Development Of World’s First “Onboard Wind Condition Measurement Device” Launched

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto; Headquarters: Minato- ku, Tokyo) and Metro Weather Co., Ltd. (President: Junichi Furumoto; Headquarters: Uji-shi, Kyoto) today announced the success of a world-first demonstration experiment with an MOL- owned experimental vessel equipped with Metro Weather’s Doppler Lidar to navigate while grasping faraway wind conditions in real time.

A small yacht, named as WINZ MARU, applied for the demonstration experiment of the zero emission vessel powered by wind and hydrogen in “Wind Hunter Project” (Note 2), was utilized in this experiment and it successfully measured real-time and three-dimensional wind conditions within a 15km radius from her while underway. Doppler Lidar onboard can measure winds around vessels directly and make them visualized. This feature gives more accurate advantages than weather forecast from satellite information. Moreover, Metro Weather’s Doppler Lidar is compact in terms of its size and has capability of measuring miles away length, which would be worth for safe navigations.

wind condition data
Mechanism to measure wind condition data, Credits: MOL

Metro Weather’s Doppler Lidar can measure wind direction and wind speed in a 15km radius around it in three dimensions with an irradiating infrared laser—harmless to humans—that detects reflections from floating particles in the atmosphere. Metro Weather’s Doppler Lidar was originally designed for measurements on land use basis. In this experiment, with Inertial Navigation Unit (Note 3) , the wind conditions at real-time correction of vessel motion and movement (Note 4) can be measured even in sea environment of sway and movement .
MOL and Metro Weather will promote the development of “Onboard Wind Condition Measurement Device”, integrations of Inertial Navigation into Doppler Lidar, which is expected to improve the quality of safe operation by accurately predicting wind conditions and play a role in supporting optimal navigation of ships using wind energy such as “Wind Challenger Project”
(Note 5), “Wind Hunter Project” and “Wind Power Energy Business” (Note 6).

MOL decided to invest in Metro Weather through its wholly-owned corporate venture capital (CVC) firm, “MOL PLUS” (Representative: Takuya Sakamoto; Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo) in April (Note 7), which promotes business tie-ups in a broad range of promising fields. This demonstration experiment is the first cooperative tie-up between MOL and Metro Weather.

MOL and Metro Weather will continue working to leverage their respective core technologies and resources and add new values to the shipping industries and societies through both companies synergy.

Reference: MOL 

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