A cheaper, locally-developed, but equally effective Automatic Identification System (AIS) would soon be available to shipowners and boat operators, thanks to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The department, through the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), has sustained its strong support in modernizing the maritime industry by developing various technologies for the industry.

Specifically, the goal of PCIEERD’s project is to develop a “safer, cleaner, and efficient marine transport system and services” by utilizing all the science and technology resources available.

“Our initial activities, we have conducted directed research that was constructed through a collaborative project with local and international organizations and we came up with various projects that are DOST funded,” said Ms. Rachel Habana, Senior Science Research Specialist from DOST-PCIEERD.

The research primarily focuses on monitoring, evaluation and project impact assessments to ensure that the implementation is done right and will be beneficial or applicable to the industry.

PH-made AIS

Ms. Habana said foremost among the projects that PCIEERD are closely monitoring together with MARINA is the Philippine AIS that commenced last September 2017 and was tested last July, with a prototype expected to be completed last month.

The new identification for a system for marine vessels that include fishing vessels will have trio-time tracking features in compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) high standards.

The project, which was undertaken by instructors and senior students of the Mapúa University, would produce AIS that would cost only a few thousand pesos as against several thousand US dollars’ worths of imported brands. 

First hybrid trimaran

Moreover, DOST is also working on the country’s first hybrid trimaran project, implemented jointly by the Aklan State University (ASU); MARINA, through the Shipyard Regulation Service; Metallica Marine Consultancy, Fabrication and Service; and DOST Region VI.

The PCIEERD-supported project is designed to generate its own electrical supply from the waves it gathers from the outriggers of the craft. Ocean waves will drive double-action hydraulic pumps that will power a generator to produce electricity that will supply the electrical requirements of the ship.

The ship could be used in inter-island operations on the Western Visayas region, particularly in Cebu, Bicol, Romblon and Mindoro islands. The ship’s construction costs around 90 million. The passenger-cargo vessel, which is targeted for completion in March 2020, is envisioned to carry 150 passengers, 4 vans, and 15 motorcycles.

MARIS project

Ms. Habana also mentioned the development of the Marine Transportation System or the MARIS project, “a software that enables the user to determine the adequate number of marine vessels for a given route.”

She said the project, which began in January this year, is expected to be completed in December 2019.

The software would help MARINA whether or not the number of roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) passenger ships serving a certain area is enough for the demand.

In her presentation, Ms. Habana also presented quite a number of projects until 2022 in various stages of implementation, among them, are:

1.         Digital Ship Registration and Monitoring

2.         Tow Tank and Cavitation Tunnel Test Facility

3.         Prototype Development of water taxi for bay/river and coastal waters

4.         Development of an electric plug-in vessel assisted by solar energy

5.         Vessel Passenger Operations Assessment

6.         LNG Marine Fuel Viability Assessment


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