Advances in autonomous technology have created opportunities for the maritime industry to use sensor technology to increase safety and reduce the number of accidents at sea.

The AUTOSEA project will use sensor fusion to reduce the risk of collisions at sea. Image source: wikipedia.orgThe AUTOSEA project will use sensor fusion to reduce the risk of collisions at sea. Image source: wikipedia.orgThe AUTOSEA project focuses on automated situation awareness using sensor fusion to reduce the risk of collisions when an increased level of autonomy is introduced. The AUTOSEA project also uses sensors like camera, infrared and LIDAR, in addition to conventional maritime radar to improve detection capabilities on small objects and better cover for the close-range sector. Project partners include the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Kongsberg Maritime, Maritime Robotics and DNV GL.

“The last decade has witnessed substantial progress towards increased autonomy both for land vehicles, aerial vehicles, and underwater vehicles,” says Edmund Brekke, associate professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Department of Engineering Cybernetics. However, ocean surface vehicles present a different context and challenges that require substantial research. The research project’s primary objective is to gain competence and knowledge of multi-sensor data fusion to provide a foundation to qualify autonomous marine technology.

The AUTOSEA project is being undertaken by a group of largely Scandinavian organizations and focuses on four different categories: sensor fusion, collision avoidance, system architecture and experiments.

“Our vision is to attain world-leading competence and knowledge in the design and verification of sensor fusion and collision avoidance for advanced ships and vehicles in maritime operations,” says Thor Hukkelås, principal engineer marine operations at Kongsberg Maritime. “There is a great potential for increased efficiency and safety in many operations by using autonomy to support humans working and living in challenging ocean space.”

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