• 034 Through the Kara Gate

Connected Ships & Cyber security

A note by Mike O'Brien    

The connected ship is something we all know is moving forward with a great deal of momentum. Those of us at StormGeo have been a part of this and anticipating this trend for years. As a result of this foresight we are well positioned to help accommodate the needs of shipping to not only report vast amounts of data but to analyze it. StormGeo firmly believes data from connected ships is a rather small part of the overall equation. It is vitally important that the data collected is analyzed in a fashion that makes it viable and usable otherwise it simply takes up space on some hard drive or cloud server.

In a recent meeting StormGeo Shipping had at our Silicon Valley headquarters, a technology veteran spoke to our group about the evolution of technology. This person has been involved in high tech since the late 1960’s and the key message I took away is very relevant, I believe, to all participating in the world of creating data. This expert explained that the amount of available data collected in the world doubled between 1900 and 2000. It then only took from 2000 to 2013 for that amount of available data to double again and predictions embraced by the likes of IBM and others in the space suggest in the next 5-6 years we can see the amount of available data in the world doubling every 13 hours.

With this vast amount of data, experts are predicting that data itself will become free. The only value a company can bring to the table is providing expert analysis of that data. This expert analysis allowing decision makers to pin point what they need to do with a particular asset, fleet or even the broader direction of the company basis the information garnered from this enormous data set.

StormGeo is part of a group who understand data with over 1.2 billion SQL queries per day and over 3.5 terabyte of data going through the database every day. Specifically with regard to the connected ship we are collecting and analyzing data from more than 55,000 voyages annually. Some of our more sophisticated tools for collecting data such as Shippersys VDC advanced or DRS2 are collecting hundreds of pieces of data at intervals sometimes down to once every 2 minutes. This collection can be from automated sources or through manual input or a combination of the two.

This collection of data takes us from traditional business intelligence such as ‘Descriptive Analysis’ (what happened?) and Diagnostic Analytics (Why did it happen?) into a sphere beyond business intelligence into what is called Advanced Analytics such as Predictive Analytics (What will happen?) and finally Prescriptive Analytics providing fact driven actions. StormGeo tools, such as the market leading AWT SmartWatch™ , are providing just the interface for you to make critical decisions for your fleet.

With the connected ship the way of the future we are perhaps at the forefront now of the autonomous ship. Autonomous in that the vessel is not manned, rather it transmits hundreds of thousands if not millions of pieces of information to shore based staff where operational and engineering requirements of the vessel are handled remotely. This is a bold direction to consider but certainly not outside the realm of possibilities as technology continues to pave a new path forward.