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Enabling Harbour to Harbour Autonomous Shipping



Prime contractor
Organisational Unit
Implementation progress
26 June 2020

Duration: 24 months


In the autonomous shipping scenario, vessels will navigate following prescribed routes, adaptively changed based on risks and environmental conditions. GNSS and its augmentation systems will represent the key enabling technology to attain safety of navigation, especially considering systems providing accuracy and integrity information (e.g. Galileo, EGNOS). However, they may not be sufficient to assure safety of navigation, when ships are not using good quality GNSS receivers or switch off positioning systems. Also “non-collaborative” objects, such as natural and artificial debris, may represent possible hazards. Therefore, EO data can represent complementary or redundant information to improve traffic monitoring. Indeed, EO data can be used to detect sailing vessels with no AIS receiver and to compare the AIS position versus positions detected in optical and SAR-images. The combined use of such EO data will increase available information and could provide support to vessels detection (shape, dimension, route). The proposed activity aims to investigate the added value of using EO and AIS data by analyzing historical data in coastal zones, where the EO availability is currently higher and is expected to increase, reaching revisit times from 1 to 6 hours for any spot in the world in 2021. This will allow the creation of hazard maps tracing navigation obstacles’ position and dimension, from statistical forecast and near-real time observations. The project will quantify statistically the accuracy of the current GNSS information provided through the AIS systems and to assess hazards in routes. The output will consist in an estimate of the benefit in terms of reduced risk of navigation when EO data are exploited. The innovative aspect in the proposed solution is the integration of various data sources, considering the future evolutions of GNSS and EO systems, to pave the way for and provide recommendations for future autonomous shipping.

Contract number
OSIP Idea Id
Related OSIP Campaign
Harbour to Harbour Autonomous Shipping
Main application area
Enabling Harbour to Harbour Autonomous Shipping