A water and weather application being trialled as part of the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s new Internet of Things (IoT) platform is anticipated to improve operational safety and efficiency.

The application uses an extensive network of sensors to provide accurate and up-to-date water (hydro) and weather (meteo) data particularly for the planning and management of shipping.

Speaking about the construction of the IoT platform, announced a year ago by the collaborating partners IBM, Cisco, Esri and Axians, port authority COO Ronald Paul, said: “It’s a fantastic step in the development of Rotterdam as ‘smartest port.

“Just as important, however, is that the cloud platform and the generated real-time information, which includes infrastructure, water and weather condition data, enable us to further improve mission-critical processes in the service to our clients.”

44 sensors

The delivered hydro/meteo system obtains height of tide, tidal stream, salinity, wind speed, wind direction and visibility data via a combination of 44 sensors in the port, many prediction models, data from Rijkswaterstaat and astronomical calculations. This enables the application to contribute to reductions of waiting times and optimisation of berthing, loading/unloading and departure times.

The technology allows, for example, to more precisely predict the best time to berth and depart, depending on water conditions, while guaranteeing maximum loads.

Digital developments such as the ability of the sensors to generate continued measurement data which can communicate with other autonomous systems “lays the foundation to facilitate autonomous shipping in the Port of Rotterdam in the future,” said the port.

“The application is actually essential in decision support during the safe and efficient handling of shipping,” it stated.

Users of the hydro/meteo system currently include the Pilotage Service, Rijkswaterstaat, DCMR and various departments within the Port Authority, while the IoT platform is already processing around 1.2 million data points for models, systems and users daily.

Source: Greenport