New Research to Improve Search and Rescue at Sea
BMT Ltd is to explore a web-based approach for the delivery of MET Office forecasts to help improve search and rescue (SAR) operations. The work will form part of the two-year, £2.2 million DEWS (Delivering Environmental Web Services) project. This is being undertaken by a MET Office-led consortium, under contract to the UK Department of Trade and Industry through its technology innovation programme.
Initial research will focus on data transfer protocols, the brokering of large volume 4-D ocean forecasts, remote modelling of drift scenarios and optimal ways to move and visualise information securely over the web. The Environmental Systems Science Centre (ESSC) at Reading University, which hosts the BMT Chair in marine informatics, will play a key role in this supportive research.
BMT Asia Pacific Ltd and BMT Cordah Ltd, subsidiaries of BMT, will utilise their research expertise in the UK, Poland and Singapore. BMT’s new SEAinfo™ technology will also be used to create a framework for the storing, processing and disseminating of spatial marine information. BMT’s established and stand-alone Search and Rescue Information System (SARIS) will be used as a demonstrator vehicle.
This will deliver a web-based approach for the delivery of meteorological and oceanographic forecast data capable of supporting simultaneous and multiple SAR events, as well as the remote sharing of the information.
Jerzy Graff, BMT's Director of Environment Systems, comments: "The web has huge potential for both the monitoring and distribution of forecast data and this project puts BMT at the cutting edge of marine information research and integration of technologies and services. It also sits well with another project that we are running which aims to create an infrastructure for geo-information services to enable the transfer of our marine information products onto the web."
The MET Office-led consortium comprises Lost Wax, BMT, ESSC, BADC and IBM. DEWS has direct connectivity with the new National Centre for Ocean Forecasting at the Met Office. This anticipates that national forecasting agencies will provide wider global communities with access to operational ocean forecasts in the future.
DEWS addresses the need to develop and integrate new information services under the GMES (Global Monitoring of Environment and Security) framework, initiated jointly by the European Space Agency and the European Commission (EC) to support the implementation of international conventions and EC policies which call for harmonised spatial monitoring and frequent reporting.