24 Apr 2012
Innovation for enhanced passenger ship safety
The EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas set out the Commission's priorities for passenger ship safety at a major conference held on 24 April in Brussels to launch a consultation with stakeholders on the priority actions to come. Two JRC innovative projects in the field of maritime safety and surveillance were presented at this event.
The conference session and exhibition 'Innovations in maritime safety: New Challenges, New Solutions' explored how research and new technologies can offer innovative approaches and help raise maritime safety levels.
Within the FP7 funded project ASPIS, JRC researchers have developed a novel concept for a surveillance/alarm system for the public means of transport that records and transmits information only on the occurrence of an emergency, without compromising citizen’s right to privacy. The ASPIS system was applied in an underground / metro and two maritime scenarios:
•The cabin occupancy scenario aiming at the identification of passengers who might return to their cabins in 'abandon ship' condition. ASPIS cameras are placed in the corridors giving access to the cabins and are activated by the crew who sweep through all cabins ensuring they are empty. In the case a passenger would return to his/her cabin, the system would send an alarm and would track his/her movements, so that the appropriate actions could be taken, including eventual search and rescue.
• The restricted access door monitoring scenario: in case a restricted access door is opened, the ASPIS system alerts bridge personnel and documents who opened it and who passed through it and when.
The JRC innovative radar system MELISSA was also showcased at the conference exhibition. Since January 2012 MELISSA is being used to monitor the movements of the Costa Concordia ship at the Giglio Island in Italy in support to the Italian authorities. Data on the ship movements have been of fundamental importance during the search and rescue operations and are still crucial in the phase of fuel extraction from the ship's tanks. The JRC system MELISSA is an innovative and low-cost radar imaging system that allows for the detection of movements of objects with very high accuracy and resolution. The system is compact, portable and easily deployable and can work day and night under any weather conditions.