Award-winning: Detection of Black Smoke Emission
The MOT (Singapore Ministry of Transport) granted this year’s Minister’s Innovation Award 2012: Merit Award to a joint project by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and DHI, in which an innovative system for the detection of black smo
The MOT (Singapore Ministry of Transport) granted this year’s Minister’s Innovation Award 2012: Merit Award to a joint project by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and DHI, in which an innovative system for the detection of black smoke emission using advanced image processing was developed. The decision support system helps users to quickly and reliably identify offending vessels, thereby efficiently curbing excessive harmful emission release. As a result, the system helps to improve the air quality and health of coast-side workers and residents.
Black smoke in emission is produced during incomplete combustion. Consisting of suspended carbon particles, it typically results from weak engine maintenance or a faulty fuel injection system. Black smoke is hazardous to health, as it contains very small particles which can enter and harm the human respiratory system, and is also believed to be a contributing factor in climate change. Therefore, the amount of black smoke is an important air quality parameter, especially significant for high volume ports such as Singapore.
Vessels emitting black smoke are not always easy to track down, and automated smoke detection systems are prone to errors due to false alarms or problems in attributing detected smoke down to a particular ship. The developed system uses two detection systems based on the blackness and the heat of the combustion air. The use of two sets of cameras allows for more accurate and efficient identification of the offending vessels once black smoke is detected.
Due to the large anchorage, sailing and harbour area of Singapore, an automated detection system of black smoke emission would help to ultimately improve the air quality of residents who live near the coast, ensuring adherence to international regulations and supporting Singapore’s shipping industry image as being clean and well-regulated.
The Minister’s Innovation Award is being presented yearly to successful pioneer projects undertaken by MOT’s agencies. This year’s Merit was awarded to the project team members of MPA and the DHI-NTU Research Centre on November 9, 2012.