News Item

Intelligent Awareness for shipping

Rolls-Royce has introduced Intelligent Awareness (IA) to increase situation awareness for ships' bridge personnel.

The system builds a 3D map around the vessel, based on light detection and ranging (LIDAR), using a pulsed laser beam to measure distances. Already in use in autonomous road vehicles, this links to GNSS data to create a 3D environment - allowing crews to ‘see’ what the human eye can’t.

The LIDAR creates a ‘point cloud' - firing ~300,000 beams from a laser and measuring the time taken for reflections to return - to create a 3D map. Further spatial information is gathered from on-board HD cameras, linked to software which can identify vessels or objects and apply learning algorithms to determine characteristics, such as how fast a vessel is travelling.

And, when LIDAR, GNSS, cameras, radar and the Automatic Identification System (AIS) are combined through 'data fusion', those controlling the ship are provided with a complete overview of its surroundings; the crew can use any combination of 3D view, radar overlay and electronic chart.

Rolls-Royce explain that IA is particularly beneficial for the safe navigation of busy ports or challenging environments, such as dense fog causing poor visibility in busy shipping channels. Their Technical Product Manager, Situational Awareness Systems, explains: 'We can use IA in any ship type where there’s a need for better situational awareness. The system is the first of its kind to be made commercially available, using data in a clear user interface to enhance safety and efficiency.'

The company adds that IA builds on their extensive experience in research into autonomous vessels, gained through participation in the Finnish Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications (AAWA) project.

Details and image from the link below . .

  • 08 March 2018
  • RIN

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