BAE Systems is testing a new technology, the Ship Energy Assessment – Condition Optimisation & Routing Enhancement System (SEA-CORES), which is being developed to transform ship maintenance for the UK Royal Navy and commercial organisations.

Sponsored by Innovate UK, the jointly funded research project seeks to develop a technology that monitors equipment, fuel and energy performance for better management of fleets in real-time.

BAE Systems is partnering with researchers from the University of Southampton on the project, with James Fisher and Sons, and Fugro and OSISoft UK serving as the technology suppliers.

"The technology is valuable for commercial companies looking for opportunities to boost the competitiveness of their operations."

BAE Systems engineering and energy services head Chris Courtaux said: “This technology will provide the Royal Navy with valuable information that will enable it to make better decisions about how it operates the fleet. For instance, reducing speed may save fuel, but could increase the wear to the engine if it sails below its optimum speed.

“Providing real-time data about the impact of such decisions can help the operator to reduce fuel consumption and minimise wear on the engine, helping to save costs and increase the availability of the fleet to fulfil operational commitments around the world.

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“The same technology is valuable for commercial companies looking for opportunities to boost the competitiveness of their operations.”

The SEA-CORES has been designed to cater to the increasing complexities of modern warships and the large amount of data they produce.

It analyses the vibration and trim performance of the vessel, its hull and superstructure state along with environmental conditions such as weather and associated ship performance characteristics, including energy consumption.

SEA-CORES operates together with BAE System’s existing technologies, ship energy assessment system (SEAS) and system information exploitation (SIE) technology, connecting fuel and engine optimisation to model the relationships between the different ships systems.

It then advises strategies using genetic algorithms for an optimised vessel performance.

The technology is being tested on a commercial tanker supplied by James Fisher and Sons in Northern Europe, and will be carried out until the end of this year.

Image: New technology to enhance modern warship performance. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.