Unmanned Ships Now a Reality

Posted by Peter Pospiech
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Drones do it and spacecraft have too, for many years. Recently, also, automobile makers and small boat makers have introduced their first autonomous vehicles on the streets, and waterways.
Unmanned vessels on the ocean is no longer a dream – it is a reality. And according to those in the know, the reality will really start to come to fruition in the coming decaded.
The MUNIN project (Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks) is investigating potential concepts for a fully or partially unmanned merchant vessel. The case ship is a dry bulk carrier of handymax size, operating on routes between Europe and South America in the beginning. The project is being partly funded by the EU in pursuit of one of the project outcomes of the European Waterborne Strategic Research Agenda: The autonomous ship.
Partners of the MUNIN project are: the Fraunhofer CML, MARINTEK, Chalmers University, Hochschule Wismar, Aptomar, MarineSoft, MARORKA, University College Cork. The available budget is of $5.13m in total whereby $3.9m is funded by the EU. The MUNIN project was started on September 1, 2012, and will be finished in three year time.
Partly or fully unmanned ships will offer many possible benefits, but one of the main driving forces for the project has been the problem of recruiting sufficient qualified crew-members. This is already a significant problem in Europe, and it will increase as “slow steaming” becomes more widespread. Lower speeds and longer voyage durations will increase the overall demand for crew while reducing the attractiveness of the job: staying at sea for three weeks or more and communicating with friends and family via cost intensive telecommunication systems.
The idea of a ship sailing without a lookout and helmsman is worrying and even frightening to many people. One important part of the project, therefore, is to show that unmanned ships can be at least as safe as conventional vessels, and may even be safer. Professionals agree that “human error” is the cause of between 65 and 90% of shipping accidents. While the definition of human error and the role played in it by technology can be discussed, there is arguably great potential for improving safety by relieving the crew of the most tedious tasks, such as keeping a lookout over open sea for three weeks at a stretch. The MUNIN project will employ the KISS principle: Keep it Simple Stupid! It is important that the technology employed is well-tried and trustworthy. It is also important to use the appropriate technology for the problems at hands.

Posted by Peter Pospiech @ www.maritimepropulsion.com

 

(As published in the February 2014 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - www.marinelink.com)

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Keppel Acquires Cameron's Rig Business

Singapore's Keppel Offshore & Marine (KOM), via subsidiary, Keppel Offshore & Marine USA  has inked a deal with Cameron International Corporation, a US-based oil and gas solutions provider,

New Satcom Global Website in Oceania

Today, Satcom Global launched its Australian website, www.satcomglobal.com.au, which will offer a platform to better support our valued channel partners and customers in the region.

Gazprom, OMV Meet on Establishing Nord Stream JV

At a Meeting held at the Gazprom headquarters between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company's Management Committee and Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV,

Marine Power

Exhaust Gas Scrubber Guide Updated

An updated version of the “Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Selection Guide” is now available, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced today.   Developed

Thordon Bearings Names New China Distributor

Thordon Bearings Inc. of Canada announced that CY Engineering Co. Ltd. will take over as the new authorized distributor for the People’s Republic of China, including Macau and Hong Kong,

LUKOIL Marine Lubricants Opens Gothenburg Warehouse

LUKOIL Marine Lubricants informs it has opened a new warehouse in Gothenburg.   The marine lubricants supplier said it constantly strives to expand its global supply network,

News

Obama Defends Arctic Oil Drilling

United States' President Barack Obama defends his decision to allow Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean.   He insisted that there was no contradiction

Optimistic on VLCC Market

Shipbroker Charles R. Weber is quite optimistic on the future prospects of the VLCC market for 2016 onwards.   The demand is expected to remain elevated with

Eni Finds Giant Egyptian Offshore Gas Field

The Italian energy major Eni SpA discovered a “super giant” natural gas field offshore Egypt in what the Italian oil company said is the largest find in the Mediterranean Sea.

Marine Equipment

United Heavy Lift Gears up for the Asian Boom

All set to expand its footprint in the South Asian market significantly, Hamburg based, United Heavy Lift (UHL) appointed strategically placed Lexicon Overseas Pvt Ltd.

World’s Quickest Trip Through Northern Sea Route

Chinese sailor Guo Chuan intends to make it world’s quickest Northern Sea Route trip from Murmansk to the Bering Strait in 14 days without engine power. His

MN 100: ContainerTug B.V.

The Company: ContainerTug B.V. is a specialized Dutch naval design engineering and construction company with a strong focus on developing workboats and the evaluation

Maritime Safety

Hurricane Ignacio Gains Strength but Expected to Bypass Hawaii

Hurricane Ignacio intensified as it blew across the Pacific on a route likely to bypass Hawaii on Saturday, said the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service.

World’s Quickest Trip Through Northern Sea Route

Chinese sailor Guo Chuan intends to make it world’s quickest Northern Sea Route trip from Murmansk to the Bering Strait in 14 days without engine power. His

USCG Reopens Key West Ports After Erika Dissipates

Effective 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Capt. Jeffrey Janszen, Coast Guard Captain of the Port, reopened Key West, Florida, ports, terminals and facilities due to Tropical Storm Erika dissipating.

Vessels

Optimistic on VLCC Market

Shipbroker Charles R. Weber is quite optimistic on the future prospects of the VLCC market for 2016 onwards.   The demand is expected to remain elevated with

Goldenport Bleeds in Red

Goldenport Holdings Inc reported a net loss of USD14.7 million in the first six months of 2015, significantly wider than the USD1.4 million net loss a year earlier

Strong Returns for Sovcomflot

Russia’s biggest shipping company PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) surpassed its own expectations and went forward on both revenue and net profit in the first six months.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.5943 sec (2 req/sec)