A new bridge design aimed at reducing the number of accidents involving ships has been developed in a three-year European research project called Co-operative and Adaptive Ship-based Context Aware Design (CASCADe).
One of the partners in the project, the BMT Group, of Teddington, said it has been estimated that about 80 per cent of collisions and groundings of ships take place due to a failure of bridge systems and their usage.
The partners said: “Partfunded by the European Union, CASCADe has developed an adaptive bridge design methodology that aims to integrate both human agents and electronic equipment into one network which will facilitate optimisation of the information shared.
“In addition, the programme has developed a touch screen ‘shared display’ to aid communication and cooperation on the bridge.
“The feature can be customised to whatever configuration is most suitable for a particular situation and projects a comprehensive range of information on a single screen.”
The CASCADe offers the function to graphically annotate maps, leave notes for other crew members or complete checklists electronically. It has also given access to extra information to crew members, otherwise restricted to the pilots by integrating the console with tools used by pilots in their Portable Pilot Units (PPUs).
“In the first stage, it had coded a protocol to establish a link between the PPU and the ship’s electronic charts and then between the PPU and the bridge screens to display information from the PPU screen,” the partners said.
The partners in the project include BMT Group, Raytheon Anschuetz, Mastermind Ship management, the University of Cardiff, Marimatech and Symbio Concepts & Products SPRL while Maritime Cluster Northern Germany, Nautilus International, NSB Niederelbe Schiffahrtsgesellschaft and the University of Tasmania offer support.