Use case – Maritime Applications

Maritime Operations

Urban Hawk has a fair amount of experience working with Maritime operations – having worked with a large EU consortium on the Sea Traffic Management programme – to provide safer, better managed, and more efficient maritime management – factoring in fuel cost, collision avoidance, and data transfer schemes – to augment the end-to-end maritime services and provide multi-faceted and qualifiable benefits to ports, logistics and shipping operators as well as vessel owners, insurers and the safety of sailors, passengers and goods.

Maritime situational & operational advantage

Maritime operations are multifaceted and complex.

Polaron can combat this by ingesting and referencing that data and provides Geospatially contextualized information, which can be overlaid onto an apriori map (e.g., terrain and building footprint data, traffic patterns, and more). This means that there is a reference for change, events, and localized data – as well as ingesting real-time or gateway check-in data (e.g., when goods are received / transferred etc). This allows for a predictive model to show where challenges, bottlenecks, or potential alternative routes or plans can be adopted to avoid delays, fees, and annoyed customers – as well as providing a means to evaluate more effective operations.

You can read our case study STM – Sea Traffic Management here.

Polaron is able to interface with a wide array of systems – from AIS ship tracking systems to radar and other position data – both real-time and historic data, through to SAP stock management systems, factory or production data, and more. This data pool – can then be traversed by thousands of agents, to update, review, simulate, and even act as opposing agents – to allow for simulation to extract useful insight and situational awareness – reducing the cognitive burden on operators and allowing the best of machine intelligence to augment human insights. When sensor and data feeds aren’t available – it’s simple to draw into the simulation – or connect to other API feeds (e.g., port delays / sea traffic data / weather data etc) to provide insight and information.

Our simulation can be installed at the edge too and networked together – allowing facility and goods received to be mapped inside storage facilities and then into a 2D/2.5D space (i.e., the transport network) so that decisions inside a factory or warehouse can be made in context of the dependencies of the rail and road network to move the goods and promote even greater efficiency.

Some examples of Maritime Applications

Fuel consumption

As part of the work conducted for STM (you can read our case study STM – Sea Traffic Management here.), we looked at over 300 vessels’ data to provide deep analytical analysis and modelling for the impact and interaction on on-shore and off-shore operations and delays – potential mitigations and improved efficiencies and cost, fuel, and CO2 modelling. As ever the enhanced efficiencies come from a plethora of changes – some large and small. Polaron affords the ability to incrementally test and evaluate these – as well as factor in externalities such as weather and other factors to ensure the proposed change – and impacts are qualified, costed, and suitable for implementation.

Delay and demand wave modeling

Even the best logistical systems are vulnerable to other factors – of these spikes in demand and waves of demand – stress these tuned systems. Polaron is able to deliver the insights of Urban Hawks’ data science and economic analysis capabilities to provide insight and forewarning of potential demand waves – whether this is for security clearance and customs – through to traffic analysis and predictive models for alternative path analysis. By factoring in a cost model that can analyze a given space over time and other variables (such as rush hour and seasonal changes) we can provide insights and optimize journeys for operations – even factoring in different transport modalities. This is particularly important for the increasingly costly and competitive cross-channel and channel ports – through which enormous volumes of goods flow and where economies of scale in even fractional improvements can quickly add up to significant savings and operational benefits.


Whatever your views are of climate change – decarbonization and reducing energy costs is a key factor in driving change in Logistical networks – whether through technological, behavioral or economic factors – reducing energy consumption is fast becoming a key competitive challenge for logistics and transport organizations – if your competitor can deliver the same thing at a lower cost – whether directly or indirectly – this poses a challenge. Decarbonization isn’t a one-size-fits-all but requires analysis to work out not just what can immediately benefit you, but the cost and impact of doing so. Simulation provides the key.

API gateways and Mobile Access

We are currently in the process of creating an API gateway – to allow edge-based interfaces. Instead of directly connecting to the simulation (which is still a possibility) we have customized a webstack layer to interface directly into the simulation allowing browser-based access – whether over a LAN, bandwidth-limited MANET, or 5G. This API portal offers a simple and easy-to-use user interface as well as supporting mobile scanning (e.g., Photogrammetry / 3D capture) to permit interoperability with other systems. This layer permits a secure means to interface and connect sensors, connect other systems and manage the data flow, and allows the customization of the simulation, its agents, and other attributes to provide the necessary customization to a local theatre and provide a secure means of interfacing with the simulation – supporting an open High-Level Architecture (HLA).

Runs at the edge and on boats

Polaron runs at the edge – meaning that the simulation and services running in a warehouse can be operated inside of a LAN – providing resilience and security as well as ensuring continued operations in the event of comms disruption. Additionally, this ensures that Polaron adheres to your network security needs – and can be monitored and controlled – as well as offering a range of means to network different Polaron instances (e.g., Port > Rail > Warehouse) – else we have hosted and secure services allowing you to run the service in the cloud or via our managed hosting services. We have tested Polaron on a vessel in Bristol – traveling up and down to connect to different network services over 5g, 4g, 3g, and wifi – and were able to support multiple real-time concurrent users. We have also been able to scan the Historic Vessel – The Mathew – a reproduction of one of the vessels that traveled to the USA in its settling period – which required scanning the deck, below decks, and engineering spaces – which allows us to produce a digital twin – above and below the waterline and therefore calculate the relative performance of the vessel laden and unladen – amongst other capabilities.

Key technologies for Maritime applications

  • Tested onboard a moving vessel

Simulation can be run aboard a vessel and was tested via end clients onboard The Mathew supporting multiple concurrent users – both aboard and onshore.

  • Runs automatically

Use simulation to analyze data feeds and augment the insight of the data received and provide enhanced operational awareness.

  • Data Caching

Running on COTS hardware requires greater efficiency than a limitless cloud – which has forced us to adopt highly efficient processes to reduce the cost to run and cache and retrieve from very large data sets. Allowing very large terrain maps to be stored and accessed when relevant.

  • Works where you work

By allowing browser-based access for multiple users, you can work where you work (WFH!) and model on the go – as well as permit multi-user planning with different view permissions to allow secure modeling and analysis.

  • Top performance

Our combination of hardware and lightweight Web Stack offers cutting edge performance – providing both P2P and federated connections for data & interfaces. During a 5G test – we were able to live stream a fully interactive map to approx 10 users over 3g, 4g, 5g, and 6G wifi with latency typically below 100ms and often much less.

  • High security

A secure container lets Polaron run securely inside your network or run it as an external or edge-based service. Further pen testing and security analysis is planned for 2023 to increase and validate / certificate the security of the E2E service.

  • Connect to external services

Direct connect or Tunnel into external datastores & services via Web Tech & REST APIs and edge-based sensors – allow both publishers and listeners – as well as exporting data to different services such as SQL DB, AI tool, and Machine learning – which can be integrated or operate outside of Polaron.