The third operational test of S102 Demonstrator took place aboard Queen Mary 2 during her approach to Oslo harbour on the 14th of August 2018. The goal of the test was for the pilot to see the benefits that using S102 data in narrow and shallow waters could have on navigation.
During the test there were also a focus on new functionality within the S102 Demonstrator, for example route information and display of light sectors.
The Queen Mary 2 is the largest ocean liner ever built and with a draught of 10.3 meters, she is one of the largest ships ever taken into Oslo harbour.
The draught limitation during approach to Oslo harbour is 12 meters, navigating the ship through the narrow Drøbaksundet, further passing Dynaløpet before entering the inner harbour of Oslo.
The adjustment for water level and tidal information were discussed and data from https://www.kartverket.no/en/sehavniva/ used to adjust the reference level for draught. In our test entering Oslo Harbour, this gave us an extra 50cm under keel clearance (UKC), which resulted in a minimum depth of 12.5 meters in the shallowest areas of the route.
Due to safety regulations, Queen Mary 2 must have at least 1 meter UKC for her planned voyage, something which brought us to the very outermost limit whilst entering Oslo harbour with the Queen Mary 2.
The captain onboard the Queen Mary 2 was briefed regarding the possibilities using such a tool could have. The S102 demonstrator undoubtedly brings the situational awareness to another level by allowing the safety depth contour to be set so close to the draught limitation of the ship. It also gave the captain and his crew a better understanding of the margins whilst sailing past critical points during their approach to the harbour.
However, it was emphasised by the captain that even if a tool like the S102 demonstrator could be useful for pressing the margins, safety regulations and company rules set the limitations on under keel clearance alongside other safety margins that must be adhered to.