The development of loading and unloading operations is an essential part of the logistical chain of maritime transportation. One of the determining factors in this process is the movement of moored ships, which has a notable influence over the efficiency of the operation. The implementation of systems to characterize their real behavior would provide an important tool for the management of these activities.
In this context the Water and Environmental Engineering Group (GEAMA) at the University of A Coruña, Spain (UDC), through different projects executed in collaboration with the Port Authority of A Coruña (Spain), has developed an integrated system for monitoring the dynamic behavior of moored vessels. This system includes different devices which allow to characterize their six degrees of freedom and tensions in certain mooring lines.
The analysis of motions is carried out using three combined technologies. Ship rotations (roll, pitch and yaw) are registered by means of an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) developed by the Research Group. The translations of heave and surge are analyzed with a visual tracking system using fixed cameras deployed near the location. Finally, the evaluation of sway motion and an additional measure of yaw are obtained using two laser-distance meters located over the dock.
All devices integrated in the system were calibrated in laboratory at the R+D Centre CITTEC-UDC with several series of tests. Once the methodology was validated, the system has been employed in different projects carried out in Inner and Outer Ports of the city of A Coruña, with more than 30 monitored ships.