Flow Marine will launch its new vessel management and data analysis service Flow Cloud to the superyacht market in Q2 this year. The tool will collect engineering and navigational data from the vessel, relay it in real time to a secure cloud hub, and provide a set of dashboards and other tools to view and analyse the data both in real time and post-event. Costs will start at around £300 per year, working on a sliding scale dependent on the number of channels and data storage required.
In-depth tracking and analysis
Once available, Flow Cloud will enable yacht managers, onboard crew, support engineers, equipment manufacturers and shipyards to monitor vessel data live via displays. The same displays and features can be accessed on board or in the cloud via any modern web browser, meaning everything can be tracked and analysed remotely. Complex analysis of vessel and equipment performance can be undertaken using the Cloud’s artificial intelligence algorithms.
Users will also be able to create, view and annotate custom charts of correlated data, and share this data in various formats, including embedding charts in desktop applications and vessel management software. And when unusual conditions occur, the system sends out a push notification to mobile devices so you get the update wherever you are and can act quickly to prevent bigger issues from occurring.
Data is collected using the company’s low-cost gateways and pushed to the cloud via the ship’s network or an optional built-in 4G modem. It is uploaded in real-time in an optimised binary format and so uses minimal bandwidth — less than 5 kbps for a system monitoring 80 analogue and 220 switched channels at 1 sample per second. This is around 0.01% of the available upload bandwidth of a 4G connection and 0.05% of the download speed of a streaming movie.
It is estimated that superyachts spend 20% of their time out of 4G range, and even satellite connections aren’t 100% reliable. So when the internet connection is lost, Flow Cloud continues to log data locally, with the backlog pushed back to the cloud once the connection is restored.
In terms of security, the system is designed to be read-only so that even authorised users will not be able to control the vessel from the cloud. Data is pushed by the vessel gateway(s) to a single whitelisted cloud server (never pulled) and the vessel gateway does not listen on its uplink to cloud.
All network communication, both internally to the vessel and across the uplink uses Transport Layer Security to prevent impersonation, snooping or interception on communications between users, cloud and vessel server. All users on or off the vessel are authenticated via user accounts – and all their actions are logged. What’s more, Flow Marine will engage a specialised security company to audit and penetration-test its system before the commercial launch and at regular intervals thereafter.
Join the Pilot Scheme
The company will shortly be starting a pilot scheme with selected customers, to incorporate user feedback and refine the product. Get in touch now if you would like to be involved!
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