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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Decision Support System for Ships in Degraded Condition

Final Report Summary - DSS_DC (Decision Support System for Ships in Degraded Condition)

The overall objective of the DSS_DC project was to minimise the risk of loss of lives, damage to the environment and loss of value caused by breakdown of critical ship systems. The focus of the project was to develop decision support systems for use when the ship is already in a degraded situation.

The system features several sub-systems, models and methods:

- Model for interaction and cooperation on board and on shore during emergencies
This objective has been covered through the development of a number of emergency scenarios for a tanker and a cruise ship. The scenarios have been discussed with relevant crew and used as a basis for new system architecture for cooperative decision support. The system uses a set of specialists' decision support system (DSS) work stations that can be placed on board a vessel or on shore. A generalised multi-function console (MFC) is used to display 'high level' results from the specialists' work anywhere on the ship or on shore. An infrastructure based on Internet and web technology links these modules together and to the existing ship systems.

- Alarm mapping and alarm prioritisation
The project has carried out a survey on a tanker and on a number of cruise ship to check how the types and number of alarms influence the work processes both in normal and emergency situations.

- Physical architecture and the multi-function console
The infrastructure and the Multi-function console (MFC) is implemented and demonstrated on board a tanker and a cruise ship and integrated with a number of DSS modules.

- Multi-function console (MFC)
A central component of DSS_DC is the multi function console. This may be implemented as a standalone emergency and safety management system on less complicated ships or as an integrated status and information display on more complex ships.

- Degraded manoeuvring and propulsion (DMP)
DMP is a decision support system for the master of a vessel that is restricted in its ability to manoeuvre either due to damage or environmental effects or both. The DMP will attempt to automatically diagnose the extent of any disability in the ship by comparing the control signals and the actual manoeuvres. Where this is not possible, the user will be able to manually set the levels of disability. In cases where the user is not entirely sure of the level of degradation, a measure of confidence in the value can be set and the DMP will take this into account.

- Hull damage and effects of weather and operation on hull strength
The Collision / hull damage (CHD) module will provide information on-board and on shore related to the ship's strength in damaged or degraded condition:
1. On-board: In the present condition, information regarding status of the present safety level with respect to stability and strength criteria. Assessment of change in speed and heading on the safety levels will be presented.
2. On-board and on shore advanced options: Study re-ballasting scenarios and effect of change in weather conditions.
The CHD module will be closely integrated with a loading computer as well as the DSS for intentional grounding (DIG) module. It will also communicate with the Weather and sea routing module (WRA) to obtain weather information.

This module will provide information onboard and ashore on the likely consequences if the vessel is grounded or stranded at a given site. The intentional grounding module will be closely integrated with the loading computer as well as the DSS for the CHD module. It will also communicate with WRA to obtain weather information.

For already grounded vessels, the point of grounding will be determined by the loading computer, based on hydrostatic analyses comparing of the ship's deadweight distribution as compared to the measured list / trim. This functionality is already implemented in the Lodic loading computer.

The intentional grounding module will calculate the probable indentation of the seafloor into the ship's bottom in an iterative procedure with the hydrostatic calculations (list / trim) in the loading computer. (Indentation depends on grounding force and list/trim depends on grounding force.)

The structure of the module and its interfaces are essentially identical to that of the CHD module. However, instead of damage description DIG will use bottom topology as input.

Various displays will be available, including predicted future developments based on tidal variations and weather conditions. Typical parameters are draught, trim, list, displacement, ground reaction, damaged volume etc.

- Technical condition monitoring (TCM)
In general the purpose of the TCM methodology is to provide an intuitive presentation of the present technical condition of a system (plant, ship, ship-system, etc). The great amount of information obtained from condition monitoring and process information systems are compressed and used to obtain overall indicators of the technical condition. A measure named 'Technical condition index' (TCI) is used. The TCI is calculated and presented using the TCM module. The TCM module will use the available information in the automation system and the integrated bridge system (IBS).

- WRA% WRA is a decision support system for the master of a vessel to either plan a cruise or to evaluate different remaining opportunities for the vessel in a degraded condition situation. The WRA will attempt to simulate and predict the further development in a certain situation and at certain conditions for a chosen strategy. Additionally, the system offers optimum routing capability, useful to either find a route advice for a ship in degraded condition, i.e. of lowest sea impact on the structure or of shortest passage time, or to assist in passage planning in day to day operation. To provide this service, the WRA uses two inputs: weather and sea state forecasts from meteorological offices and ship's behaviour characteristics from the DMP. Merging this information allows forecasting the ship behaviour along an optimum track for the next 72 hours. A longer time period (up to 168 hours) is feasible but regarded not useful for a tremendous decreasing reliability of the weather forecast beyond three days.

This ability also allows the crew to simulate various strategies of navigation in emergency case scenarios. The WRA gives a clear idea on the consequences of a strategy by displaying resulting track combined with characteristic values (ship's movement (roll, pitch, speed, engine power) and weather conditions (sea, wind, temperature, rain, fog).

- Ship-shore communication (SSC)
The main idea with this module is to reduce workload for the crew with communicative tasks in a degraded condition situation. A second aim is to have the communication as efficient and as clear as possible. In an emergency case communicative redundancy and confusion has to be avoided.

The module will offer four main functions to the user for communication:
- Messages: leave and receive a message, viewable by every involved party, stored in a buffer. This allows a later involved party to get quickly in touch with the state without interference.
- Draw and hint: a set of plans of the vessel will be offered for choice, on each of them red crosses and spots can be placed, as a visualisation tool to assist oral communication.
- Sketch: freehand drawing.
- Fax and Email: here, next to the possibility to write a fax or send an email (possibly some typical emails could be prepared), a search function will be included, which assists in finding the communication details for any required service.