Environmental Information For Passengers As Ferry Operators Go Green

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Source: Chelsea Technologies Group

The new Chelsea AquaLine FerryBox is a generic, robust environmental monitoring system for ships of opportunity such as ferries, cargo vessels, cruise liners as well as inland waterway vessels. Already proven internationally it provides real-time information for operators, passengers and managers on the environmental state of the surface waters through which the vessel passes.

The AquaLine Ferrybox System has been carefully designed to ensure that installation within commercial vessels can be easily achieved with little or no impact on the vessel’s primary objective. The system’s modular design ensures that parts can be installed quickly and with minimum effort. The system has also been carefully designed such that maintenance is kept to a minimum and can be quickly and easily conducted whilst the vessel is in port. Data is logged onboard and then transmitted to shore by GSM phone links and satellite systems.

Real-time display of sea surface data, together with explanatory information, is viewed on screens throughout the ship giving enhanced passenger information. Such features can offer the ferry company significant benefits in advertising, demonstrating to their customers a corporate commitment in maintaining the quality of environment in which they operate. The same display also provides passengers with a map of their position on route, allowing them to visually assess the remaining time for their journey.

The AquaLine FerryBox evolved from a three year European funded project, which involved the development and comparison of eight routinely operated European ferries. The data obtained from this programme has provided a comprehensive source for assessment of long-term trends in coastal and ecological models on water transport and environmental parameters.

The Chelsea Technologies system was fitted to the P&O vessel ‘PRIDE OF BILBAO’, operating from Portsmouth, UK to Bilbao, Spain and continues to provide data to the National Oceanographic Centre (NOC), Southampton. The latest system is currently being fitted to the Northlink Ferries vessel, the ‘HASCOSAY’, which operates between Aberdeen and Lerwick, Shetlands. Data collected from this route will feed into the aquatic environment programme of the Fisheries Research Services in Aberdeen.

Chelsea Technologies Group will be holding a workshop on the AquaLine FerryBox system together with other key products at Ocean Business 2007, the ocean technology training and procurement forum, taking place during 27-29 March at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. This event will provide delegates with an opportunity to actually test-drive the equipment and systems. To reserve a place contact Ellen Keegan (ekeegan@chelsa.co.uk).

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