Irish software company brings space tech back to earth
29 July 2020 | 0
An Irish software company has developed a software solution for the shipping and logistics industry to help combat major risks.
With factory shutdowns, slowing GDP around the world and the prospect of weather disruption, it is a trying time for insurers in the marine sector too.
Partnering with professional services firm Aon, Skytek has developed a new software solution that uses real-time satellite tracking that allows re-insurers to visualise the precise location of insured risks alongside crucial vessel and cargo. Skytek’s React combines this information with up-to-date historical information on vessels and offshore platforms, from maintenance schedules, crew rosters and ownership and flag data, to generate predictive analytics intended to allow underwriters to not only respond faster to activity at sea but also take a deep view in their risk analyses.
This may be more necessary than ever, as 2020 is not only the year of the coronavirus pandemic, it is also predicted to be a hurricane highpoint.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a warning 2020 has a 60% chance of seeing “above-normal” hurricane activity.
“With a worse than usual hurricane season on the horizon it’s essential that insurance and reinsurance companies can keep a close watch on both prevailing conditions and their assets as they cross the Atlantic,” said Skytek chief executive and co-founder Dr Sarah Bourke.
Using NOAA data, Skytek automatically tracks tropical storms and hurricanes as they develop and move across the region and combines this with reports on current and historic vessel behaviour, using predictive analytics to allow insurers and reinsurers to consider shipping risk vessel-by-vessel or on a fleet or regional basis.
Founded in 1997, Dublin-based Skytek has worked closely with both Nasa and the European Space Agency. In May it was involved in a manned mission by Nasa, launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, to the International Space Station, where its “IPV” international procedural viewer tablet application and virtualisation software are in use.
“It’s very exciting to see our software being used in an ISS mission, not least a pioneering one like this,” said Bourke of the mission.