Maritime activity and navigation have always been at the heart of grand human civilizations. The sea allowed for international trade and travel from as far back as these two activities go. Ancient sailors used analogue technologies such as astrolabes, combining their expertise of the instrument with their knowledge of astronomy to guide them along their journey.
Fortunately for the modern-day mariners, very advanced technologies have been developed that allow for easier, faster and much more accurate navigation. Namely the GPS, which relies on satellite transmissions to pave the way for the vessels and pinpoint their location remotely.
It is also a priority that the cargo and the passengers of these ships be transported in all safety. In the olden times this was a tricky bet, as the vessel architecture of the time was not very durable against the forces of nature acting on the high seas. Nowadays, not only are the ships built from different, much more reliable materials, but they are also equipped with and supported by instruments that could prevent shipwrecks and other adverse occurrences. What are these technologies? Let’s explore!
Smart shipping and data buoys
The technology used in maritime vessels is so advanced that nowadays we see a system called Smart shipping installed in many cargo ships. This innovation is completely groundbreaking as – just like in the now existing case of the cars and the aircrafts – it allows for unmanned navigation. This trend is much more common than you may imagine, as almost 10% of the newest cargo vessels are smart ships. In addition to their autonomous nature, they also boast cutting-edge meteorological sensors that ultimately contribute to safer navigation.
Onboard, one can find the latest software used in navigation; this is essential for the maritime commerce, allowing for quicker and more secure delivery. Other digital monitoring and data analyses are constantly being developed to render the marine trade all the more efficient and profitable.
To aid the ships from without, external sensors are being put in place. Buoys, the floating masses that often finds near the beach, are no longer used exclusively for marking the distance swam. The ones used by vessels are equipped with data sensors that helping them navigate the international waters. These data buoys measure sea levels at a very high precision (1mm!), obtain meteorological updates, such as the wind strength and direction, and ascertain the temperature of the water, a piece of information required for fishing. Moving or drifting data buoys are also able to avert the ships of hurricanes and cyclone activities in the vicinity.
They also make great helpers in rescue operations. They are able to send information about the target to the vessels with which they are in communication, making the search much more efficient and less-time consuming – something that could prove critical in cases of serious disasters.
When it comes to other maritime vessels in the vicinity, fast and efficient communication is a must. Ships transfer data between themselves, a practice that helps both parties safely navigate the waters and exchange about important matters pertaining to their transportation. To do this, they utilize very-high frequency (VHF) radio waves, satellites and WiFi.
The field of maritime communication is a constantly developing one, with newer and newer solutions constantly arriving on the market.
For more information about marine solutions, but also those relating to the military, aeronautics, and oil and gas industry, visit bayanatengineering.qa. Bayanat is a commercial engineering company, based in Doha. They are experts of cutting-edge solutions in the given fields and will be sure to guide you in your search for the best technologies for your vessel.