sub module of the VOSS, the VDR system was designedwith the following goals and objectives : . Use proven state-of-the-art multi-media PC digital recording techniques to satisfy the minimum performance standards and allow for future expansion. l Use standard off-the-shelf equipment for ease of maintenanceand low life cycle cost. l Adopt a modular approach in design to allow flexible optional capabilities and to provide

The Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) is a stand-alone product, but can also be connected to a network as a data server. The systemconsistsof a dedicatedPersonal Computer (PC) and custom built Sensor Interface Unit (SIU) for data, and other interface boards for voice, VHF communication and radar video. The software modules run on the Windows NTTMoperating system. The recorded information is digitally stored on the computers hard disk and can be recalled later for playback. An externa1 device containing the final storage media in a protective capsule can be added to maximize the probability of survival and recovery of the final recorded data after an accident. The design incorporatesboth hardware and software featureswhich prevent the shut down of the system,alteration, erasure, or loss of data. The PC based VDR satisfies the IMO recording requirement, and protects the initial investment, while the final technical standardsare being developed by IEC for type-approval as a piece of mandatory shipbome equipment. The VDR software operatesunder the pre-emptive multi-tasking capability of the Windows NTTM operating system, allowing various display programsto accessreal-time data as well as playback of any user selecteddata channels.The major featuresof the system are: All signals are opto-isolated, preventing accidental over voltage on one input from damaging the VDR and other equipment in the system. The optoisolation circuit also protects the input sensors, even if the VDR systemdevelops faults. Large hardware buffers are included on multiple serial input channels (RS232/RS422) to interface engine room sensorsand bridge equipment without losing data. Accepts standard NMEA 0183 input sentencesor other custom format. User selectable recording duration (minimum 12 hours) and backup media Secured Windows operating system to prevent shutdown and tampering.

Operation Support InformationTechnology


Modular design approach allowing optional capability for different vessel types and protective data capsule to be added after mandatory typeapprove requirements are finalized.


NT Operating


The VDR system software architecture consists of two layers: the Data Acquisition Layer (DAL), and the Application Program Layer (APL). Both layers run under the Windows NTTM pre-emptive multi-tasking operating system. The Data Acquisition Layer automatically starts upon power up and stays in the and multi-thread background. The multi-tasking software architecture allows other application to access the recorded data in either real-time or playback modes without interfering the main recording fnction of the VDR. Figure 14 shows the schematic diagram of the system architecture.
Application Program Layer





Although the main purpose of the VDR is to capture important ships command and control data in case there is a major accident, there are many other applications that can beneft f-om such data:

.Display/Playback .Voyage Log Data Base JUarm .Perfarmance Efficiency .Seakeeping Weather Routing / I

Figure 14. Schematic diagram of the VOSS VDR software architecture.

Figure 15. Playback of a past voyage by the VDR.



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<. ,.,


Accident Investigation

and Training.

With the recording of major bridge and engine data, as well as voice communication and radar video, accident investigator can easily re-play the ships commandand control responsesleading to the incident, as well as actions taken by the crew after the incident. Figure 15 shows a typical screendisplay 6om the VDR playback program. The user can select any four data channels for display and plotting in a strip chart fashion. All data are time-stamped with corresponding ship positions. The second by second data presentation is generatedby the eventsrecorded from sensorinputs.
Performance effciency monitoring.

Using the measuredShaft HorsePower, RPM, and Speedover water, it is possible to monitor the vessels performance efftciencies while underway, or to detect long term degradation of hull, propeller, and engine efficiencies. The following three inter-related performancefactors are usedto detectthe changes: Specifc Fuel Consumption Ratio = Actual SFC (grams per horsepowerhour) / SFC at engine test-bedcondition. WeatherFactor = Actual shafI horsepower/ Calm water shafl horsepowerat the samespeedand loading condition. Hull Roughnessfactor = Derived propeller wake speed/ open water speed The tirst performance factor relates to the engine eficiency. The Specific Fuel Consumption should operate close to engine-test bed conditions unless the engine needs tuning, the fuel quality is bad, or the torque meter needsre-calibration. Changesin this ratio should alert operatorsof abnormal operating conditions. The weather factor provides an unbiasedcomparison of fuel consumption on different passages by normalizing the effect of draft, trim and speed. The hull and propeller roughnesshas been studied by many leading researchers [Townsin and Svensen 1980, Townsin et al. 1985]. It is difficult to detect changes, short of sending divers to inspect the underwater hull surface. It is also difftcult to separate changesin performance data fiom changesin draft and vessel motion. Many commercial performancemonitoring systemseliminate data points when a ship is in Beaufort forte 4 or higher, in an effort to reduce the data scatter when plotting ship speed over time. Yet large scatter still exists due to variations in drafts and measurement errors, which make the time series analysis less meaningful.

A different approach is to derive the wake speed from the propeller curve and measured shaft horse power, RPM and ship speed. The approach is quite intuitive. As the hull gets rougher over time, the boundary layer becomesthicker which in tum decreases wake speedinto the propeller. The relation should hold over the operating range of the open water thrust coeffrcient curve independent of propeller loading (provided the propeller is not out of water due to ship motion), thus providing more useful data points for trending. Another advantageis it also allows regression analysis to detect the changes in slope of wake speed versus open water speed with known confidence level indicated by the t-statistics. Figure 16 shows a plot of the wake speed over time. Notice the decreasein wake speed after the drydock period which occurred in mid December. Normally, the self-polishing paint would take effect after a few days, and wake speedshould increaseabove pre-drydock days, indicating the hull is smoother. However, this increasedid not happen due to bad paint application. The trend was confirmed by the regression analysis on the data setsbefore and afier the drydock as shown in Figure 17. More than 5% increase in fuel consumptionresulted as the engine had to develop more horsepo-wer to maintain speed -

l-----Figure 16. Decreasingwake speedover time indicates increasein hull roughness


Operation Suppoti InformationTechnology

Fortunately, this type of incident does not happen very often. The analysis is normally used to justify the hull surface maintenance schedule. ., ,. t

engine room so that prompt corrective action can be taken. The VOSS Seakeeping Advisor provides the user with measured, as well as predicted, engine operating points based on measuredfforecast wind and wave conditions. Figure 18 shows an example of the screen display.

t Figure 17. Regression analysis to show trend in hull roughness. Engine overload alarm. Large tankers and bulk carriers with fixed pitch propellers and slow speed diesel engines often have relatively small sea margins. In an effort to minimize the initial building cost by the shipyard, the propeller and hull form are designed such that speed is maximized for calm weather trial conditions. Over time, there is an inevitable increase in required engine power to maintain speed due to rippling of the shell plating, and increase in hull and propeller roughness. Particularly when encountering head wind in full load condition, the required power quickly exceeds the reserved sea margin and the engine goes into overload condition forcing the vessel to reduce RPM and thus speed. Consequently, the ships horsepower can not be fully used. Short of costly re-pitching the propeller or trimming the propellers trailing edge, or trimming the propellers diameter, a possible solution for marginally under-powered vessels is obviously to use ship routing to avoid heavy weather, to maintain a smooth hull/propeller, and to keep the engine well tuned. The continuous monitoring of SHP, RPM, and other pertinent operating parameters by the VDR allows the data to be used for display on the bridge and to sound an alarm when engine overload conditions occur. The engine overload waming would be particularly useful in alerting the engineers operating an un-manned Figure 18. Engine overload and efficiency monitoring screen display. CONCEUSIONS The few applications using the Vessel Optimization and Safety System presented in this paper demonstrate the tremendous potential of using Operation Support Information technology to improve safety and efficiency of vessel operations. Proper use of these tools results in a transfer of knowledge ti-om naval architects, marine engineers and oceanographers to the mariners at sea, as well as to the shore-side management. Past experience indicated that signiticant savings in ships life-cycle costs have been achieved using such operation decision support tools. On the technical side, the following conclusions can be made: e Recent advances in medium range wind and wave forecasts together with the high speed digital satellite communication can provide ships at sea with a practica1 tool for making tactical decisions to avoid heavy weather. Ship motion and seakeeping theory, while not perfect, can provide an extensive knowledge base to compliment the shipmasters own experience in making speed/course changes to reduce the risk of damage in severe sea states.



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Hull responsemonitoring can record and wam the operator of excessive motion and stress. Further effort should directed towards developing a robust and cost-effective sensor package to provide advance waming and expert advice on tactical maneuvering to avoid immediate danger of heavy weather damage. True route optimization with ship specitic response characteristics can be implemented on todays fast processors on a shipboard PC. Sophisticated Graphic User Interface makes the tasks of generating and simulating the best route very intuitive and thereby reduces the training diffrculties. Voyage simulation capability can be utilized in many other engineering and commercial applications. Using historical wind and wave data, rational decision on ship design criteria, charter party, offshore towing, and deployment can be made based on actual statistics rather than limited past experience. Voyage Data Recorder can be a valuable piece of bridge equipment, especially for Tntegrated Navigation Systems. While the IMO mandatory carriage requirement is a few years away, progressive ship operators may want to start installing VDR for incident investigation, training as well as real-time monitoring of ship, engine and alar-mdata. Meaningful performance evaluation can be achieved by using data continuously monitored by the VDR. The unprecedentedleve1of detail of ship operation data automatically recorded by the VDR will allow ship designer, builder, classiftcation society and shipowner/operator to make better technical as well as commercial decisions. It is exciting to surf the wave of todays information technology. Opportunities abound in the maritime industry to adapt the technology. It is hoped that the operation decision support tools described in this paper would stimulate new ideasto further increase the safety and effrciencies of worlds shipping fleet.

officers and engineerswho have provided us invaluable input and feedback to the design and operation of VOSS over the years. Without their encouragementand challenge,the systemcould never have beendeveloped.


Cardone, V. J., W. J. Pierson and E. G. Ward, 1976. Hindcasting the directional spectra of hurricane generatedwaves. J. Petrol. Technol. 28,385394. Cardone, V. J, H. C. Graber, R.E. Jensen, S. Hasslemannand M. J. Caruso. 1995. In search of the true surface wind field in SWADE IOP-l:ocean wave modeling perspective. The Global Atmosphere and Otean System.3, 107-l 50. Cardone, V. J., R. E. Jensen,D. T. Resio, V. R. Swail and A.T. Cox, 1996: Evaluation of contemporary otean wave models in rare extreme events: the Halloween Storm of October, 1991 and the Storm of the Century of March, 1993. J. Almos. Oceanic. Technol., 13, 198230.

Calvert, S., E. Deakins and R. Motte 1991: A Dynamic Systemsfor Fuel Optimization Trans-Otean. Joumal of Navigation May, 1991 Caruso, N., S. Calvert, R. Fazal and M. Epshteyn An Analytical Method for Predicting Vessel Performance and Its Application to WeatherRouting SNAME Ship Operations, Management and Economics Symposium, 1994 Chazel, E.A. Jr., Cojeen, Lindemann and MacLean, W.M. Status Report of the Application of Stressand Motion Monitoring in Merchant Vessels SNAME Star Symposium, 1980 Chen, H. 1978 A Stochastic Dynamic Program for Minimum Cost Ship Routing, Ph.D. Thesis. Department of Otean Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Chen, H. and Sucharski, D. The Role of Shipboard Decision Support Systems and Instrumentation in Enhancing Maritime Safety. U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Stability Symposium 1993 Chen, H. , V. J. Cardone and P. Lacey: 1993: Improved safety and efficiency with shipboard decision support systems. Intemational Conference on Maritime Technology, 17-20November, 1993.


The authors wish to express their gratitude to the support and encouragement from the ARPA/Maritech program manager Mr. Todd Ripley, and from VOSS project manager Mr. Tom King of Litton Marine Systems. Contributions fiom Tom Winslow of Ameritan President Lines, and Horst Bethge of Cheveron Shipping are gratefully acknowledged. Last but not the least, the authors wish to thank all the deck

Operation Support InformationTechnology


Corona, E.N. et al. 1996: Typhoon Emergency ResponsePlanning for the South China Sea. Paper 8117, Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, 1996 DeBoard, F.W. and Hennessy, B., Development of a Generalized onboard response monitoring system Ship Structure Committee report No. SR-1300, 1984 Fain, R.A. Design and Installation of Ship Response Instrumentation System Aboard the SL Class Container Ship S.S. Sea-LandMcLEan SSCreport 238,1973 Forristall, G. Z. and J. A. Greewood, 1998: Directional spectraof measuredand hindcasted wave spectra.Proc. 5* Intemational Workshop on Wave Hindcasting and Forecasting,Melbourne, FL., 26-30 January, 1998. Greenwood, J. A., V. J. Cardone and L. M. Lawson , 1985: Intercomparison test version of the SAIL wave model. Otean Wave Modeling, The SWAMP Group, Plenum Press,22 1-233. Hagiwara, H. Weather Routing of Sail Assisted Motor Vessels Ph.D. Thesis Delft University Nov. 1989 Hoffman! D. and Fizgerald, V. Systems Approach to Offshore Crane Ship Operations, SNAME Transaction 1978 Kalnay, E., M. Kanamitsu, and W. E Baker, 1990: Global numerical weather prediction at the National Meteorological Center. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 71, 1410-1428. Khandekar, M. L., R. Lalbeharry and V. J. Cardone, 1994: The performanceof the Canadian spectral otean wave model (CSOWM) during the Grand Banks ERS-1 SAR validation experiment. Atmosphere-Otean. 32, 3 l-60. Lacey, P. and H. Chen: Improved PassagePlanning Using Weather Forecasting, Maneuvering Guidance, and Instrumentation Feedback. Marine Technology January 1995 Lindemann K., Odland, J., and Strengehagen, J. On the Application of Hull Surveillance Systemsfor Increased Safety and Improved Structure Utilization in Rough Weather, SNAME Transaction 1977 Lindermann, K. and Cojeen, H.P. Summary of a Course in Shiphandling in Rough Weather U.S. Coast Guard Report CG-M-7-81 1981

Melitz, D.T., Robertson, E.J. and Davision, N.J. structural Performance Management of VLCC-an Owners Approach, Marine Technology, October 1992 Meyers, W. Applebee, T.R. and Baitis, A.E. Users Manual for the Standard Ship Motion Program SMP DTNSRDC/SPD-0936-0 1, September1981 Murphy, A.H. and E.S. Epstein, Skill scores and correlation coefftcients in model verification Monthly WeatherReview, 1987. ,Perakis, A.N. and N. Papadakis, 1988 New Models for Minimal Time Ship Weather Routing SNAME TransactionVol96. Shi, W.B., P.A. Thompsonand J.C. Le Hire 1996 Thermal Stressand Hull StressMonitoring SNAME Transaction 104 Slaughter, S.B. M.C. Cheung, D. Sucharski, and B. Cowper 1997 State of the art in Hull Response Monitoring Systems Ship Structure CommitteeReport ssc40 1 Sivillo, J. K., Ahlquist, J. E. and Zolten Toth, 1997: An ensembleforecasting primer. Wea. Forecasting, 12,809818. Townsin, R. L. Spencer, D. S., Mosaad, M. and Patience, G. Rough Propeller Penalties SNAME Transaction Townsin, R. L. and Svensen,T. Monitoring Speedand Power for Fuel Economy Symposium on Shipboard Energy,Conservation80, SNAME 1980 Walker, D. R. and R. E. Davis, 1995: Error climatology of the 80-wave Medium Range ForecastModel. Wea. Forecasting,10, 545-563. Whittmann, P. A. and W. C. OReilly, 1998: WAM validation of Pacific swell. Proc. 5rr Intemational Workshop on Wave Hindcasting and Forecasting, Melbourne, FL., 26-30 January, 1998. Witmer, D.T. and Lewis, J.W. 1994 Operational and Scientific Hull Structure Monitoring on TAPS Trade Tankers, SNAME transaction Vol. 102


Operation Support Information Technology

computation of routes that can be optimized to the masters requirements. When coupled with real-time response monitorThe authors are to be commended for an excellent paper that ing and what if? modeling, we are getting pretty close to describes the state-of-the-art of ship weather routing decision where we were trying to go back in the late 70s. Wouldnt it support tools. The combination of wind and wave forecasts, have been wonderful to have had some more of this capabilvessel seakeeping analyses, track simulation modeling, satel- ity in 1980 when the Derbyshire was in such dire need? Are lite data communications, and onboard computer implementa- the authors planning to develop education and training materition has led to a practica1 tool for the use of the ship master als to help young mariners become knowledgable about this and navigation officers. Over the past decade, this capability technology? As one who watches the nightly satellite pictures and weather has been incrementally developed and tested aboard numerous vessels ranging from transoceancontainerships to large tankers radar presentations and then makes my own forecast of what to expect the following couple of days, it seems that having in a variety of otean environments. The Vessel Optimization and Safety System is the culmi- adequate definition of the wind field from which the wave ennation of many years of work by the authors. It may clearly be ergy is derived is still at the center of the problem. Can the considered to be a commercial product that has successfully authors give a bit more of an explanation of the Fig. 1 compassed through all of the phases of research and development parisons that show large discrepancies. The statement, There and is now ready for full deployment at sea on a regular ba- are large errors in most operational center wind tields leading sis. One would expect that most ship operators would want to to the observed wave height errors . . . leaves me up in the have this capability installed onboard their fleet. In order to bet- air and 1 need further explanation Do the authors have a good ter understand the economic impact of such a system, how- idea about where. the source of errors lies and what needs to ever, could the authors provide a range of annual cos reduc- be done about it? The authors note that, The first generation hull stress montions, or benefits, that might be expected from its use aboard different types of vessels in typical services? Additionally, it itoring systems typically relied on a large, complex array of would be helpful if the authors could provide a rough annual sensorsthat were expensive to purchase and install. . . . 1 think cos of installing and operating such a system, amortizing the it only fair to note that in those earlier days, a large part of the cost of those installations was the cost of pulling cables in capital cost over some reasonable period. Having thereby put the authors to a business test, it is only ships already built, as well as the high cos of computers of fair to offer the possibility of additional opportunities in the the day. The sensors were pretty much off the shelf, though future for this technology. 1 have recently been involved in the their installation and protection presentedspecial problems. The exploration of the technical, operational and economic feasi- cost of software was almost totally borne by research moneys, bility of high-speed transocean express cargo services for a as was most of the system maintenance. We did what we could major U.S. corporate client. With the need for reliability in to keep the cost to the shipowner to about $10,000, a sum which schedule and safety of operation, high-speed services of this could usually be borne in the operations budget. It was certainly type will demand the most capable ship weather routing deci- clear that if the work could be done during new construction, sion tools that can be provided. It will be absolutely necessary the cost of the system would be lost in the small change of the to understand the trade-offs of capacity, speed, range and cost construction contract. On customized work, where the full cost in a dynamically managed fleet operational environment in or- of the project was being supported by the client, 1 understand der to meet the shipping customers needs in a safe and effi- the systems paid for themselves in a short time. cient manner. Sensors have always been difficult to maintain in the maDuring our work, we explored slender monohull concepts, rine environment. 1 wonder what the current experience of the various multihull configurations, and considered different hull authors is in this regard? 1also wonder what the installation and structure and propulsion system options. There will clearly be maintenance costs of the VOSS system would be for a new cona need to further develop our understanding of and ability to struction installation? How much does it cost and how long does predict vessel motions, loads, and accelerations for all of the it take to zap the wind and wave data every day in order to can-y advanced marine vehicles of potential interest for such de- out the route optimization update? In selecting the operations manding services. If and when the operation of such ships be- band, what would happen to the cost if the grid spacing were come a reality in the transocean environments of interest, the to be cut in half, i.e., with four times as much data transmitweather routing decision support tools will be a required com- ted? ponent of the vessel command and control capabilities of the Im delighted to learn that IMO has acted to get voyage day. Could the authors comment on their readiness to accept data recorders on ships. Certainly that will be helpful in my view to advancing the state-of-the-art and cutting the cost of these challenges? In conclusion, 1 would like to thank the authors for the op- these systems. Could the authors tell us how many of these inportunity to comment on their excellent paper today. 1 look stallations are currently contemplated and in what types of forward to additional papers on this important topic at future ships? SNAME meetings. Again, thanks for the opportunity to review this most interesting paper. Walter M. Maclean, Member Thomas S. Winslow, Member 1 want to first thank the authors for the opportunity to review and comment on this latest report about work 1 have been 1 would like to congratulate the authors for their excellent interested in now for more than two decades. The advances paper. The title uses two key words for a shipowner, safety madepossible by advancedcomputing and communication tech- and efficiency. The VOSS and al1 its modules as described nology is truly impressive. 1 particularly like the onboard sim- in this paper is a powerful and comprehensive tool. 1 have been ulation capability now made possible by high-speed data trans- following the developments and have had the opportunity to mission of expected wind and wave conditions and onboard contribute in a small way. When 1 was at APL, the company Paul 6. Me&,
Member Operation Support Information Technology


was an earlier subscriber and supporter of this program. Having discussed the system with numerous ship masters one immediately becomesaware of the benefits of this system in terms of optimizing voyage routing and post-voyage analysis. Though the tangible benefits are clearly associatedwith minimizing fuel oil consumption, a major operating cos component, and controlling ship motions, through course, speed and routing adjustments, which are of utmost importance with the deck stowage on containerships. Though 1 do not have frst hand experience with the authors hull monitoring system, 1 can expressly appreciate its advantage. Modem ship structures on all types of ships are particularly susceptible to fatigue-related problems. The economic demand on shipowners to increase deadweight and shipyards to reduce cost has taken its toll on the hull structure. The extensive use of high tensile steel throughout the hull has resulted in progressively lighter scantlings typically in web frames and hull plating. Couple this with the shipyards incentive to use production-friendly details have clearly shortened the vessels fatigue life. Hull monitoring and the minimization of ship motions, both features of this program can to some degreecompensate. Additionally, as ships get bigger, and in many cases faster, the master is increasingly farther away from the wave action at the bow and in many cases because of the structural attenuation between the bow and the bridge the wave impact may not be apparent. Therefore, a hull monitoring module may be the answer. There is a phenomenon that has become a recent concem on modern high-speed ships with a hull form that typically has fine lines forward at the design draft then pronounced bow flare above the deep loadline, and a pram type of transom stem, generally optimized at the design draft aft. This phenomenon is called parametric rolling. It can happen in either following seas of wavelength equal to the ships length where ultimately capsizing could result or this phenomenon can occur in head seas where a series of short period snap rolls with accelerations that could have a disastrous effect on personnel and cargo. Having seen the emotions of an experienced ship master describe this experience was cause for concem. 1 would encourage the authors to develop a module for their program to identify and warn the ship master of a wave pattem that could result in the feared parametric rolling so evasive action can be taken before the onset of this condition. Again, thank you for this excellent paper.

The saving is related to the reduced risk of damage and can only see the benefits after the program has been in place for a period of time We believe that you have to look at potential fuel savings and improved schedule integrity in the same manner. For example, by having confidence in the fact that a ship can make her scheduled arrival time because of favorable weather conditions in the later part of a long trans-otean passage,the ship master can intelligently manage the speed profile. This may result in saving overall fuel consumption as the ship does not have to increase speed in unfavorable weather conditions encountered in the beginning of a voyage. (What some people call excessive sleeve miles.) Systems such as VOSS are decision support tools designed to help ship masters make better operating decisions. The potential benefits depend on trade route, type of ship and the skill of the master. The potential savings are greatest when used by qualified personnel on ships carrying high value cargoes, operadng under tight schedule constraints on trade routes with a high potential of encountering severe weather and where the risks of environmental damage are also high. Quality control of the wind and wave forecast. Dr. Maclean points out an interesting observation. While the super computers at national centers produce medium range weather forecasts consistently better than any human forecaster, there is a need to have quality control for the raw wind input that is computer derived by a human forecaster. Oceanweather calls this quality control process a man-machine mix, a process whereby the wind fields derived from models are kinematically blended with ship observations, buoy and satellite measurements, whichever is deemed to be most appropriate by a highly skilled meteorologist. The result is a superior forecast product used by VOSS. The need to custom-tailor ship performance characteristics. An accurate weather forecast is only half of the story. Prof. Ian Buxton of the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne stresses the need for custom-tailored ship performance characteristics in his oral discussion. The reasons for the accurate modeling of ships speedkeeping and seakeepingperformance have been discussed in the paper. The Derbyshire and APL China incident can be partly attributed to the failure to properly model the speed keeping capability of the vessel in heavy seasby the shore-basedrouting service. In order to prescribe the Safe Operating Envelop, we work with owner/operators naval architects in deciding a recommendedlimit for ship motion and structural responses. We also provide the capability for the ship master to set his own limits based on his experience of what the ship can do and the actual conditions at the time.

Authors Closure
The authors would like to thank the discussers for taking time from their busy schedules in order to comment on this paper. We are particularly indebted to their support and encouragement over the years. Many of our development paths are in responseto their challenges and interests as well as those of the ship operators. We will summarize our responseto their questions and comments in the following sections.

Design trade-off and deployment analysis by simulation. Mr. Mentz mentioned the concept of a Virtual Ship in design and deployment analysis. Many ships are designed and deployed without taking into account the severity of the weather that Cost benefit of VOSS. Both Mr. Mentz and Dr. Muclean asked can be expected to be encounteredon the vessels intended trade the question on the cos benefit of VOSS. The basic chaotic route only to leam later that the aggressive schedule cannot be :*:+~re of weather makes it impossible to do an accurate COSI made with desired reliability. Adequate sea-margin should be benefit analysis. We believe that with the proper use of a sys- specified for the intended trade route in design taking into actem such as VOSS, the Derbyshire loss as well as the recent count the weather and increased hull roughness during service. damagessuffered by the APL China could have been avoided. A proper simulation using historical weather can answer these We can recreate incidences such as these and show how these questions with a quantifable leve1of confidente. Oceanweather incidences could have been avoided. Weather events similar has createda 40-year databaseusing the global reanalysis winds. to those that lead to these casualties will reoccur in the future, VOSS has the capability to perform such a simulation already. but whether the ship will be in the vicinity is not possible to predict. We believe that the potential purchaserof a system such Detection of synchronized motion using a hull monitoring as VOSS is better served looking at it like a safety program. system. We want to take the opportunity to thank Mr. Winslow Operation Support Information Technology


for promoting the VOSS idea while he was with APL. The phenomenon of parametric rolling is very real on post Panamax beam containerships with large bow flares and transom stems. The GM can easily change from positive to negative and back as the crest of waves pass along the length of the hull. Time domain analysis is required to simulate the sudden large amplitude roll. Talking to the operators who have experienced such events revea1that they happened in moderately high head sea conditions. We have developed a -degree-of-freedom motion sensor, which continuously performs spectral analysis hoping to detect some precursors to this event and wam the operator. We will report our findings when we have obtained comprehensive results.

such as VOSS computer-aidedtraining (CBT) and computer simulation can be valuable educational tools used in maritime schools. The interactive nature of the CBT can teach such experiences with a virtual ship in heavy weather. Unfortunately, the cos of creating a professional grade CBT is very high. Perhaps a consortium of maritime schools, unions and shipping companies can be formed to undertake this effort. In concluding our reponse, we would like to stress that as designers, builders and regulators, our duties do not end when a ships plan has been approved or when a ship is built and starts operation. We need to further ensure that ships crew has the tools to properly opente within the design limits and monitor the hull conditions so that precautions can be taken to maintain safe operating limits and prevent accidents similar to Education and user training. Dr. Maclean points out the need the Derbyshire and APL China. We hope that by developing for training and teaching seakeeping and heavy weather tactics and demonstrating our Operation Support Information System in maritime schools. Todays large fast ships with their com- and the Voyage Data Recorder we will convince shipowners, plex structures have made the reliance of learning seamanship operators, regulators and the insurance industry that ships can from texts and apprenticeships an expensive proposition. Tools be operated in a safer and more efficient manner.

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