Through a robust, flexible and unified data-transmission framework, the upgraded system enables the processing and visualisation of real-time and historical data both on board and ashore. Such is the efficiency of the data-transmission process that readings are transferred from vessel equipment to the METIS cloud platform in a second or less, making them immediately available for analysis.
“With the latest generation of Ship Connect, we have set the standard for the interoperability which will shape shipping’s digital future,” said Serafeim Katsikas, CTO, METIS Cyberspace Technology. “The system is lightweight, efficient and compatible with all data sources, requiring minimal resources and optimising network bandwidth. It is not only extremely fast but secure and dependable, offering shipowners a solid foundation on which to base key operational decisions for enhanced vessel performance, sustainability and safety.”
Backed by MQTT, the new standard messaging protocol for the IoT, and Google’s Protocol Buffers (Protobuf) language- and platform-neutral mechanism for serialising structured data, the system’s new framework is also scalable to accommodate the installation of millions of IoT devices.
“Ship Connect is built on widely supported, open-source architecture as opposed to the closed, proprietary kind that we see in many other systems currently available on the market,” said Katsikas. “It therefore supports our objectives by allowing cross-platform integration and seamless interconnection with third-party systems.” In addition, the framework’s real-time event-handling capabilities support distributed event-driven processing, he continues. “This brings computation and data storage closer to the data source, facilitating the development and mass implementation of advanced shipping applications right up to the level of autonomous vessels.”
The new architecture includes mechanisms to safeguard quality of service, while leading-edge message-encryption and user-authentication protocols ensure security. Bidirectional communication between device and cloud streamlines support troubleshooting and updates.