Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd., a world leading company operating marine survey vessels and research submersibles, is commissioned by JAMSTEC to operate and manage a range of marine vessels and to contribute survey support in the exploration of the world’s oceans.
The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) is an organization that aims to contribute to the advancement of academic research, as well as to the improvement of marine science and technology, through its fundamental research and development work on the oceans and its cooperative activities on ocean research for the benefit of peace and human welfare.
At Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd., high quality weather forecasting data and data monitoring tools are essential to conducting comprehensive ocean research.
Capt. Satoshi Susami
Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd. provides support to deep-sea exploration projects by managing research ships and equipment. In their survey support exploring the ocean and the dynamics of seafloors, Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd. needed advanced and highly accurate weather forecasts to contribute to both the safety of their vessels and the efficiency of their field survey work.
The company’s marine survey vessels not only operate in the sea around Japan, they also need to sail worldwide in order to conduct field surveys. This can involve sailing to remote spots far away from the common routes traversed by merchant ships. In order to complete a field survey, the vessel has to remain at a particular site area for several days, and move around the site to carry out a thorough investigation. The ship captain, therefore, needs to prepare a solid sailing plan based on the forecasted weather conditions.
It is useful for researchers to be able to obtain as much data as possible within a short investigation period. Therefore, Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd. needed to provide survey ships with a highly accurate 7-day forecast on global winds and sea conditions in order to ensure both the safety and efficiency of the field survey.
Prior to using StormGeo’s Bon Voyage System (BVS), Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd.'s marine survey vessels received the weather forecast from a Japanese service provider. However, the company did not find this solution to be sufficient. Since Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd.'s ships were sailing the open sea, due to the issue of different time zones, the vessels could not get the weather forecast for a specific site at the time they needed.
Furthermore, the company had reservations about the accuracy of the weather forecast provided. Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd. was, therefore, looking for a weather forecasting service provider based on the accuracy of the forecast, response time, cost-effectiveness and the type of data provided.
StormGeo’s Bon Voyage System (BVS) provides the latest weather data for a specific area 24/7, no matter the time zone. “Using BVS, I can now define the forecast coverage for a particular site area,” said Capt. Satoshi Susami, Ship Captain at Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd. Through the use of BVS, the ship captain also has access to around-the-clock voyage optimization information.
Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd. now relies on StormGeo’s onboard BVS to reduce weather risks in their oceanographic survey work. “With BVS, we have access to a 16-day forecast that enables the survey optimization of a particular site, and that can also support a crucial “go” or “no-go” decision,” said Captain Susami. As well as global weather and ocean forecasts, BVS also provides site-specific forecasts that help facilitate the safety and efficiency of the company’s survey fieldwork.
The key benefits of BVS for Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd. are that the weather data provided has global coverage, is highly accurate, and is provided in real-time. “Even though the weather data covers the whole world, the price is reasonable,” added Captain Susami.
In addition, BVS weather and ocean data is delivered to ships by email in a highly compressed format, which significantly minimizes communication costs. This data is then used to generate color-enhanced maps and graphics that enable the ship’s captain to easily interpret potential problem areas in advance and make informed decisions.
Since using StormGeo’s Bon Voyage System, Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd. has seen marked improvements in terms of fieldwork planning and the efficiency of survey operations, as well as a reduction in both weather risks and communication costs.
All photos at top: ©JAMSTEC