Awfos

Automated Wave FOrecast System

AWFOS allows optimizing the management and planning of port operations, such ships’ arrivals, warping, loading, provide services, sailing, etc.

Following a port enquiry in the south of Chile, in 2006 PRDW Chile office started running a rudimentary but effective and precise enough service of wave forecasting for that specific port. The quality of the results allowed us to proudly present the system in 2008 at the Chilean Port’s Conference.

Consequently, the system has been upgraded year after year, leaving behind the old technologies and relatively simple input data. Improved offshore forecasts were sought, investigated and adopted, which are automatically downloaded and treated on a daily basis by an autonomous in-house-developed software. This automation led to the present name: Automated Wave FOrecast System, or just AWFOS.

Through the following years, several Chilean ports have requested our forecasts as a continuous service and have incorporated it as a decision making tool allowing them to optimize the operation by managing the arrival of vessels according to the PRDW forecasted wave conditions. Thanks to several wave studies done and measurements accessed, AWFOS has been compared to simultaneous real data, demonstrating an unbeatable quality. In some cases, measurements have been done by subscribed users with the sole purpose of calibrating the forecast, something that is not possible with typical web-based forecast services, mostly oriented to watersports. These services make rough estimates of the expected nearshore conditions, with errors that could lead to severe harm in ports operations.
A milestone for AWFOS is the consideration of its forecast by local Port Authorities for the ports of Coronel and Patache. Both ports, supported by AWFOS, have increased their effective operational hours by avoiding unnecessary closes due to misjudgement of future and current wave conditions.

AWFOS delivers an HTML file via email, easily viewable within Outlook or any web browser, PC or mobile. However, AWFOS is also web served, showing the data in a table and a comprehensive graph, and a simple map of the exact point where the local waves are forecast. Two freely accessible places are Hanga Piko and Hanga Roa, on Easter Island.

Some of the next steps for AWFOS include: expanding the service to foreign countries and inland waters such as large lakes, improving the website and be acceptance by Maritime Authorities as a valid decision-making tool in addition to their own forecasts.

USES

> Obtain reliable wave forecasts at specific places such as piers, basins, platforms, jackups, etc.
> Identify operational Windows for safe arrivals and sailings.
> Identify calm Windows for delicate works.
> Generate alerts on specific thresholds surpassing, defined by the user, maritime authority or other technical criteria.
> Avoid accidents and damages on structures, equipment and, most specially, people.

BENEFITS

> AWFOS generates site-specific reports of wave forecasts, with an horizon of 10 days and sea states every 3 hours. Upon special request, 1-hour-frequency reports can be also generated.
> AWFOS allows important savings of resources by means of optimizing the planning of operations and port activities, such as ships line-up.
> AWFOS foresees complex meteorological events, allowing improvement of the operability, management and resources planning, according to determined circumstances and scenarios.
> AWFOS works 24/7 because it is independent of measurement equipment, subject to weather conditions that could discontinue the flow of information.
AWFOS delivers information accessible for the user from anywhere with internet access, or just reading the emailed data (if stored).
> AWFOS has great flexibility in configuring the required information, according to the special need of each user.


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