Monday, February 25, 2019

Crew Safety Takes a Leap Forward as Sensor Technology at Sea Looks Through a Ship's Hull

With Eyes Like Superman Big Brother Really Will Be Watching You
Shipping News Feature
NORWAY – Located in the tiny village of Straume, in the west of Bergen, a team from ScanReach has been beavering away for the past few years to create a solution which it believes will mean a major step forward in safety at sea and more. The company says a full reveal of the product will be a highlight of the Nor-Shipping 2019 event in June, but has now published the basic details of a technology which will protect both human life and precious assets carried aboard a variety of vessels.

The team of digital experts, physicists and maritime software developers say they are putting the finishing touches to In:Range, a low-power, IoT microsensor system which they describe as ‘game changing’. ScanReach says In:Range does something no other technology can, it transmits sensor-based data through steel, providing a robust on-board emergency response system, tracking the condition and whereabouts of all persons on board in real time.

In addition to individuals, the ScanReach technology, based on a combination of frequency control, sophisticated algorithms and protocols, can monitor compartments and hard-to-access void spaces on a ship or offshore asset. It can also monitor and wirelessly transmit real-time ship operating data (including data from IoT-enabled equipment) to a central control unit on the bridge or special control room, thus adding to the new drive to provide smart shipping. Jacob Grieg Eide, ScanReach’s Chief Business Development Officer, comments:

"We are sitting on some of the world’s most disruptive safety technology. There are probably about 100,000 ships and many more offshore assets that could immediately benefit from our wireless, plug and play sensor-based system to transform the safety of people and assets at sea.”

The key point of such a technology is the avoidance of expensive cabling and installation, reducing costs at a stroke. In terms of practical applications for safety, crewmembers would have individual, wearable personnel tags monitored by a fully redundant meshed network of microsensors. In the event of an emergency on board a ship or offshore asset, their location and condition would become immediately evident, with any absences at muster stations rapidly noted and addressed.

The technology is of course adaptable to suit any given situation, seafarers, contractors, offshore workers, vessel passengers and all other ‘tagged’ individuals would be visible in any situation, in any conditions at any time, regardless of the incident. The product is the result of almost five years and well over 30,000 hours of research and testing and Eide and his colleagues decided on home territory for the official launch of In:Range with the Nor-Shipping event scheduled to take place in Oslo and Lillestrøm, Norway, from 04 to 07 June 2019.