Dynamic Under Keel Clearance

OMC’s DUKC® Series 5 product suite is a world-class eNavigation solution, which integrates the proven core calculation engine with web technologies. DUKC® users can successfully execute under keel clearance related tasks via the web rather than the traditional desktop-based user interface.

The DUKC® Series 5 software consists of several modules integrated behind a web-based user interface. Each module is self-contained, developed and tested under ISO standards, and proven in the unforgiving world of maritime operations. The modules can be arranged and configured to help manage under keel clearance related problems ranging from long-term voyage planning to real-time onboard pilotage applications and to the monitoring of numerous vessels in real-time within a VTS environment.

At the heart of the DUKC® Series 5 software suite is a pair of critical engines: An Environmental Forecast Engine and a UKC Calculation Engine. Each engine consists of tested and proven sub-components, pioneered by OMC’s Founder.

Networks of external data sources such as met-ocean sensors and AIS data streams are linked to the DUKC® outputs, diagnostics and statistics can be logged, queried or distributed in real-time to users.

To handle varying user requirements, the DUKC® Series 5 contains a Job Management Layer which serves as a calculation controller and routes requests to the appropriate engine. This allows for system scalability and provides the ability to schedule calculations to run automatically, anticipating a user’s need for results.

From the full collection of DUKC® Series 5 modules, five services can be configured to provide a UKC management system for any waterway; Voyage, Transit, Vessel, Met-ocean and Reporting.

DUKC® Clients

DUKC worldwide installations

Drawn from in-depth technical engineering expertise, this module forms the core of the DUKC® system, with solutions tailored to the needs of the port or waterway and able to handle a range of situations with a simple Base module or a very complex Dynamic Ocean module.

There are three platform solution options.
Each package can be tailored to the needs of the port and port users.

Base ModuleDynamic Sheltered ModuleDynamic Ocean Module
It provides static under-keel clearance (UKC) modelling, with the same rules for all ship types and optional customised UKC rule, usually 10-30% of a ships’s draft.It provides dynamic UKC designed for sheltered waters i.e. no waves.It is designed for exposed waters, incorporates the same features as the sheltered module but includes wave motions and optional wave forecasting.

Planning Solutions

Load and Window Planner Module

The DUKC® Planning Solution provides planning advice to regulators and schedulers to enable them to accurately forecast a ship’s optimum loading and sailing times. It provides pre-transit planning advice from months ahead until sailing.

Ships are getting bigger, ship drafts deeper and ship traffic is increasing. Ship sailings are therefore increasingly restricted to certain stages of the tide when water depth is sufficient to allow deep draft ships to safely transit. At the same time ports, port users and water authorities are under pressure to make optimal use of the available waterway capacity without compromising safety or prohibitively expensive capital dredging campaigns.

Key Features

Predicting arrival & departure tidal windows Loading & draft planning Planning from hours to months ahead

Likely Users

VTS Officers (Duty) Pilots Schedulers Agents

Sailing Solutions

The Sailing Solution is designed to start where the planning/scheduling process stops. It provides navigational advice and under-keel clearance (UKC) monitoring, accessible both on-board and on-shore.

Passage Panner Module

The Passage Planner module provides the navigator with powerful tools to plan the passage and manage UKC based on the operating conditions and constraints of the day. It takes the dynamic UKC advice from the planning/scheduling stage to the operational and navigational stage of a ship’s movement. It is designed to allow regulators to set up or modify a passage plan and deliver navigational UKC advice for a  specific ship at a specific time. It includes:

  • Detailed UKC information for all locations along the ship’s planned route
  • Safe passing windows at predefined locations, such as shoals, bars and any other critical location
  • Printable (or email) passage plan report designed to take on board for master/pilot exchange or for navigational purposes

The Passage Planner module can be enhanced with the optional web-based Chart Overlay module to provide detailed spatial UKC information to the navigator before and during the transit. It is usually displayed on-board on a compatible Electronic Charting System but can also be on the web within the DUKC® portal.

Key Features

Full edit control over ship speeds at waypointsAutomatic passage plan updates based on the latest available met-ocean conditionsAlerting if planned sailing windows change (before sailing)
Turns planning advice of drafts and tidal windows into a passage plan tailored to the specific needs of the usersProvides detailed information on tidal windows at critical locations along the planned route

Likely Users

VTS Officers(Duty) Pilots  

Typical questions Passage Planner can answer:

  • Between what times do I need to pass each waypoint to safely transit the waterway?
  • Could this ship sail earlier if the speed is slowed?
  • What happens to the tidal window if the ship is sped up?

Passage Monitor SHORE Module

The Passage Monitor – SHORE component provides real-time onshore monitoring of UKC of ships currently underway based on broadcast AIS positions.

The underlying value is that is allows users to assess UKC risks in real-time and deal with planned or unplanned deviations or problems that may arise.

Key Features

Detailed UKC graphs for each monitored shipMonitored passages are all recorded & archivedAutomatic passage plan updates based on latest broadcast AIS ship speeds & positions

Likely Users

VTS Officers(Duty) PilotsIncident Controllers

Typical questions Passage Monitor can answer:

  • What is the UKC of the ship right now?
  • The ship is travelling faster/slower than planned. Is there still enough clearance?
  • What speed is the ship travelling right now?

Passage Monitor SHIP Module

The Passage Monitor – SHIP component provides real-time onboard monitoring of UKC of a particular ship currently underway based on broadcast AIS or GPS positions.

The underlying benefits is that it allows the pilot to assess UKC risks in real-time and deal with planned or unplanned deviations or problems that may arise while on board the ship.

Key Features

Detailed UKC graphs for each monitored shipMonitored passages are all recorded & archivedAutomatic passage plan updates based on latest broadcast AIS ship speeds & positions

Likely Users

(Duty) PilotsShip Masters

Chart Overlay

DUKC® Chart Overlay is specifically designed for Pilots and Masters. This optional onboard module highlights areas that are unsafe for the ship to navigate through in real-time on compatible Electronic Charting Systems (ECS).

The DUKC® Chart Overlay differs from traditional ‘go’ or ‘no-go’ displays with ECS because it not only conveys whether it is safe to transit a particular area now, it also predicts, before the transit, whether it is safe when a ship reaches the particular area a world first. It adds not only the UKC dimension to the electronic chart but also the time dimension.

It is a cutting edge software tool built on proven DUKC® technology which displays UKC information geospatially through a Marine Information Overlay (MIO) on a compatible ECS such as one running on a Portable Pilot Unit (PPU) carried onboard to monitor the passage in real-time.

The overlay is based on the latest available high-resolution bathymetry data, prediction of tidal and non-tidal water levels, waves and currents, knowledge of the recorded ship load state (Draft, trim and stability), the pilot’s submitted passage plan (speeds and expected times at waypoints) and predictions of the associated dynamic ship motions (squat, heel and wave response).

It monitors  in real-time both horizontal and vertical aspects of the transit.

Key Features

Displays real-time safe & unsafe transit areas at the passage planning stage & during the transit.Automatically updates ‘go or ‘no-go’ areas based on the latest available met-ocean conditions & actual ship speed and position.

Predicts the conditions ahead of the time of arrival.

Likely Users

(Duty) PilotsHarbour Masters

Typical questions Chart Overlay can Answer:

  • There is a shoal up ahead. Can I safely sail around the shoal without compromising UKC?
  • I am travelling slower than anticipated; can I still safely complete the passage?
  • The weather conditions have deteriorated’ how does this impact on safe navigation areas?

Data Solutions

The DUKC® Data Solutions module provides comprehensive ship and met-ocean information as well as extensive reporting and data mining capability.

Vessel Module

The module allows interaction with a comprehensive list of recognised ships and their particulars which is used as the authoritative source of ship information within the system. Service can be linked up to external ship data sources such as port information systems or third-party database systems (e.g. Lloyds).

Likely Users

(Duty) Pilots Harbour Masters Schedulers Agents
Met-Ocean Module

OMC has unified met-ocean data displays available which can display met-ocean measurements, forecasts and predictions from many different sources within a single view.

Key Features

View forecasts (depending on forecast solutions) View sensor readings Filter/QA sensor readings
View sensor status Sensor status alerting

Likely Users

Terminal Operators Waterway Authorities Launch/Helicopter Crew
Port Authorities VTS Officers Masters/Pilots
Typical questions the Met-Ocean Module can answer:
  • What is the latest recorded tide height at location X?
  • How high are the waves right now?
  • How are they predicted to change?
  • How strong will the tidal streams be in the coming day?
  • Is this gauge still working?
Reports Module

This module allows searching and retrieval of archived outputs, previous calculations, errors and diagnostics. All calculations, errors, system messages and diagnostics are logged and can be queried if desired.

Likely Users

Port Authorities VTS Officers Masters/Pilots
Typical questions Chart Overlay can answer:
  • What is the latest recorded tide height at location X?
System Integration Module

The System Integration module allows the DUKC® system to be integrated with other systems, i.e. the Marine Information System.

Key Features

Integrates with port management information systems & VTS systems

The DUKC® System Admin solution provides a full range of system administration capabilities including system notifications and diagnostics, and full user account management.

System Notification Module

The System Notification module notifies users of any important changes in the system such as changes to passage plans, under-keel clearance (UKC) breaches, passage plan deviations or sensor outages. This ensures that the user is always working from up-to-date information without necessarily being logged into the DUKC® system.

Notifications can be classified into categories of criticality i.e. ‘Warning, ‘Critical’ or ‘Information only’ as determined in consultation with the customer. This ensure critical issues stand out and are not overlooked.

The System Notification module can be further customised so that only relevant information is supplied to the right people at the right time. For example, the pilot will get notified of changes to the passage plan, where IT, for example, will be notified if disk space is getting full. The System Notification module is configured in consultation with all the stakeholders.

Key Features

System event alerting Email alerting & notification Optional SMS alerting & notification Distributions of critical UKC events
System Diagnostics Service & hardware health monitoring System health alerting Detection of passage changes

Likely Users

VTS Officers (Duty) Pilots Administrators Managers
System Health Module

OMC recognises that the DUKC® is a mission critical system and is committed to keeping the system and critical data safe and uncompromised. Therefore, every DUKC® system will be installed with a System Health module. This ensures that the system, the modules and hardware remain secure and healthy.

The System Health module monitors, identifies and diagnoses problems and sends alerts back to OMC (and client IT personnel if requested). The System Health module monitors disk space usage, memory usage, CPU usage, controls virus infections and maintains data integrity by continuously back up critical data. Installation of the System Health module is compulsory on all DUKC® systems.

Key Features

System security & diagnostics Service, hardware & system health monitoring
User Management Module

The User Management module provides the customer with the option to control what functionality is available to which user.

This module provides the client administer with control of who can do what in the system and also locks or removes accounts, preventing unauthorised usage and changes to sensitive information.

Likely Users

Administrators Managers
OMC International DUKC Dredging Efficient port Chanel design Shipping Bulk carriers

DUKC® Case Studies

OMC International DUKC Dredging Efficient port Chanel design Shipping Bulk carriers

Port Hedland

OMC undertook a comprehensive dredge optimisation study for a major capital dredging project. Utilising DUKC® technology reduced the dredged depth requirements by more than 1m, and the overall dredged area by 90,000m2.

OMC International DUKC Dredging Efficient port Chanel design Shipping Bulk carriers

Port of Geelong

OMC worked alongside the Victorian Regional Channels Authority (VRCA) to deliver an operational DUKC® system for the Port of Geelong. Vessel motion measurements were carried out on some of the biggest vessels that had ever visited Geelong.

OMC International DUKC Dredging Efficient port Chanel design Shipping Bulk carriers

Melbourne Suezmax Tanker Accessibility

The Port of Melbourne and one of their major port users, ExxonMobil, wanted to investigate the possibility of bringing vessels with a deeper draft than the 14.0 m design maximum draft of the channels.

OMC International DUKC Dredging Efficient port Chanel design Shipping Bulk carriers

More Case Studies

We have serviced many clients and like to share our success stories. The case studies are from all around the world. Find a port/waterway with a similar issue and see how we were able to solve their problem.

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