BMT ARGOSS, a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd and Charta Software have announced a partnership to develop a robust, multi-functional software package, called METRIS, (Modelsysteem voor Evaluatie Tijpoortregeling en RIsico’S bodemberoering), meaning ‘Model system to evaluate tidal admission policy and risk of seabed touchdown’, for the Dutch Directorate-General.
The partnership aims to meet the client’s needs by combining BMT’s expertise in heading analysis, vessel response behaviour, weather forecasting and shallow water metocean conditions, with Charta’s ability to deliver high quality software. METRIS will provide a comprehensive hindcast assessment tool to test the performance of admission and dredging policy based on the probability of seabed touch down of vessels in anchorage areas and access channels to ports.
Ernst Bolt, Sr. Advisor from the Dutch Directorate-General comments: “The main factor restricting admission of deep-draught ships to ports is the risk of bottom contact. We want to ensure that we are making best use of our approach channels. For ships restricted to our access channels, the Dutch Directorate maintains a guaranteed nautical depth for a total distance of over 100 km to accommodate deep draught vessels sailing to the three large ports in the Netherlands.
“Using PROTIDE, also developed and maintained by Charta Software, tidal admission windows are set in advance to ensure a safe transit into the ports. In order to optimise the tidal admission window, to evaluate dredging policies and to identify critical zones in the access channels, it is important to have detailed insight into the critical situations where ships have the highest probabilities of sea bed contact. With METRIS, we are able to zoom in on the critical situations, giving us the insight to make changes to procedures and planning of dredging operations. This will increase the duration of the available tidal windows and reduce the risks of sea-bed contact, while minimising the cost of dredging maintenance.”
Focusing on the approach channels to Rotterdam and IJmuiden, BMT is providing the mathematical prototypes and algorithms, as well as the necessary wave, wind and current data and ship hydrodynamic characteristics. Charta is responsible for the overall system design, implementing and integrating the mathematical algorithms, data management and ensuring the interface is intuitive and user friendly.
Olger Koop, Metocean & ship hydrodynamic consultant at BMT ARGOSS explains: “What we’re building here is a hindcast model of the accessibility which can analyse a wide variety of scenarios. For example, if a ship had entered the port at some arbitrary time in the past 20 years, what would the probability of bottom touch down have been, taking into account all of the variables including the associated wind, waves and current. METRIS gives insight as to whether it would be beneficial to deepen channel segments to increase the accessibility of the port. METRIS will provide us with all the necessary tools to analyse any approach channel in the world and offers guidance to stakeholders on the nautical depth requirements when designing access channels. Furthermore, METRIS can be used to evaluate the usefulness of a tidal admission package such as PROTIDE.”
Karsten Uil, Managing director at Charta Software comments: “METRIS combines valuable data and state-of-the-art algorithms in one user friendly environment to analyse and design port accessibility strategies. The system is designed to store, handle and analyse large data sets to create various ‘what-if’ scenarios. One 20 year scenario for a port can result in the calculation of over 100.000.000 ship course, wave response, under keel clearance, squat and bottom touch down probabilities, which is a challenge to handle efficiently. The intensive work load is split into efficient calculation jobs that can be tackled by easily scalable calculation nodes. Finally smart user interface controls give the end-user the possibility to use grouping, pivots and plotting techniques to grasp the large amounts of generated results.”