Waterborne SRIA


State of the art

A large number of past research projects have been analysed to produce a comprehensive definition of the state of the art of safety technologies in the maritime sector.

Information has been grouped under a number of different interest areas, service and vessel types as follows:

  1. Goal based regulations, accident reporting, and data reporting
  2. System integration for safety and security
  3. Survivability of smaller vessels in extreme conditions
  4. Collision and grounding
  5. Failure mechanisms
  6. Safety of operations in sea and inland ports
  7. Fire and evacuation

The analysis of past research projects has identified of a number of technological approaches, namely:

  • Navigational tools
  • Data network and communication systems
  • Decision support systems
  • Design software
  • Knowledge exchange platforms
  • Methodology / design concepts / requirements
  • Monitoring instrumentation
  • Remote vehicles and inspection robots
  • Sensors
  • Simulation tools
  • Stabilizing device

To give a common understanding of the current status of each of these technologies and the degree to which it has been implemented, the technology readiness level (TRL) of each has been assessed.

As a general principle, technologies with a TRL of more than 5  (“Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment”) are likely to require further funding for the development of demonstrators, whilst those below this will require further funding for research.

State of the art

1.  Goal based regulations, accident reporting, and data reporting - the technologies available in this area are generally below TRL 5 indicating a need for further research funding.  Technologies include:

  • New data networks for security and ship monitoring data transmission
  • Integrated Safety and Security Management Platform (ISSMP) software
  • Decision Support system integrating different model
  • Methods to forecast negative effects on the ship due to external forces (e.g. waves)
  • Crisis Management systems

2.  System Integration for Safety and Security -  most technologies identified in this area are at TRL 6 or higher, suggesting that they are about to be implemented in real contexts.

3.  Survivability of smaller vessels in extreme conditions – technologies identified include:

  • Risk models
  • Wave modelling
  • Methodologies and design concepts aimed at increasing safety during extreme sea conditions or in an emergency.  

As indicated by the average maturity level observed (i.e. average TRL around 6), the projects are principally in the preliminary implementation phase.

4.  Collision and Grounding – technologies identified include:

  • Motion and acceleration monitoring systems
  • Hull stress monitoring systems
  • Active operator guidance systems
  • Navigation planning aid tool to forecast compressive ICE dynamics and tool to assess the damage resistance related to ICE compression
  • Docking aid (with laser meters and rope auto-tensioning) and mooring monitor on-board system

Except for few cases, most of these are at TRL 5 or below.

5.  Failure mechanisms -  there are a number of clustered projects in this subject area, whose target is that of preventing failures through the adoption of tools and software for assistance during navigation.  TRL levels are typically above 5.

6.  Safety of operations in port - this covers port operating procedures and the associated support systems.  TRL levels are typically greater than 5

7.  Fire and evacuation – this is a significant area of interest, covering for example: 

  • Fire emission toxicity tests, methods and tools
  • Fire safety engineering methodology
  • Fire growth, toxic effects on people and effect on structural integrity simulation tools
  • Evacuation of people simulation tool