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Columbia, MD, United States

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SST.2013.4-2. | Award Amount: 4.22M | Year: 2013

In the day-to-day ship operations, structural and machinery failures may lead to major accidents, endangering crew and passengers lives onboard, posing a threat to the environment, damaging the ship itself and having a great impact in terms of business losses. Moreover, with the introduction and building of a big number of new ships, their monitoring and inspection from both regulatory bodies and Classification Societies has become more and more difficult in order to obtain the optimum inspection results and eliminating the hazards posed by high-risk and sub-standard ships. In this respect, the INCASS (Inspection Capabilities for Enhanced Ship Safety) project brings together a range of experienced and dedicated partners in order to tackle the issue of ship inspection, identification of high-risk ships, providing access to information related to ship surveys independent of the ships flag and inspection regime and moreover incorporate enhanced and harmonised cooperation of maritime stakeholders in order to avoid ship accidents, promote maritime safety and protect the environment. The INCASS consortium aims to bring an innovative solution to the ship inspection regime through the introduction of enhanced inspection of ship structures based on robotic platforms, providing ship structures and machinery monitoring with real time information using intelligent sensors and incorporate Structural and Machinery Risk Analysis. Moreover, by introducing Condition Based inspection tools and methodologies, reliability and criticality based maintenance, providing an enhanced Central Database including ship structures and machinery available to maritime authorities (e.g. EMSA, Port State Control), Classification Societies and ship operators and eventually by developing a Decision Support System for ship structures and machinery for continuous monitoring and risk analysis and management of ship operations.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2013.2.4-2 | Award Amount: 4.18M | Year: 2014

The IPATCH project addresses Security Topic SEC-2013.2.4-2: Non-military protection measures for merchant shipping against piracy. The goal of the IPATCH project is three-fold: (1) To perform an in-depth analysis of the legal, ethical, economic and societal implications of existing counter piracy measures. (2) To produce a manual to aid in the usage and further development of counter-piracy measures. (3) To develop an onboard ship automated decision support tool providing the operator with a robust real time threat assessment and mitigation of piracy threats. The analysis performed under (1) will lead to recommendations for the use of countermeasures in a range of scenarios, structured as a manual (2), and development and implementation of a proactive surveillance system forming part of the system developed in (3). The surveillance system will robustly monitor the area around maritime vessels, providing early warning to crew members if piracy threats are detected. A low false alarm rate due to environmental or other innocuous events, combined with high threat detection sensitivity are central ambitions of the project. To achieve these goals, a multispectral sensor suite comprising both passive and active sensors is envisaged, i.e., a system based on radar, visual and thermal sensors. The sensor suite will be complemented with advanced algorithms for information fusion, object detection and classification, and high level modelling of intent and behaviour analysis. The IPATCH project is strongly user-driven and demonstration of the developed surveillance system will be conducted in two different maritime environments. Finally, the IPATCH project will make contributions to evolving standards in detection systems.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SST.2013.4-1. | Award Amount: 6.59M | Year: 2013

The 2012 guidelines on the attained Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships (MEPC.212(63)) represent a major step forward in implementing the REGULATIONS ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF SHIPS (resolution MEPC.203(62)). There are, however, serious concerns regarding the sufficiency of propulsion power and of steering devices to maintain the manoeuvrability of ships in adverse conditions, hence the safety of ships. This gave reason for additional considerations and studies at IMO (MEPC 64/4/13). Furthermore, whereas present EEDI regulations concern the limitation of toxic gas emissions by ship operation, what is a new constraint in ship design and operation, it necessary to look holistically into this and find the right balance between efficiency, economy, safety and greenness. The aim of the proposed research project is to address the above by: further development and refinement of high fidelity, hydrodynamic simulation software tools for the efficient analysis of the manoeuvring performance and safety of ships in complex environmental conditions; Performing seakeeping/manoeuvring model tests in combined seaway/wind environment for different ship types, to provide the required basis for the validation of results obtained by numerical simulations, whereas full scale measurements available to the consortium will be exploited; Integrating validated software tools into a ship design software platform and set-up of a multi-objective optimization procedure; Investigating the impact of the proposed new guidelines on the design and operational characteristics of various ship types; investigating in parallel the impact on EEDI by the developed integrated/holistic optimisation procedure in a series of case studies; development of new guidelines for the required minimum propulsion power and steering performance to maintain manoeuvrability in adverse conditions; preparing and submitting to IMO a summary of results and recommendations for further consideration.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SPIRE-01-2014 | Award Amount: 5.88M | Year: 2015

The Process Industries require a high degree of automation, monitoring, and advanced simulation and control for their often complex manufacturing processes and operations. Emphasis is on continuous or batch production, mixing, reaction and separation of materials of higher value. Indeed, increased globalisation and competition are drivers for process analytical technologies (PAT) that enable seamless process control, greater flexibility and cost efficiency. ProPAT aims to develop novel sensors and analysers for providing measurements on composition, particle size and local bulk properties, as well as more traditional but smart sensors for measuring other process parameters, such as temperature, flowrate, pressure, etc., and integrate them into a versatile global control platform for data acquisition, data processing & mining and User Interface in order to measure properties of process streams and products, accurately and in real-time. The platform also provides self-learning and predictive capabilities aimed for dramatically reducing overcosts derived from even slight deviations from the optimum process. Low cost MEMS-NIR spectroscopic and granulometric analysers, smart sensors for in batch and in continuous processes will be developed and integrated into the global control platform with the chemometric tools and the predictive software to deliver an integrated process control platform. ProPAT will enable near real time closed-loop process control to operate industrial processes at their optimum, both economically and environmentally, while ensuring high levels of quality. It will also allow the uptake of the Quality by Design for continuous process improvement. The project results will be validated in different processes and applications including milling of minerals, ceramics, metals, mixing and granulation of pharma products and polymerization of resins, and will represent a major step forward towards more efficient, reliable and sustainable industrial operation.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2012.5.2-3. | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2012

The proposal aims to investigate two novel ideas concerning ship structures. First the introduction of High Strength Low Alloyed Steels (HSLA) in specific structural details in order to deal with the major issue of crack initiation and propagation in critical areas of ships and second the replacement of specific structural parts of the ship with composite materials. Regarding the use of HSLA steels, it has been well documented that todays merchant ships are prone to crack initiation and propagation in stress concentration areas mostly due to fatigue loads. In this respect it is envisaged to replace Grade A or AH steels by HSLA steels with high toughness properties in specific areas of the ship structure, thereby reducing the risk of cracks developing in stress concentration areas. Concerning the use of composite materials, it is envisaged that they could replace parts of the steel structure, such as superstructures, piping and other non-critical parts. Composite materials can replace steel in certain parts of the ship thereby reducing weight and corrosion effects, without sacrificing structural integrity.

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