AUTONOMY AND decision support

MISSION-ORIENTED RESEARCH PROGRAMME

The next evolutionary step in shipping will be the development of autonomous sailing vessels. MARIN is playing an important role in the research and testing needed to make autonomous shipping a reality.

SUB PROGRAMMES

autonomy and control

Situational Awareness encompasses all activities required to build an up to date view of the ship in its environment. The input data is coming from the internal ship systems giving information about the status of onboard systems and hence the current capabilities of the ship, from sensors giving information about the ship in its environment (position, speed, etc), to information about the environment (weather data, wind, waves) and the navigational objects and hazards (other traffic, obstacles, etc).

autonomy and control

Situational Awareness encompasses all activities required to build an up to date view of the ship in its environment. The input data is coming from the internal ship systems giving information about the status of onboard systems and hence the current capabilities of the ship, from sensors giving information about the ship in its environment (position, speed, etc), to information about the environment (weather data, wind, waves) and the navigational objects and hazards (other traffic, obstacles, etc).

PLANNING & DECISIONS

The sub-programme "Planning & Decisions" aims to develop tools to assist operators in making decisions (autonomy level 2, 3). These decisions occur at different levels in the planning and execution of operations at sea: the strategic (long-term) level, e.g. route voyage optimisation; the tactical (mid-term) level, e.g. avoiding offshore objects and other traffic; and the real time (short-term) level, e.g. safe and efficient offshore operations like crew transfer.

PLANNING & DECISIONS

The sub-programme "Planning & Decisions" aims to develop tools to assist operators in making decisions (autonomy level 2, 3). These decisions occur at different levels in the planning and execution of operations at sea: the strategic (long-term) level, e.g. route voyage optimisation; the tactical (mid-term) level, e.g. avoiding offshore objects and other traffic; and the real time (short-term) level, e.g. safe and efficient offshore operations like crew transfer.

CONTROL & ALLOCATION

The sub-programme "Control & Allocation" aims at analysing, developing and applying methods to control the vessel actuators. The control is such that the objectives following from observations ("Situational Awareness") and the selected strategy ("Planning & Decisions") are achieved. Optimum control and allocation will result in a better and safer use of floating equipment with an increased operational envelope.

CONTROL & ALLOCATION

The sub-programme "Control & Allocation" aims at analysing, developing and applying methods to control the vessel actuators. The control is such that the objectives following from observations ("Situational Awareness") and the selected strategy ("Planning & Decisions") are achieved. Optimum control and allocation will result in a better and safer use of floating equipment with an increased operational envelope.

DESIGN FOR SAFETY & REGULATIONS

This sub-programme aims at the establishment of an independent test bed environment for automated and controlled maritime systems. This test bed environment offers the capability to verify the compliance to rules and regulations of the (sub) system as part of a larger integrated automated system. The certification process requires per type of application an agreed set of benchmark scenarios and an, open and flexible simulation environment with the appropriate (modelled) system environment. The deliverable of such a platform is either a validated regulation or a safety approved (sub) system for e predefined level of autonomy.

DESIGN FOR SAFETY & REGULATIONS

This sub-programme aims at the establishment of an independent test bed environment for automated and controlled maritime systems. This test bed environment offers the capability to verify the compliance to rules and regulations of the (sub) system as part of a larger integrated automated system. The certification process requires per type of application an agreed set of benchmark scenarios and an, open and flexible simulation environment with the appropriate (modelled) system environment. The deliverable of such a platform is either a validated regulation or a safety approved (sub) system for e predefined level of autonomy.

PROTOTYPES & DEMONSTRATIONS

The Autonomy & Control sub-programmes are tightly integrated and the sum is more than the parts. To be able to set the priorities for the sub-programmes a number of demonstration cases and prototypes are defined. Each of these has a slightly different focus but together they will cover the main topics of all the sub-programmes. The definition of the cases and prototypes is highly opportunity driven and might even change over time because their definition will also strongly depend on the partnerships that will be necessary to achieve the objectives of this program. In time the complexity of the cases will increase as the level of autonomy increases.

PROTOTYPES & DEMONSTRATIONS

The Autonomy & Control sub-programmes are tightly integrated and the sum is more than the parts. To be able to set the priorities for the sub-programmes a number of demonstration cases and prototypes are defined. Each of these has a slightly different focus but together they will cover the main topics of all the sub-programmes. The definition of the cases and prototypes is highly opportunity driven and might even change over time because their definition will also strongly depend on the partnerships that will be necessary to achieve the objectives of this program. In time the complexity of the cases will increase as the level of autonomy increases.
AUTONOMOUS SAILING
A great deal of debate and speculation surrounds autonomous sailing. And while MARIN does not pretend to know all the answers, we are taking practical steps to assist in its development.