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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Southampton to help develop software which could transform ship maintenance

Published: 16 September 2016

Researchers from the University are to develop software that can monitor the equipment, fuel and energy performance of a ship at sea.

The University is part of the Ship Energy Assessment – Condition Optimisation & Routing Enhancement System (SEA-CORES) consortium, which provides a live model of ship performance on global operations. The development of the software is led by BAE Systems and is sponsored by Innovate UK. SEA-CORES is able to correlate variables that could affect a ship’s performance, such as energy consumption and different weather conditions.

Using genetic algorithms to track and capture the live data, SEA-CORES provides those on board with a greater understanding of the vessel’s capabilities across a wide range of operations. Researchers from Electronics and Computer Science will work on monitoring loads on the ship and applying novel machine learning techniques to a domain that has largely been data poor.

Dr Sarvapali Ramchurn, who is leading the Southampton research group, said: “Unleashing such technologies on the marine sector is likely to have a huge impact. The work we are doing at Southampton in terms of autonomous systems and machine learning will help improve the efficiency of ships and detect potential issues before they cause major damage.”

The technology could transform how the Royal Navy and BAE Systems maintain and support warships in the future by using the genetic algorithms to identify the relationships between a ship’s systems, calculate their different permutations and ultimately recommend a strategy to optimise the vessel’s performance.

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