Rauma’s smart fairway
Meritaito Ltd has installed 33 ‘smart beacons’ on the fairway maintained by the Finnish Transport Agency and the Port of Rauma, increasing safety and saving money for the port administration.
From the beginning of October, pilots and the Maritime Transport Centre at Rauma will be able to adjust the light output of these new beacons through the use of a smartphone app.
"The adjustability increases safety, because the pilot can choose just the right light output for the entire fairway or just a single beacon. For example, in foggy weather, the beacon’s twilight switch would not know that light output needs to be increased due to poor visibility," explained Meritaito's Tero Tuominen.
Meritaito is the contractor for Rauma’s smart fairway project and the developer and owner of the SeaDatics system. SeaDatics is the background system that monitors the status of marine safety equipment and if necessary, controls the light output of beacons. All changes in light output will remain in the log so it is possible to retrospectively determine who set the lights and when, for how long and to what intensity.
According to works supervisor, Kalle Rantala, the installation work related to safety equipment went according to plan and within the agreed timetable.
Improving the safety of Rauma’s fairway was particularly important as the safe clearance depth of the fairway will increase from 10 metres to 12 metres in the new year leading to a shift upwards in vessel sizes visiting the port.
Intelligent beacons also save money for the organisation in charge as this dimming will improve the battery life of the beacons and cut down on expensive battery changes.
"It could be compared with setting the brightness of a flashlight; if the brightness is set at full, the battery will be discharge quickly. At sea, replacing batteries is slightly more difficult, so longer service life will significantly reduce maintenance costs," explains Project Manager Joonatan Ahlroos from the Finnish Transport Agency.
DIGITALISATION PROJECTRauma's smart fairway is part of the Finnish Transport Agency's digitalisation project. One of the aims of the project is to make navigation safer and more efficient. Adding intelligence to the fairway is one way to achieve these goals.
"We have experimented with smart beacons already on the Färjsund ferry, and received very positive feedback from the pilots. This encouraged us to turn the Rauma fairway into a smart fairway. If the experiences are positive in Rauma, it is possible that smart fairways will also appear in the next few years on other seafronts maintained by the Finnish Transport Agency," added Ahlroo.
By Jake Frith
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