Monday, March 23, 2020

Another Boost for Autonomous Vessel Technology as Navigation Simulator Delivered

Suite Provides a Precise Testing Environment for Remote Controlled Shipping
Shipping News Feature

FINLAND – Technology group Wärtsilä has delivered a navigation simulator and specific mathematical models to its fellow countrymen at the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) in the city of Rauma, Finland. These will be used as an essential enabler in the Intelligent Shipping Technology Test Laboratory (ISTLAB) project, which aims at creating a technically precise testing environment for remotely controlled, autonomous vessels.

The test laboratory project is the first of its kind in the world, and its contributors claim its unique approach makes it of great interest, and of great value, to the global maritime community. The programme will, in turn, identify and open the prospects and possibilities for remote pilotage.

The joint-use laboratory has seen cooperation with Finnish Geospatial Research Institute and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The supporting partners are the Finnish Transport Agency, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency TRAFI, Finnpilot Pilotage Oy, Port of Rauma, Finnish Vessel Traffic Service VTS, WinNova Länsirannikon Koulutus Ltd in addition to Wärtsilä, whose Deputy General Manager, Voyage Solutions, Alexander Ozersky, said:

“This project is yet another example of how Wärtsilä’s simulation technology can enable an essential testing environment for future, ready-to-go, smart marine solutions. The results of this project, and the technology involved, can be utilised worldwide to deliver enhanced safety and efficiency in marine operations.”

Wärtsilä and SAMK have worked in close cooperation for more than 20 years. The university already has a full mission simulator with six bridges at its facility, which was installed in 2016. Meri-Maija Marva, Training Manager, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, commented:

“The intention is to eventually develop an actual case study. However, first we need to carry out simulated testing, and for this the Wärtsilä technology is essential. The overall support from Wärtsilä in this tremendously important project has been critical.”

Photo: Courtesy SAMK / Pekka Lehmuskallio. The Wärtsilä navigation simulator is an essential enabler in the ISTLAB project aimed at creating a testing environment for smart autonomous vessels.