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EU Research Project to improve safety in Arctic shipping

The goal is a new risk-led approach for Arctic shipping, ship design, and work at sea.
Aalto University School of Engineering

A new three-year research project, funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, has been launched to address safety and efficiency in Arctic ship operations. SEDNA ((Safe maritime operations under extreme conditions: the Arctic case)) will develop a novel risk-based approach to Arctic navigation, ship design and maritime operations based partly on the work of the Aalto University LRF Centre of Excellence for Arctic Shipping and Operations.

Recent years have seen a rapid increase in shipping operations in Arctic regions, as ice cover has reduced due to global warming. The harsh environment poses new challenges to seafarers and vessels: extreme temperatures, icing of vital equipment, remoteness, fast-changing sea ice covers and a lack of search and rescue infrastructure are very real risks to passengers and crew. These challenges are exacerbated by a lack of accurate sea ice forecasting and absence of ship bridges specifically designed for the Arctic and.

'The development of risk-based plans in the project are the responsibility of Aalto, and these methods will have a key role in the future as we ensure the safety of Arctic shipping as transport increases and ice conditions change', says Professor Pentti Kujala, Vice Dean at Aalto University.

SEDNA is addressing these problems in a variety of ways. Firstly, it will develop the ‘Safe Arctic Bridge’ which will use augmented reality to improve situational awareness and to support the crew in their decision making.

SEDNA will also develop anti-icing solutions for vessels’ superstructures with a combination of a special surface texture and an oil-based coating. In addition, energy-efficient electro-thermal systems will be used.

The aim is to develop a risk-based design framework for ship safety, including the definition of hazard scenarios, their likelihood and their expected consequences. In particular, this will take into account ice loads and their effects on ships based partly on the work of the Aalto University LRF Centre of Excellence for Arctic Shipping and Operations. It is expected that the framework will contribute to future development of the International Maritime Organization’s Polar Code.

In addition, SEDNA will integrate dynamic meteorological and oceanographic data with real-time ice movement predictions and ship performance data to allow for an optimisation of Arctic voyages. In particular, this will lead to the creation of new regional weather and sea ice probability forecast products and ship-based ice monitoring systems. These solutions will provide routing decision support and help to optimise Arctic voyages in terms of safety and fuel efficiency. SEDNA will also propose a CEN Workshop Agreement on a process to systematically address safety during bunkering of methanol as a marine fuel.

SEDNA started in June 2017 and will run for three years. Its total budget is around €6.5m. The project is led by BMT Group Ltd (UK) and brings together 13 partners from six different countries, including China. The partners are University College London (UK), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), Atkitektur – og designhøgskolen i Oslo (Norway), University of Southampton (UK), MET Office (UK), Cork Institute of Technology (Ireland), Aalto University (Finland), Lloyd’s Register EMEA (UK), Aker Arctic Technology Inc. (Finland), Stena Rederi AB (Sweden), Dalian University of Technology (China) and Harbin Engineering University (China).

For additional information:

Professor Pentti Kujala
Aalto-yliopisto
[email protected], tel. +358400 878145

SEDNA https://sedna-project.eu/.

Aalto University LRF Centre of Excellence for Arctic Shipping and Operations
http://cearctic.aalto.fi/en/

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