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AWT launches BVS 7.0

Applied Weather Technology (AWT) has released a new version of its Bon Voyage (BVS) marine voyage optimisation system, BVS Version 7.0, featuring a number of new developments intended to help vessels find safer and more fuel-efficient routes.

The company says that BVS 7 includes access to high-resolution weather and ocean data via broadband, enhanced voyage optimisation and new safety features.

The program can generate compressed colour-enhanced maps and graphics to allow ship captains to view and interpret potential problem areas. Access to 16-day forecasts is available, updated four times per day, with other parameters such as pirate attack information, port vicinity forecasts, satellite imagery and high seas bulletins delivered in near real time.

BVS automatically fails over to e-mail data delivery in the event of an internet interruption so the data continues to be sent to the vessel.

The new version of the software also has an improved optimisation algorithm that now includes customisable speed down and consumption curves, which AWT says should deliver more accurate estimates of fuel cost and time en route.

The algorithm takes into account ECA areas and the cost differential of fuel types when providing the optimal route, and the route can be customised to take other parameters into account, including load-line restrictions and user-specified no-go areas. Traffic separation lanes are also displayed.

For planning voyages longer than 10 days, BVS 7.0 includes AWT’s weather speed loss model called Climatological Ship Resistance.

This model uses historical weather from the past 12 years that evaluates the day of the year, vessel location, heading, ship type and the appropriate weather pattern (El Niño, La Niña or Neutral) to calculate the best long range speed loss due to weather.

AWT says that this model gives superior results for short or long term strategic route planning when optimising a voyage and also when calculating the vessel arrival time.

“Having access to the best quality weather and ocean data is imperative for making informed routing decisions onboard a vessel,” said Richard Brown, AWT’s vice president of product management.

“With BVS 7.0, captains have fast access to the highest resolution data available. This frequent access to data gives captains the data they need to make critical decisions regarding safety and efficiency while en route.”

BVS includes additional safety features such as resonance alerts to inform captains of the potential for severe motions, and environmental modelling that AWT says enables it to accurately forecast storm strengths and effects.

BVS 7.0 also includes a forecast indicating where rogue waves are more likely to occur, as well as adding near real-time access to data on global pirate attacks from the IMB that are supplemented with reports from NATO. This information is displayed on a colour-coded chart indicating where, when and what type of attack, and a detailed summary can easily be accessed.

“AWT’s goal is to continuously innovate and provide our customers the best tools possible to achieve safe and fuel efficient voyages,” said Haydn Jones, AWT’s director of international operations.

“In the present shipping economic environment of high bunker fuel costs, ship operators and suppliers across the world are looking at a wide range of initiatives to enhance efficiency. Although still valid efficiency solutions, many of these initiatives involve high capital investment or complex installations.”

“Voyage optimisation based on present and forecast weather conditions on the other hand is a low investment approach which we believe makes it an essential tool for ship owners and operators alike.”

BVS users now also have access to port vicinity forecasts for over 2,700 ports around the world. These forecasts include the air temperature, precipitation amount, visibility, winds and humidity near the port and the winds and waves that might affect the pilot.

This data can be used to help captains evaluate if conditions on arrival might be a problem and to plan weather windows for loading or discharging cargo.

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