New Delhi: Researchers at IIT-Madras are working on an in-house Vessel Activity Software (VTS) to monitor marine traffic. This would help maintain up with worldwide technical improvements in the maritime realm while also catering to the growing maritime traffic. This initiative, which was originally envisioned as part of the Maritime Vision 2030 action plans, is a cooperation between IIT-M and the VOC Port Trust in Thoothukudi.
TK Ramachandran, chairman, VOC Port Trust, said, “VOC Port is the first major Indian port to sign an MoU with the NTCPWC for the development of indigenous software for the VTS system. It will be a game changer, since ports are currently overdependent on proprietary and costly foreign-made software solutions.”
The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea mandates the use of VTS. According to an IIT-M statement, the software might potentially be used to monitor maritime traffic at ports across India. The National Technical Centre for Ports, Waterways, and Coasts (NTCPWC), a centre of excellence at IIT Madras that serves as the technology arm of the Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, will lead the research initiative.
At Tuticorin, the NTCPWC will focus on vessel traffic system operation, personnel, and maintenance, as well as the development of indigenous maritime traffic software. It will keep the present vessel traffic service operational for day-to-day operations and aid pilots with real-time ship monitoring and traffic analysis, including Met-Ocean warnings.
K Murali, professor In-charge, NTCPWC-IIT Madras, said, “The indigenous VTS software system will open up the pathway for India to develop other indigenous technology solutions that maritime severely depends on overseas solutions.”
VOC port’s current VTS has been in operation for about seven years. Given the continuous growth of maritime traffic in India and overseas, a more effective VTS system would aid in achieving higher levels of safety.