Sea Technology

JUN 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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Page 42 of 72

42 st / June 2017 day. Moving all 60 GB would cost more than $250,000 per month per ship; a huge sum. To enable vessel operators to make use of sensor-based analytics (SBA), we had to figure out how to get all the data off the ship in real time without crippling anyone's budget and without crippling our satellite network. We have thou- sands of vessels using the KVH mini-VSAT Broadband net- work. The goal was to analyze the antenna .log file on the ship, and send just the summary report to shore. By doing so, we could reduce the size of the file delivered to shore by a fac- tor of 1,000. The strategy was to use the server on our ICM belowdecks antenna unit to host the analytics code—the same code that we normally run at our networks operations center on the .log files of troublesome units. Our workflow changed dramatically. Rather than learn of an antenna fail- ure, download the .log over the space link and analyze it onshore after the fact, we are now on track to analyzing the .logs of every antenna once per day to search for latent problems and resolve them. The ICM's computing power al- lows us to run code of any complexity and sampling rate on the ship without overloading the satellite network. Making Sense of Raw Data Using proprietary software, we have been monitoring our test fleet of VSAT equipment in the field, identifying po- tential failures. We are taking the raw data we are receiv- ing and working on generating statistics automatically from the data report. For example, in one recent two-day period, we had 181 vessels reporting such information as: percent- age of time online, number of satellite changes per day, and number of blockage events per day. should address as many systems on a vessel as possible—rather than the current trend for each equipment manufacturer to develop a one-off monitoring system just for their product. What would that take? The hurdles involve not merely collecting and processing the amount of data the ship's many systems generate, but also getting that data to a shore-side analyst and facilitating a warning system to trigger a rapid response to the data. Starting Point: KVH's Fielded Antennas As a provider of maritime VSAT systems, we knew we were uniquely positioned to tackle these hurdles. Early last year, we set out to develop a maritime IoT service using what we had at our fingertips—our own fielded satellite antennas. We established a "fleet" of vessels with active KVH antennas but inactive commercial activity, amenable to being part of a test; the vessels are located all around the world, and testing is ongoing. We had a lot going for us right from the start: Our sat- ellite products already save performance data in .log files on board. This .log file shows things such as temperature inside the dome, blockage events, activity of the stabilized antenna's tracking mechanism, percentage of time online or offline, and number of times someone logs into and out of the system. Our engineers and service technicians use these .log files to do fault analysis after a problem has occurred. But we wanted to take that manual process and make it pre- emptive and automatic. Challenge: Vessel Sensors Generate Large Data Files Knowing that the raw .log files, solely for the antenna data, are large, generally 9 to 10 MB every 24 hours, we knew that additional data from other equipment would cre- ate an extremely large data file every day. A Futurenautics research report in 2016 noted, for example, that a well- instrumented ship can generate up to 60 GB of data per (Top and Bottom) Included under the dome of a KVH TracPhone V7-IP satellite communications antenna are sensors providing data to .log files; the team developing KVH's Internet of Things product used the .log files as part of their research process. KVH's Integrated Com- mBox Modem (ICM) is the belowdecks unit on board vessels using KVH's TracPhone V-IP series satellite com- munications antenna systems. For KVH's IoT product, the ICM's computing power is used to run code of any complexity and sampling rate on a vessel without over- loading the satellite network.

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