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A deep dive into Swire’s new helideck monitoring system, with Åmund Korneliussen

Posted 12 Dec 2023

Swire Energy Services (SES) recently launched its brand new Scalable Aviation Weather Observation System (SAWOS) - a combined helideck and environmental monitoring system.

Åmund Korneliussen, Development Manager for our aviation division, led this project from concept through to completion, and is incredibly passionate about the potential this system brings to the aviation industry.

We caught up with Åmund to dive deep into the world of SAWOS, exploring how it will deliver value to offshore operators, key features that are already exciting customers, and how the system was developed…

Why did SES decide to develop its own helideck monitoring system?

“When I joined Swire after its acquisition of Helifuel in 2021, it was great to see the breadth of helideck services being delivered, but I felt there was a missing piece of the puzzle: a complementary software package.

“This is where my initial idea for SAWOS began, and after I developed it further, I pitched it to the SES management team. They were very excited about the concept, approved the proposed plan and we got to work straight away.”

What did the development process look like for SAWOS?

“I worked closely with our in-house software development team, and implemented a rigorous 12-step development framework that spanned two years. My whole career has focused on IT and automation systems, specifically weather systems, as well as customer care and product development, so I was uniquely positioned to manage this project from start to finish.

“My goal was to create a software package that was better than anything I’d worked with before in previous roles - one that would deliver significant value to SES’s customers. I identified key milestones and features I wanted to achieve, and this enabled us to build a reliable database system that could communicate with different sensors across the helideck, and provide rapid visibility of real-time data.

“After rigorous testing and optimisation, we shared the system with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for approval.”

What capabilities does this system have?

“SAWOS goes far beyond a traditional helideck monitoring system. Although this was the primary function we strived to achieve, we wanted to add more value for our customers within the same, single system, and this is where the environmental monitoring elements came into play.

“At its core, SAWOS is a high speed, real-time data and logging software package that connects to all sensors available across the vessel. It monitors and provides rapid access to helideck and weather data to enable users to make informed decisions, instantly.

“This combined approach opens up a world of possibilities beyond helicopter operations, enhancing operations, improving safety and enabling better decision making.”

What are the key features that are already exciting customers?

“The lightning detection feature is proving to be of high interest, as it allows teams to detect lightning storms well in advance, providing ample opportunity to get everyone to safety.

“The software also has a calibrated forecast, which provides high levels of accuracy around predicted operating conditions. By having this live data directly in the system, teams can gain 10-20% additional operational time as they can plan and coordinate more reliably, and avoid wasting time.

“This also ties into sustainability benefits, as if you have a higher level of accuracy in your weather data, you reduce wasted vessel trips and therefore significantly reduce associated emissions.

“SAWOS also has a high level of integration with other systems, enabling data sharing across multiple platforms and teams. This will enhance far more than just helicopter operations, and unlock a huge amount of opportunities.”

In your opinion, what makes this the best helideck monitoring system on the market?

“It’s a first-class, industry-approved helideck monitoring system, but with an additional layer of extremely valuable functionality built-in.

“The high speed capability of this system is also a key differentiator. This was one of the core challenges I wanted to solve with SAWOS, as previous software I’d used couldn’t achieve the data processing and logging speed I believed was crucial to run efficient, reliable offshore operations. I am extremely proud of the speed our system can capture and deliver data to end-users, and believe this makes it the best system on the market.”

Alongside our existing aviation services, this new helideck and environmental monitoring system enables our aviation division to offer an end-to-end helideck and refuelling solution for the offshore market - helping operators save on costs and time.

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