The applications of OSLO for passenger transport include the detection of humans in search and rescue operations, the detection of floating debris and sea mammals and the monitoring of ocean waves for sail planning.
Any major disaster initiates search and rescue operations with the goal to detect and localise humans in the surface layer, in order to save their lives. A surveillance system like OSLO can help to detect humans in the surface layer in a limited amount of time. And time is crucial — it can decide between life and death.
Floating debris like containers, miss-located navigation marks and drifting fishing equipment along the main sailing routes causes a significant financial loss due to unexpected repairs (mostly yard repairs), stop or delay in operation or excessive fuel costs (for instance, by towing a fishing net across the Atlantic).
For example, at any given time there are up to 10.000 containers floating along these highways of the seas. These containers are lost by ships and occasionally hit by more than one vessel before they sink (as it has been the case in the English Channel). Moreover, containers tend to float just under the surface for a considerable period of time (up to 3 months before they sink) and can therefore not be detected by the human eye or a radar system, but they can be detected by the OSLO system.
Ship striking of mammals (such as whales) happens more frequently nowadays as the ship traffic density increases. As a consequence, some countries now enforce ships to sail at cruising speeds lower than normal in the belief that this would reduce the frequency of mammal striking. Just recently these restrictions have been expanded to cover larger geographical areas and the number and amount of speed violation fines have increased. Speed reductions have (economical) impacts on the shipping companies but also the negative publishing of the many striking events, particularly for the cruise industry.
With OSLO as a surveillance system, mammals can be detected and tracked in a sufficient distance, such that an average-sized vessel will be able to avoid striking mammals at normal cruising speeds (about 20 knots). This application will be promoted to respective authorities with the goal to allow ships that are equipped with an OSLO system to operate at unrestricted cruising speeds.
Sail planning for fuel and emission reduction, improved sailing time and the reduction of maintenance costs depends on accurate observational input to a sail plan model. The most crucial observational parameter for these models is ocean wave information, preferably ocean wave spectra. The high-value shipping today has very few means to accurately observe the ocean waves properties (height, propagation speed and direction). Mostly they are using the traditional means of human assessment that is reported in the logbook, which is prone to errors and inefficient in terms of the time spent. A system like OSLO makes it possible to monitor ocean waves and retrieve all relevant wave information that is required for sail plan models.