Jan 10, 2024 | Marine electronics & digitalisation news

MSE International, in collaboration with Red Scientific, has been awarded BridgeAI funding from Innovate UK, for its DriveWise project which will assess the feasibility of using AI techniques in the field of maritime decarbonisation.

With maritime transportation undergoing two transformations – decarbonisation of propulsion systems and de-crewing/automation (including remote / autonomous operation) – significant advances will be required in condition monitoring (to improve the system availability and safety) and in system optimisation (to maximise reduction in energy use and carbon emissions).  

A number of all-electric and hybrid-electric marine propulsion drivetrains are being developed to reduce emissions from maritime transport.  This trend is expected to accelerate as net-zero targets get more imminent and as IMO Marpol regulations are tightened.  This creates business needs that are not yet considered to be adequately met, including:

  • Monitoring of drive characteristics (eg battery status) to detect operating states and use-cases which accelerate degradation;
  • Enhanced condition-based maintenance of drives and batteries to maximise availability, optimise replacement planning and minimise risk of failure at sea;
  • Optimisation of hull clean scheduling to minimise consumption of costly net-zero fuels (bio-fuels, e-fuels);

The DriveWise project intends to show the feasibility of using AI techniques to deliver actionable (by human or machine) insight from drive system data to meet one or more of the needs outlined above. It is hoped this feasibility project will lead to trials  of these techniques on real vessels in the future.

MSE International will gather datasets associated with the vessels’ drivetrains including details of any associated problems (failures, degradations or other anomalies), while RED Scientific, as an independent research, technical support and engineering company, will trial the AI / ML techniques with the goal of showing that it is feasible to predict failures and degradations that may occur. 

Bridge AI is designed to empower UK organisations to harness the power of AI through support and funding. The £100m investment fund comes partly from Innovate UK and the Technologies Mission Fund (TMF).

Dr Jonathan Williams, CEO MSE International said: “As operators deploy digital twin technology, vessel systems increasingly incorporate condition monitoring capability.  The potential for adding value to these expanding data resources through data analytics is huge.  The DriveWise project is exploring AI tools that could realise this value-add, aiming to justify further investment in advancing maritime AI capability.”

RED Scientific director Jeremy Cogman added: “Using AI / ML techniques, RED can elicit insight in to subtle, multi-factor effects that the human eye or simple statistics cannot determine. These techniques have the potential to deliver real value as part of marine decarbonisation and automation.”

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