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Progress Workpackage ‘Development of tools’

The objective of the PROMERC work package entitled ‘Development of tools’ is to create :

  • a prototype software tool to provide dynamic situation sensitive advice and guidance to the bridge team
  • a prototype software tool to provide an automated support tool to aid voyage planning

PROMERC Piracy database, Political, Economic, Environmental, Social, Legal and Ethical (PEESLE) and Counter-Measures (CM) databases have been built and a Guide to Counter Measures has been produced.
Dynamic tools are linking the database to real time data feeds and create logic and algorithms to assist end users in making decisions from planning, through training, procedures and operations. Situational Awareness is provided through the inclusion of (near) real time information including pirate positions and forecast information such as moon phase, wind speed and wave height.

Statistical Analysis of the piracy database provided part of the background information that is required for piracy risk prediction. Parameters that play a major role in the risk of being attacked have been identified and integrated into the risk prediction process. Likewise, the Counter-Measure database provided the information required for predicting the risk of being successfully attacked.

A risk heat map based on historical attacks available in the databases has been created. Given the importance of weather conditions and localisation of Pirate Action Groups on the piracy risk level, Near Real Time (NRT) information is instrumental to successful risk prediction. An example of wind field map in the Gulf of Aden is presented below.

Wind field map in the Gulf of Aden

NRT piracy reports sources have been analysed and selected and relevant reports are integrated into the risk prediction process. Such a report provides a datum that is used to update pirates’ position and uncertainty area over time, based on prior knowledge of pirates’ tactics and / or additional information available in the report. A simple pirate track prediction model has been developed and provides a means to optimise the pirates’ position estimate over time. Current piracy risk is thus integrated into updated risk maps and broadcast as soon as a report is available. An example of Near Real Time Piracy map in the Indian Ocean is presented below.

Near Real Time Piracy map in the Indian Ocean

Weather forecast providers have been assessed and selected. These forecast parameters are used to create Predictive Risk Heat maps at 3 hourly intervals for multiple days and the route optimiser will find optimum routes through this set of time-dependent maps. An example of Risk Heat Map with candidate routes is presented hereafter.

Solution WP4 afbeelding

A Counter-Measure Tactical Decision Aid has been developed, will be installed at the bridge and will be providing advice to the ship Bridge Team. The updated Predictive Risk Heat maps will be broadcast to the ship together with optimum route advice for providing the Bridge Team with latest available information during the voyage. The On-Board Counter-Measures Tactical Decision Aid will also provide additional Best Management Practices Counter Measure advice and Manoeuvre advice, based on fitted Counter Measures and real time information on own and other vessel position.


A method for predicting piracy risk has been successfully developed. The methodology includes background information from historical pirate attacks and Near Real Time information on piracy activity and forecast maps of relevant weather parameters that have an impact on risk to seafarers. The next steps will be to integrate Risk Heat Maps, Optimised Routes, PEESLE factors and Best Management Practices advice and Evasive Manoeuvre advice into the Tactical Decision Aid.