IIT Madras to develop indigenous software for maritime traffic


Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras will develop native vessel traffic software (VTS) that will help monitor vessel traffic. This will make it possible to respond to the increase in maritime traffic and to keep pace with global technological developments in the maritime field.

Initially envisioned as part of the Maritime Vision 2030 action plans, this software development project is part of a collaboration between IIT Madras and VO Chidambaranar (VOC) Port Trust in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, for which a memorandum of understanding was recently signed. A VTS is required under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.
This software will help realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for building a “digital India” and using digital technologies to build “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”. This software could potentially be used to monitor shipping traffic in other ports across India.

This research project will be led by the National Center of Technology for Waterways and Port Coasts (NTCPWC), a center of excellence of IIT Madras that functions as the technology arm of the Ministry of Ports, Navigation and waterways of the Indian government.

Elaborating on the unique aspects of this collaboration, TK Ramachandran, IAS, Chairman of VO Chidambaranar Port Trust, Tuticorin, said: “VOC Port is the first major Indian port in India to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with NTCPWC for the indigenous software development for the VTS system. The development of the indigenous system by NTCPWC, in line with VOC Port’s requirements, instead of relying on proprietary and expensive software solutions manufactured abroad, will be a game-changer in the Indian maritime industry.

The MoU was recently signed by Captain Pravin K Singh, Deputy Curator, VOC Port Trust, and Professor K. Murali, Lead Professor, NTCPWC-IIT Madras, in the presence of TK Ramachandran, Chairman, VOC Port Trust, Bimal Kumar Jha, vice president of VOC Port Trust and Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director of IIT Madras, as well as other senior officials from the port and the NTCPWC.

Speaking of the benefits for the Indian maritime sector of this collaboration, Prof. K. Murali, Professor in Charge, NTCPWC-IIT Madras, said: “The indigenous VTS software system will pave the way for India to develop further technological solutions. native than maritime relies heavily on foreign solutions.

Referring to the envisaged results of this project with VOC Port Trust, Prof Murali said: “The cooperation will help to establish partnerships with all other major ports to provide technological solutions to solve their problems.

The strengths of the IIT Madras collaboration include:

The NTCPWC will focus on the operation, staffing and maintenance of the vessel traffic system and the development of native vessel traffic software in Tuticorin.

The NTCPWC will maintain the existing vessel traffic service, for day-to-day operations and help pilots obtain real-time information on vessel tracking and vessel traffic analysis, including Met-Ocean warnings.

This maintenance model that will be adopted will reduce the cost of the VOC port in terms of maintenance and alert the port at the appropriate time for any repair and replacement thanks to the direct employment of the instrument vendor by the port.

In addition, NTCPWC will also conduct an evaluation of existing VTS functionality, hardware and software, identify appropriate upgrades and provide a technical proposal to VOC Port for the upgrade of the VTS system which can be purchased directly through VOC Port. without involving a third-party solution. suppliers.

The current VOC port VTS has been operational for almost seven years. Considering the rapid increase in maritime traffic in India and abroad, a more efficient VTS system would help to create higher levels of safety.

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