The consequences of global warming may reduce the need for icebreaking assistance in certain shipping areas, but will also open up for increased sea traffic and offshore activities in pristine Arctic areas. This situation provides opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint from maritime transport through reduced fuel consumption in sea areas such as the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland, and also through favourable conditions for transoceanic short cuts in the Northern Sea Route (NSR). But it also entails considerable environmental and safety risks that must be carefully assessed and controlled. SSPA is currently engaged in a number of client assignments and inter-disciplinary research projects related to oil-spill risk assessment and safe traffic management in ice-covered waters.
A demo for investigating the opportunities for using waterways in the city of Gothenburg has recently taken place in Sweden. The DenCity project is studying how waterways can become part of the city transport solution. Cities becomes denser, more people, more goods and more waste needs to be transported. The waterways are almost an untapped resource in Gothenburg. There is a great deal of space available for transporting goods and waste, and moving the transport to waterways would relieve the pressure on the roads and reduce both congestion and noise pollution. SSPA will evaluate how the use of the city waterways could be scaled up and become a commercial solution in the future.
Students and researchers from Chalmers Sports & Technology and SSPA, has together designed and developed an optimist dinghy with supreme capabilities. By using a composite with added graphene, the hull is made stronger and lighter. Hydrofoils are added to lift the boat, decreasing drag and allowing greater speeds. After tests performed in SSPA’s facility, the towing tank, the dinghy was ready to be tried out at sea. By this project, SSPA has increased the practical knowledge concerning the particular challenges of construction, configuration and testing of hydrofoil craft.