UV - Unmanned Vehicles

Norway opens autonomous vessel test-bed

12th December 2017 - 10:12 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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A new autonomous shipping test-bed has been opened adjacent to Kongsberg Maritime’s Horten facility in Norway to support the development of new solutions for autonomous maritime operations.

The new area is open to both Norwegian and international organisations, and is designed to be a safe, non-congested space to trial new technology and vessels. The area is specially designated for autonomous trials by the Norwegian Maritime Administration and the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

The introduction of the test bed follows the opening of the world’s first autonomous shipping test-bed in September 2016 located on the Trondheimsfjord in Norway, which was supported by Kongsberg.

Test-beds are an important resource for the ongoing development of technology for projects such as the YARA Birkeland all electric, autonomous container ship, the Hrönn autonomous offshore support vessel and marine robotics technology.

Kongsberg’s use of the fjord at Horten for safe autonomous vessel testing during 2017 has been integral to the area receiving its official status as a test-bed. This includes the August demonstration by Kongsberg and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment of high-speed autonomous obstacle avoidance using the Odin unmanned surface vehicle equipped with the K-Mate autonomy controller solution.

Egil Haugsdal, president, Kongsberg Maritime, said: ‘With critical developments in maritime autonomy technology and software taking place at Kongsberg Maritime in Horten, the location of the new test-bed will support a number of ground-breaking technology projects.

‘Establishment of these test-beds are an important step, as it shows close co-operation between the people making the technology and vessels and the organisations developing the rules that will allow them to operate.’

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