Finnish Meteorological Institute developed coastal oceanographic forecasting systems in the ISTLAB project

The Finnish Meteorological Institute was one of the parties involved in the ISTLAB project. Their involvement included researching surface waves and currents off the coast of Rauma, and developing oceanographic forecasting models for coastal areas which, in the future, will enable improved forecasts for the fairways. The Finnish Meteorological Institute’s expertise also has an important role in automation of the maritime traffic, as the availability and accuracy of weather and oceanographic data and forecast impacts the safety at fairways.

Text: Tytti Wallenius, Kumppania | Photo: Meri-Maija Marva

Man sitting and woman standing front of monitors in maritime simulator.

- The project has given us a better understanding of the type of weather and oceanographic data required for improving situational awareness. We know the importance of different type of data at different parts of the fairways, and in future we will be able to develop forecasts and services that meet the need, explains Laura Tuomi, Head of the Marine Research Unit at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The ISTLAB project has improved the understanding of different actors of what is required for automation of maritime traffic. In the future, more concrete testing and cross-sectoral cooperation such as the ISTLAB project will be needed.

- With the different actors gathered at the same table, we can better understand what type of data everyone else can produce, and what expectations the others have regarding the data that we produce. The ISTLAB project allowed us to incorporate the data and expertise of the different contributors, to construct an intelligent shipping test environment, and utilise it in testing remote pilotage. The ISTLAB environment will be of great use both in further research projects and for testing and education purposes, Tuomi hopes.

ISTLAB in-brief

The aim of the project is to create a smart joint-use Intelligent Shipping Technology test Laboratory (ISTLAB), which will merge and consolidate the navigation simulator of Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency’s bathymetric model of the Rauma deep-water fairway, Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s smart buoy and sea current monitoring, the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute’s navigation system research and the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s survey of wave, sea level and ice conditions. The technology group Wärtsilä has delivered a navigation simulator and specific mathematical models.

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