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Container Model Suite


The Automatic Identification System (AIS) Data Analysis and Pre-Processor (A-DAPP) is an advanced spatial analytic tool that operates on information from the vessel automated identification system. The AIS provides location, destination, sailing draft, and vessel speed data over time as vessels move.  A-DAPP acquires and organizes this information into a usable database structure, and provides analytic tools for identification of vessel statistics for a port and determination of global service routes for individual vessels.  It is used in conjunction with W-DAPP to provide arrival draft information for vessel call lists for HarborSym.

The A-DAPP provides the capability to visualize, analyze, and synthesize historical AIS data for use in container port channel improvement studies and associated model simulations. A-DAPP was developed to aid U.S. Army Corps of Engineers analysts in characterizing historic U.S. container port traffic when evaluating channel improvements and to assist in the data collection needed for the Institute for Water Resources’ (IWR) HarborSym model. A-DAPP provides the user a graphical interface for selecting a port or ports for review and exporting the AIS data for a specified timeframe. AIS is an automated system used on vessels for identification and location purposes. Vessels with AIS electronically exchange data with other vessels and Vessel Traffic System (VTS) stations. The majority of the information transmitted originates from the vessel’s navigational sensors while other information, such as the vessel name and characteristics, is programmed during the AIS installation. A vessel with AIS will send additional data at a specified time interval while underway (depending on vessel speed) and at anchor. The primary AIS data for worldwide container ship movements include unique vessel identifier, movement date and time, latitude/longitude, destination port, ship name, vessel characteristics, draft, and speed. Currently, the Corps has purchased AIS data for three years from 2006 to 2008.

A-DAPP allows for the analysis of container vessels at shore-based stations. During the analysis, A-DAPP breaks down a vessel’s ping as well as the vessel characteristics and port information. A-DAPP functions include the ability to identify routes and services by containership vessel class, development of statistical information on arrival and departure draft, calculation of statistics on the amount of time spent by vessels at docks, determination of vessel speeds at various points along the route, and calculation of trip shares and other statistics by vessel class, service, and route group. Vessel call information for a specific port on dock arrival times/dates, arrival drafts, and route groups can be exported and combined with Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center (WCSC) data using the IWR’s WCSC Data Analysis and Pre-Processor (W-DAPP) tool. The arrival times/dates, draft data, route groups, and services can be used to analyze current port traffic patterns for creating historical and future vessel call lists in the HarborSym model.

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