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Eidsvaag Pioner completes complex 160 nm autonomous voyage

Eidsvaag The vessel Eidsvag Pioner in front of a lighthouse
Kongsberg announced the successful completion of an autonomous- and remote-control demonstration voyage, including undocking, harbour and sea navigation.

The demonstration was carried out as part of the EU AUTOSHIP project using Eidsvaag Pioner, a vessel which supplies ocean fish farms around Norway. The 160 nautical mile test cruise last for over 13 hours off the coast of Kristiansund, northwest Norway, from the port of Averøy to an ocean fish farm and back.

A second demonstration is scheduled for June 1, deploying a cargo barge on the inland waterways around Wintam, Belgium.

Crew were present onboard Eidsvaag Pioner during the voyage, but the demonstration was initiated, managed and monitored by the crew from the Kongsberg Remote Operating Centre (ROC) on land in Ålesund. The land-based engineer and captain occasionally remotely-controlled the vessel.

Eidsvaag Pioner automatically undocked from the quay at Averøy, was autonomously controlled through the navigation and manoeuvres out of the harbour and onwards to open sea where the ship avoided sea traffic and islands to reach Salmar’s Ocean Farm 1.

“Various manoeuvres were then carried out using the Dynamic Positioning (DP) system. The vessel next returned to port, again navigating open sea and congested seaways before it automatically docked again,” said Kongsberg.

CEO of Kongsberg, Geir Håøy, said: “This was an opportunity to show the world that remote and autonomous technologies can be successfully deployed on a general cargo vessel, carrying out a range of operational aspects of a typical voyage.

“There has been great collaboration between all partners in the AUTOSHIP project, and we have all been impressed with how the Eidsvaag Pioner performed under remote control and during autonomous sailing and docking.

“Today we have demonstrated a range of the key enabling technologies that will lead the way towards routine remote and autonomous operation in the years ahead.”

AUTOSHIP is an €30m project with €20m of EU funding; it is aimed at increasing EU shipbuilding and ship technology capabilities through the advancement of next generation autonomous ships and demonstrating practical applications of the technologies.

Kongsberg said its deployed technologies included: Auto-undocking and Autodocking, Situational Awareness System, Autonomous Navigation System, Intelligent Machinery System, Connectivity & Cyber Security System, Remote Operations Centre and Dynamic Positioning.

TAGS: Europe