Bridge Operational Quality Assurance system introduced by Danelec

Danelec Marine has introduced a new decision-support tool to provide Cloud-based event reporting, analysis and feedback, using data collected via its DanelecConnect shipboard Internet of Things (IoT) platform.

The Bridge Operational Quality Assurance (BOQA) system offers automatic recording and transmission of data from ship navigation systems and sensors through the DanelecConnect hub to shore offices, as well as analytical tools to identify deviations from operational parameters.

The goal is to support shipping companies in creating a formal proactive approach to operational risk management in ship navigation practices and procedures.

Similar to the Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) systems that are used in commercial aviation, the Danelec BOQA provides a structured methodology for automatic electronic data monitoring, providing real-time trigger alerts and post-event analysis, along with feedback to correct potentially dangerous behaviours.

Initial tests of the system are currently underway on vessels with five different shipping companies.

“The DanelecConnect IoT platform is a key enabling technology underpinning BOQA, providing easy cost-effective access to data from the ship for less than one dollar per day in satellite transmission costs,” said Hans Ottosen, CEO of Danelec Marine.

“The airline industry employs FOQA very extensively, and pilots use it as a proactive learning tool. Our ambition is to bring this same option to ship officers.”

“BOQA is designed to be future-proof with a built-in capacity to learn. New unforeseen event types can be developed by applying machine learning and artificial intelligence methods.”

The concept behind BOQA originated with a paper entitled The Proactive Use of Voyage Data Recorder Information submitted to IMO in 2013 by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF).

The paper called for transmission of data from VDRs to shore for analysis against a shipping company’s established standard operating procedures, and proposed a system which would identify non-conformances and give feedback to the ship’s master and crew as a learning experience to avoid future mistakes.

Danelec’s BOQA covers six broad event categories: navigation events, AIS events, compliance events, weather events, motion events and customised safety events. The system can be set up for daily reports and instant alerts for each event type.

Typical navigation event reports include breaches of cross-track error parameters and safety corridors, departures from the ECDIS active route, penetration of no-go zones, deviations from speed and heading in the active route and unscheduled stops and starts. AIS data reports can reveal collision risks from CPA and TCPA.

BOQA also captures and provides alerts on high wind events and pending heavy weather on the ship’s route, as well as motion events such as list, roll, rate of turn and transverse accelerations.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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