Rolls-Royce said it has signed a deal with Swedish ferry company
Stena Line AB to collaborate in the development of its first
intelligent awareness system.
Intelligent awareness systems will make vessels safer, easier and
more efficient to operate by providing crew with an enhanced
understanding of their vessel's surroundings, according to
Rolls-Royce. This will be achieved by fusing data from a range of
sensors with information from existing ship systems; such as
Automatic Identification System (AIS) and radar. Data from other
sources, including global databases, will also have a role.
Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce, Director Digital & Systems -
Marine, said, "We have been exploring and testing how to combine
sensor technologies effectively and affordably for some time.
Pilot projects such as this will allow us to see how they can be
best adapted to the needs of a commercial vessel and its crew and
allow us to develop a product which better serves both."
"Successful pilots and product development programs are also an
important step towards the further development of remote and
autonomous vessels and meeting our goal of having a remote
controlled ship in commercial use by the end of the decade," said
Harry Robertsson, Technical Director at Stena Teknik, expert
technical advisors to the Swedish ferry company. "Stena Teknik
continuously conducts research and development in the marine
technology sector. This project gives us an opportunity to
explore how new technologies can be integrated with the systems
we already have on-board and to provide a more informed view of a
vessel's surroundings in an accessible and user friendly way.
This will give our crew an enhanced decision support tool,
increasing the safety of our vessels."
Rolls-Royce said it expects to be able to undertake an Approval
of Concept and have its intelligent awareness product
commercially available later in 2017.
The system builds on experiences from R&D work worldwide. The
intelligent awareness system will benefit from Rolls-Royce's
extensive experience in the Tekes funded project Advanced
Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA), which has
been running since June 2015. The company has been conducting a
series of tests of the sensor arrays in a range of operating and
climatic conditions on board Finferries' 65 meter double ended
ferry Stella, which operates between Korpo and Houtskär in the
Archipelago Sea on the southwest coast of Finland.