Yesterday, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.(MOL) and Metro Weather Co., Ltd. (Metro Weather) released a statement announcing the accomplishment of a world-first demonstrative experiment using an experimental ship to sail while analyzing faraway wind conditions in real time.
This partnership is the first-ever collaborative demonstration experiment between MOL and Metro Weather. In April, MOL decided to invest in Metro Weather through MOL PLUS, which promotes business tie-ups in a broad range of promising fields.
The vessel used in this experiment is a small yacht called WINZ MARU; The WINZ MARU is owned by MOL and equipped with Metro Weather’s Doppler Lidar. The vessel became the success story of a previous experimental demonstration conducted by MOL called the “Wind Hunter Project (Project).”
The Project promotes zero emission by utilizing wind power and hydrogen, with its most recent success story featuring WINZ MARU in Sasebo-city, Nagasaki in, Japan. The Project was launched in November of 2021 and continues to allocate successful results as it continues experimental sailings, with five success stories under its belt.
With the advantage of having more accuracy than weather forecasting via satellite information, scientists saw it fit to continue weather testing on MINZ MARU. Both companies announced the vessel’s first successful demonstration just yesterday.
The MINZ MARU is the first of its kind to have the Doppler Lidar aboard. It can now measure real-time and three-dimensional wind conditions within a 15km radius using an infrared laser—that detects reflections from floating particles in the atmosphere while sailing.
The Doppler Lidar is “compact in terms of its size and can measure miles away length,” which MOL claims “would be worth for safe navigations.”
Integrations of Inertial Navigation into Doppler Lidar are expected to improve the quality of safe operation by accurately predicting wind conditions and playing a role in supporting the optimal navigation of ships using wind energy, as MOL has done with its past projects.
The Doppler Lidar determines its position and speed without using an external source, using only the sensors built within the device. The new tech simultaneously corrects, accounts for, and calculates the vessel’s motion and accounts for it while measuring wind conditions.
MOL and Metro Weather say they will continue collaborating to use their respective technology and resources for both companies. Both added that they will provide new benefits to the shipping sector and society as they continue to promote the development of their “Onboard Wind Condition Measurement Device.”