Research Report — Shipboard Piloting Expert System — N o w Available

MarAd completed a research project with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N.Y., to develop, design and evaluate an expert system for use as a decision support tool for shipboard pilots and navigation officers. The effort was jointly funded with the U.S. Coast Guard, while cost sharing was contributed by Exxon Shipping Co., Sperry Marine and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The project consists of three phases.

In Phase I, the initial Shipboard Piloting Expert System (SPES) was designed, developed and documented. This version of SPES was a "stand-alone" system which operated on a Sun workstation computer. In Phase II, the SPES prototype software was validated and verified, and efforts were conducted to integrate the stand-alone software into the software which runs the SperryXExxon-developed integrated bridge system, which was later installed aboard the Exxon Benecia.

In Phase III, the software installed aboard the Exxon Benecia underwent debugging and was modified to satisfy comments received from the master of the vessel and pilots aboard the vessel.

It then was evaluated aboard ship during a 12-month period and a final report was prepared.

Further testing aboard the Benecia is currently underway in order to obtain additional insight into the incremental benefits which can be expected from the use of an expert decision support system. The report may be obtained from the National Technical Information Service, 285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, Va. 22161; (703) 487-4650.

The order numbers and prices are as follow: Vol. I— Shipboard Piloting Expert System Final Report— PB94-183837, $19.50; Vol.

II—PB94-183274, $27; Vol. Ill— PB94-187010, $27.

SS Jeremiah O'Brien Stops In Baltimore The SS Jeremiah O'Brien, a World War II Liberty Ship which took part in the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy, France was anchored at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Md. from August 18 to August 22. The vessel is on its return voyage from Europe where it participated in the 50th anniversary celebration of D- Day. President Clinton's June visit to the vessel at Normandy was the first time a U.S. president boarded a U.S. merchant vessel.

The O'Brien is crewed by World War II merchant marine veterans. Its return to Normandy was a gesture of remembrance to their fellow mariners lost in that war. A total of 733 American cargo ships and more than 6,000 civilian American seafarers' lives were lost to enemy action during World War II.

Thousands were injured during attacks, and many were forced to wait aboard lifeboats and rafts, hoping for rescue after their vessels were lost.

Nearly 600 merchant mariners were held as prisoners of war. The Jeremiah O'Brien made 11 round trips from Britain to the Normandy beachheads in 1944. She was one of 2,751 Liberty Ships built by 18 American shipyards between 1941 and 1945, crewed by American civilian seafarers and defended by the Navy Armed Guard. Speaking in London in 1944, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower said: "Every man in this Allied command is quick to express his admiration for the loyalty, courage, and fortitude of the officers and men of the Merchant Marine. We count upon their efficiency and their utter devotion to duty as we do our own; they have never failed us yet and in all the struggles yet to come we know that they will never be deterred by any danger, hardship, or privation.

"When final victory is ours there is no organization that will share its credit more deservedly than the Merchant Marine."

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