Intelligent passage planning software
Norcom Technology Limited, a software development company for marine navigation based in Norwich, are collaborating to produce intelligent passage planning software
The collaboration is with Weatherquest, a privately owned weather forecasting and weather analysis company located on the University of East Anglia campus.
WeatherTrack, a Windows 10 application, uses electronic charts based on data provided by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and overlays tidal stream and weather information to produce a pictorial representation at any given time. The app downloads weather information for up to seven days at hourly intervals from the server. This information includes wind speed and direction, sea water temperature, wave height, pressure, visibility and rainfall.
The user can enter a route, for example from a harbour to an offshore site, either by entering in the co-ordinates on the keyboard or by simply clicking on the screen. Once the route is loaded and the predicted speed of the vessel is entered the app computes the time it takes to arrive at the final destination. Tidal stream information can then be applied to the computation and a new arrival time can then be computed. The app also has the ability to compute the best departure time so the minimum time to reach the final destination is known.
Once a desired route and departure time have been selected, the weather along the route can be interpreted and the user can determine how this might also effect the passage. If the weather conditions are not ideal the user can either change the route or departure time until the best option is known.
If the vessel is departing from a harbour with lock gates the application can also compute the high and low water at this location and determine the time the vessel will be able to depart and arrive.
Ensuring the efficient use of vessels
Phil Harris, MD of Norcom Technology and Jim Bacon, MD of Weatherquest believe that passage planning incorporating both tidal and weather information is important not only to help make efficient use of vessels working in conjunction with an offshore windfarm, but also ensures that workers arriving on site are not suffering from seasickness due to an unpleasant passage.
Norcom Technology Limited