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CASCADe R&D project develops new ship bridge designs

CASCADe, a three-year, EU-funded project which is closing at the end of January, reports that it has developed new methodologies for information sharing and display on a ship’s bridge.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}CASCADe says it has developed a new adaptive bridge design methodology that treats both human agents and electronic equipment as parts of a cooperative system, allowing for optimised information sharing.

A set of adaptive bridge displays has also been developed, including a customisable touch screen ‘Shared Display’ that allows one screen to show multiple sources of information in whatever configuration is most suitable for a particular situation. With the ‘Shared Display’ the user can graphically annotate maps, leave notes for other crew members or complete checklists electronically.

The CASCADe console has additionally been integrated with tools used by pilots in Portable Pilot Units (PPUs).

A protocol has been developed to share pilotage routes between the PPU and the ship’s electronic charts, while a link has also been established between the PPU and the bridge screens to allow mirroring of information from the PPU screen, enabling crew members to see extra information normally only available to the pilot.

All of these tools have been tested on both a physical simulator (a ship simulator used for training) and a virtual simulator (a software-based simulation of a ship bridge).

CASCADe says that the virtual simulation platform is useful in concept development as it allows for testing of new bridge designs at early stages, based purely on computational models. By simulating human-machine interaction, the project says that it is possible to analyse information flow and optimise the information exchange between seafarers and bridge equipment. 

The project was coordinated by OFFIS (Oldenburg Research and Development Institute for Information Technology Tools and Systems), and included a consortium of seven project partners from five EU countries including BMT Group, Raytheon Anschuetz, Mastermind Shipmanagement, the University of Cardiff, Marimatech and Symbio Concepts & Products. 

Four further associated partners were also involved, including the Maritime Cluster Northern Germany, Nautilus International, NSB Niederelbe Schiffahrtsgesellschaft and the University of Tasmania.{/mprestriction}

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