DCN Daily Cargo News
By Dale Crisp – 7th June 2024

THE SECOND stage of a project to develop satellite-guided docking manoeuvres for large PCTCs is underway in Europe.

The original 2022 initiative, through a partnership between Italy’s Grimaldi Group and the European Space Agency (ESA) within its Navigation Innovation and Support Program (NAVISP), “delivered excellent results” and has led to GSAB2 (Grimaldi Satellite Berthing 2) which got underway last month.

The new project will verify the suitability of the designed system to achieve the Autonomy Level 2 as defined by Lloyd’s Register: this condition is met when all actions at ship level are taken by a human operator on board the vessel, but decision support tools can present options or otherwise influence the actions chosen. In addition, GSAB2 will study the prerequisites for reaching the Autonomy Level 3, where decisions and actions at ship level are performed autonomously with human supervision.

The Grimaldi Group company Grimaldi Deep Sea S.p.A. will coordinate an international team with Norway’s Kongsberg, which specialises in the design of processing and signal reception technology, and RINA Services, the RINA Group company in charge of testing, inspection, classification and certification activities, assisted by RINA Germany.

Additionally, the Grimaldi Group will collaborate with Italy’s Radiolabs Consortium which will be responsible for the design, execution and validation of the system in real-world operating conditions.

Grimaldi says GSAB2 will adopt the latest innovations on satellite-based multi-sensor technologies, studied and developed as part of GSAB, and will contribute to improve the efficiency of manoeuvres in port while further increasing their safety while reducing CO2 emissions, in line with the Grimaldi Group’s strategy towards a greener and safer maritime transport.

In addition, GSAB2 will also develop advanced algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence as well as an interface for the functions of the Ship Automation system.

“Based on the excellent results from GSAB, Grimaldi Deep Sea S.p.A. intends to develop and test an advisory system to achieve safe and efficient berthing operations of large vessels, mainly focussing on the following features: vessel positioning navigation and timing for autonomous sailing and operation; berth planning for manoeuvring and sailing into and out of ports; advisory system for optimal sailing in confined port areas; Situational Awareness System; user interaction,” the company said.

The Grimaldi Group operates over 130 vessels, including PCTCs deployed on its Oceania service from Europe, represented by Nautical Shipping.


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