Schiff Liverpool Express von Blohm und Voss im Dock bei Nacht in Hamburg
© Stefan Loss - stock.adobe.com
Hamburg, Blohm und Voss Dock 17: Liverpool Express im Dock 3

Maritime technologies#

Maritime technologies

Systems are becoming increasingly complex in the shipping as well as in the offshore industry. Ships, ports, waterways and offshore facilities consist of a wide range of different components and technologies. The demand for technologies is determined by trends as well as digitalization, Autonomous Drive/AI and other aspects of the 'Maritime Industry 4.0'. Fraunhofer Waterborne has expertise in a wide range of technologies and is developing new applications for the maritime industry in areas including the following:

Sensor technology#

© Fraunhofer LBF
Energy Harvester: Front view of the Energy Harvester at a rotor speed of about 650 〖min〗^(-1)

Fraunhofer Waterborne designs monitoring systems for the deduction of damages, the prediction of failures and preventative maintenance. The extensive use of condition and structure monitoring systems with planning-driven maintenance can make a significant contribution to safety, efficiency, service, availability, quality, economy and environmental protection. The methods for combined condition and structure monitoring, some of which are already established in other sectors, are finding new areas of application in shipping through Fraunhofer Waterborne, e.g. intelligent drive systems permit continuous monitoring of the operating states of the drive train.

Acoustic test systems enable the detection of vibrating or noisy equipment, but often require elaborate calibration on representative components. In addition, the noise or vibration behaviour can be reduced to a few acoustic parameters such as frequencies or amplitudes. Methods to predict and influence/reduce vibrations and sound (noise) are developed.

Project examples

AcoustiX: Acoustic sensor system for final assembly inspection or operational monitoring using cognitive signal analysis (Fraunhofer IZFP)

SMARTPS: Product-related energy-autonomous sensors for rotating systems: optimizing condition monitoring of drive trains (Fraunhofer LBF)

RAMMS – Reliable and Autonomous Monitoring System for Maritime Structures (Fraunhofer LBF)

Vibration and sound systems#

© Fraunhofer LBF

Yachts may be equipped with ship engines that are powerful and loud: 6,000 hp is common for mega-yachts. This high power is also associated with noise and annoying vibrations on board. Noise and vibrations can be best reduced where they occur - at the interface between engine and ship's foundation. Fraunhofer has developed a promising solution to this problem: integrated active vibration isolation.

Project examples

AKTOS: Active control of torsional vibrations through coupling elements (Fraunhofer LBF)

EPES: Efficient prognosis of the vibro-acoustic properties in the ship design phase (Fraunhofer LBF)

Electromagnetic sensor technology and special radars#

© Fraunhofer FHR

Radar equipment makes an important contribution to the safety of shipping and goods transport by sea. They support the crew in navigation and warn of collisions with any obstacles in dense traffic or difficult shipping lanes. Due to the use of hyperfrequency signals, they also work at night or in poor visibility. Fraunhofer Waterborne develops concepts, methods and systems for electromagnetic sensor technologies and especially radars, using state-of-the-art signal processing methods and innovative technologies. The frequency range covers all frequencies which are used and common in maritime environments. Competencies include numerical field computation, high frequency technology and sensor signal processing, which enable the design, development and testing of innovative, complex high frequency systems under one roof.