Applications > Marine
Smart Fibres' marine activities commenced with performance racing yachts. These activities are described on our sports applications page. In the commercial marine sector, the Company's products have found several other application areas.
Using certain key optical fibre sensing system attributes, the Company has identified and developed a market in hull stress monitoring, wherein a single instrument in the wheelhouse can monitor and array of sensors over the vessel that measure multi-point hull and deck loads, acceleration and bow wave slamming pressures. The instrument communicates with this sensor network over miniature, zero power fibreoptic cables to provide a system that is intrinsically safe, immune to electromagnetic interference, and required no signal amplification to maintain data integrity.
Our first commercial installation of such a system on an arctic shuttle tanker, pictured above, fully exploited the technology's multiplexing capability and involved dynamic monitoring of approaching 200 SmartWeld sensors across the hull structure.
In another application, the composite hull structure of a high performance navy vessel is being monitored with a network of fibre sensors.
Optical fibre sensing benefits are of particular relevance to the LNG shipping market, where intrinsic safety requirements are paramount, and where operating temperatures are extraordinarily low. Under a collaborative project, Smart Fibres has advanced the development of a capability to monitor the sloshing loads of the inside of an LNG carrier's tanks during transit so as to monitor their structural integrity.
The benefits of condition monitoring are directly applicable to many ship structures and systems. As Smart Fibres' technology is being rolled out into condition monitoring applications in other industry sectors, so the application to ocean going vessels will inevitable increase accordingly.