DHI Global Seas

  • ACTIVITYDemonstration Project
  • STATUSOngoing
  • THEMATIC AREATransport & Logistics, Maritime and Aquatic

Objectives of the service

Saving fuel is key to reducing operating expenses in the shipping industry and meeting increasing regulatory requirements for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

High fuel consumption is often the result of relying on inaccurate metocean data and particularly ocean current data. Inaccurate metocean data also makes it challenging to assess vessel performance and thus to take timely actions.

A recent feasibility study made for ESA has shown that significant fuel savings can be achieved by integrating the best ocean circulation models with satellite data. The current DHI Global Seas project implements findings from this feasibility study into a fully operational, cloud based global system.

DHI Global Seas allows you to reduce fuel consumption and to improve your vessel performance management. This is done through an ocean current, wave and wind data service. A transparent validation shows its high accuracy compared to present industry standard data sets. The DHI Global Seas data is delivered with an estimate of its uncertainty. The native cloud digital service is available as an API, file delivery and web map service and is online 24/7.

Users and their needs

The users addressed by the DHI Global Seas service and their needs are:

  • Shipping companies: Reduce operating expenses through fuel savings, better fleet management and lower risks
  • Software and service providers (to the shipping companies): Provide performance assessment and routing service that can lead to fuel savings and lower risks

Service/ system concept

The DHI Global Seas data is provided from a large set of accurate regional ocean current models enriched through assimilation of satellite altimetry data (sea surface height, wave and wind measurements) combined with global wind, wave, oceanographic and tidal models also based on satellite altimetry. DHI Global Seas delivers hourly information on ocean current, wave and wind data one-year back and five days ahead in time globally.

We include a transparent comparison of model skill to the main global metocean data sets currently being used by the industry, and we operationally predict an estimate of the space and time varying accuracy to be expected from DHI Global Seas.


Space Added Value

The solution relies most heavily on altimetry-based sea surface height products. Sea surface observations are both used for continually updating the tidal water level and current products, and it is the most important satellite observation for constraining mesoscale dynamics in ocean models via data assimilation. The semi-automated downscaling embedded in the proposal extends to altimetry, and the expected resolution and coastal improvements from the SRAL instrument on Cryosat-2, Sentinel 3A and 3B will clearly increase the local areas in which the data assimilation and data fusion techniques can be applied.

The service accuracy is further linked to the accuracy of the geoid models. Thus, advances in geoid models play an important role for DHI Global Seas. While emphasis is on ocean currents, the product will also integrate wave height and wind speed from altimetry.

Knowing vessel positions allows targeted data to be delivered, thus minimizing the required bandwidth. Standard GPS measured vessel positions are communicated as AIS data utilizing AIS collecting satellites. Further, the rapidly expanding bandwidth of satcom makes it possible to send the DHI Global Seas data products directly to the vessel, supplementing the primary delivery to the shipping companies’ operational centers and to software and service providers.

Current Status

Based on successfully conducted user-interviews and co-creation events with eight end-users, the system is designed and technology components are implemented. Design Reviews, Factory and Onsite Acceptance Tests have been successfully concluded. The validation web component quantifying the skill increase is being refined and has been fully integrated with a web service for viewing forecasts along vessel routes and spatially as a web map component with dynamic streamlines, altimetry data chain and database is finalized, data assimilative downscaling is concluded and both back-end and front-end design and implementation are done, now going through performance optimization. DHI Global Seas pilot demonstration kick-off is ongoing.

Prime Contractor(s)


Status Date

Updated: 18 September 2020 - Created: 16 September 2019