The behavior of passengers can become “unpredictable” in a challenging situation, as ship incidents over the years have proven. Now, with wireless radio tags in every lifejacket aboard, the bridge team can theoretically see where passenger clusters are by tracking lifejackets.
Backed by the EU to the tune of 3.5 million euro, Tasos Kounoudes of SignalGeneriX is the project technical leader, while the entire concept is the brainchild of Zacharias Siokouros, head of the Marine Institute of the Eastern Mediterranean and former technical director for Louis Cruises.
“I looked for the technology to buy it for a test and it didn’t exist,” he said. “I talked to the class societies and they said there was no such thing.”
Now in the second of a three-year project phase, they are seeing interest from class societies and the cruise lines, and the system is currently in a pilot test on the Louis Olympia.
The radio tags only turn on when lifejackets are put on, and the bridge gets a display of where passengers and crew are.
A pilot program had smoke detectors outfitted with wireless technology to relay the signals across the ship.
On the bridge, officers can see dots on a software program representing passengers and crew, with different colors separating crew or various team leaders.
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