Activity 3

Activity 3


Activity 3: Piloting of instruments and platforms

The objective of this activity is to prepare the main instruments that will be used for the remote monitoring and targeting of compliance inspections, within CompMon. The instruments to be used are applied in different platforms. They build on the experiences gained from previous EU projects (e.g. BSR InnoShip and JRC Sirenas-R) and individual work by the CompMon partners. This activity is the operational core of the Action, where detection of non-compliance will lead to action by port inspectors. Selection of ships for port inspections will be based on experiences with previous inspections and on results from the remote monitoring of ships exhaust gas from shore and at sea.

Most CompMon platforms calculate the fuel sulphur content of individual ships from SO2/CO2 measurements in the exhaust plumes. The measurement principle of optical equipment builds on the light absorption characteristics of SO2 gas in the exhaust plume.

The instruments piloted in this activity are diversified to the extent needed to collect best practices from different angles and where possible, with different instruments.

Sub-activity 3.1 - Piloting of observation platforms

The scope of this sub-activity is to pilot instruments that were proven in preceding research and testing projects and to evaluate their utility for inspection operations. Authorities will use the local instrumental information in near real time to target port inspections and relay the relevant findings to other authorities via manual input to the THETIS-EU system. They can also target the inspections with instrumental information available from other authorities via the THETIS-EU system. This will result in more accurate targeting of inspections in ports.

Participating states have different types of coastline with divergent traffic densities. Therefore equipment will be piloted in several locations to achieve more accurate coverage. Equipment will be installed at port entrances, bridges and lighthouses, along shipping lanes and routes. Monitoring equipment will also be installed on government vessels engaged in other surveillance duties, covering therefore a larger area than stationary structures, due to their mobility.

Sub-activity 3.2 - Piloting of Airborne platforms

The objective of the sub-activity is to use airborne measurements to monitor the compliance of ships sailing in the open sea within the SECA areas; here the risk to find non-complying ships is believed to be highest, according to inspection authorities. Preliminary testing of equipment for measuring air samples (sniffing) by planes and helicopters has shown good results. Present systems are based on standardized equipment for air quality monitoring that has been modified for flight operations. The equipment and its measurement process can be made fully automatic, including the required daily calibrations. Such automated systems are already in use.

The following airborne platforms will be piloted in this sub-activity: 

  • Piper Navajo platform (piloted by Chalmers University). A flight system for ships has been certified under CompMon during 2014, by the European Air Safety Agency for airborne measurements in a Navajo Piper. Under the Action, it is planned to provide a compliance monitoring service using this aircraft. In addition the experience gained from certifying the system will help to certify installations for other aircrafts. As part of the project, Chalmers has certified the system for fixed installation in the Navajo Piper and pilot monitoring will be carried out during 40 flight hours in Swedish, Danish and international waters. 
  • Skyvan platform (piloted by the Finnish Meteorological Institute). Under the CompMon Action, the Short SC.7 Skyvan of Aalto University will be equipped with updated sensors for CO2, SO2 and particles, and used as a backup platform for airborne compliance monitoring primarily in the Northern Baltic Sea. The Skyvan platform is ready to be used for compliance monitoring at sea, in case operations on other Finnish platforms would prove impractical e.g. for certification reasons, and for the purpose of the CompMon Innovation Partnership.
  • The Scientific Service MUMM of the Operational Directorate Nature of the Royal Belgian Institute of Naturals Sciences (RBINS) has committed itself to perform 125 flight hours of Marpol Annex VI compliance monitoring in the period 2015-2016 for the CompMon project. The flights will be executed over Belgian and neighbouring countries waters (Bonn Agreement Quadripartite Zone). In addition ILT will co-finance additional 25 MUMM flight hours over Dutch waters (outside the Quadripartite Zone).

The first monitoring was implemented during the Belgian Sniffer campaign 2015, this campaign was organised by MUMM in the first two weeks of October 2015 (week 40-41). OD Nature has made its surveillance aircraft available for the execution of the Belgian Sniffer Campaign. Chalmers University has made the sniffer prototype sensor available with tailor made software. During this first campaign, 150 different ships where monitored.

Based on the lessons learnt from the test-phase, a public procurement procedure is launched for the acquirement of a new sniffer sensor system for installation on board of the Belgian surveillance aircraft. This new sniffer sensor will be used for random controls spread over time. The procurement was published in January 2016. The delivery and installation of the airborne sniffer is expected in August 2016. In the total time frame of this project 1000 to 1500 ships can be monitored using the Belgian Aircraft.

Sub-activity 3.3 - Piloting of handheld fuel analysis equipment

The objective of this sub-activity is to pilot hand-held fuel analysis equipment for inspection officers. A handheld device is a good tool which enables measurement directly on board. This will speeds up the process compared to today's methods that uses samples sent to the laboratory for analysis and results can only be obtained after few days. With portable measuring equipment, ships that are "non-compliant" will directly be identified in the port. 

The measuring instruments that will be used in this project is a XRF meter, which will be acquired by the Swedish, Finnish and Dutch inspection authorities. The meter connected to the computer and the results can be stored in multiple formats. A certificate of the measurement can be printed digitally and in paper format immediately after measurement. For quick analysis of fuel on sulphur, a hand held XRF equipment is used in the Netherlands ports since 2014. Around 300 additional samples and analyses will be planned and taken in 2015 and 2016 under this Action. The outcome of this activity is a summary report on the experiences with the XRF instruments, and where relevant, data to THETIS-EU.