• 2020 July 8 17:27

    Maritime partners unveil Autonomous Guard Vessel

    A consortium of maritime partners unveiled the concept design of an Autonomous Guard Vessel on Tuesday 7 July. C-Job Naval Architects, in collaboration with LISA Community, Seazip Offshore Service, Sea Machines, MARIN and eL-Tec Elektrotechnologie, created a modern design which will support the offshore industry by exploiting technology available today, C-Job Naval Architects says in a press release.

    The novel design is smaller and lighter than most current guard vessels used to protect offshore operations and boasts sustainable solutions as well as exploiting the benefits of autonomous shipping. In addition, the Autonomous Guard Vessel (AGV) is set to operate more efficiently as well as require lower operating costs due to no crew being required.

    This clean and lean concept to replace conventional guard vessels came to life in a project group facilitated by LISA, a community for maritime professionals. The project group resulted in a consortium, which includes C-Job Naval Architects, SeaZip Offshore Service, Sea Machines and recently joined by MARIN and eL-Tec elektrotechniek BV. Their combined industry knowledge created this viable, innovative, and sustainable alternative which benefits both wind asset owners and guard vessel operators.

    The Autonomous Guard Vessel is specifically designed for surveillance of offshore structures throughout their life cycle, ranging from wind farms to substation platforms and cable routes. With any area that needs to be secured, the AGV can continuously monitor nearby marine traffic visually as well as via radar and AIS data. With any vessel that approaches the area, measures will be taken to secure the area in order to avoid collisions and damage to the offshore infrastructure. An intruding vessel can be communicated with and will receive information on how to safely navigate the area as well as being physically escorted away from the site by the Autonomous Guard Vessel. Additionally, the encounter will be recorded to provide video footage in case of any violation or accident.

    Pelle de Jong, Founding Partner LISA, explains “Guard vessels perform an essential job, however, it is not the most exciting one for crew. Combined with the fact that conventional guard vessels are mostly outdated and thus aren’t necessarily the most comfortable let alone sustainable, it can be difficult to find well-trained crew willing to do the job.

    “The group set out to improve upon the overall process of securing an offshore area while incorporating sustainable solutions and reducing overall cost. By utilizing the knowledge we have as a group as well as the technology already available, we succeeded in creating a design which does this and more.”

    Thanks to incorporating state-of-the-art technology, the Autonomous Guard Vessel does not require crew onboard the vessel.  Therefore, accommodations can be eliminated in the design, meaning the ship will be considerably smaller than existing guard vessels. The smaller size creates a number of opportunities, such as using batteries thanks to reduced propulsion requirements. Additionally, the reduced power and lack of onboard crew leads to lower operational costs.

    Sustainability is key to ensure both the viability and durability of the design. Rolph Hijdra, Autonomous Research Lead at C-Job Naval Architects, says “We are pleased we were able to develop a battery-powered design, ensuring the Autonomous Guard Vessel is free of harmful emissions. Additionally, the ship has solar panels across the top which allows for the continuation of navigation and communications in case the batteries run out of power.

    “Contrary to current guard vessels, the AGV will continue to be operational even with rough sea conditions and have minimal underwater noise owing to the smaller size, reduced propulsion requirements and absence of a diesel engine.”

    The Autonomous Guard Vessel will recharge its batteries via a charging station. The charging station can be moored independently or connected to existing equipment onsite. Depending on the situation, charging could either be via a cable connection to the on-site equipment such as an offshore transformer platform or locally generated using renewable fuels.

    The consortium envisions an offshore site will need a number of Autonomous Guard Vessels, which can take turns in monitoring the area and recharging. Harm Mulder, Operations Manager at SeaZip Offshore Service, says “The Autonomous Guard Vessels will be constantly patrolling the area and take turns recharging. One fully charged AGV will remain on stand-by supporting operations if a situation arises. For example, when an intrusion is detected – one of the AGVs will monitor, warn, and escort the intruding ship to safety, while the others continue normal operations. Alternatively, it could take over from a monitoring vessel in case the battery runs out of power.”

    While the consortium continues to work on the Autonomous Guard Vessel design, they have considered human intervention for the unmanned vessel. Conventional guard vessels patrolling offshore structures, from installation through to decommissioning, have few incidents that require intervention from those onboard the vessel. For those exceptional circumstances the Autonomous Guard Vessel, if human intervention would be required, will be connected to a Command Center which could control the AGV remotely to ensure correct action is taken. In addition, all data collected by the AGV will be send to the Command Center. This can be a standalone on a mother ship or a shore-based station.

    Frank Relou, Business Development Manager at Sea Machines, says “Smart vessel technology will have the most significant initial impact on small workboats, such as this guard vessel. The development of autonomous technology for vessel operations are occurring on an international level but namely in niche segments, such as the guard vessel and other examples, currently operating in (with supervised autonomy), marine survey, fire, patrol, aquaculture and offshore wind operations.”




2021 May 11

18:07 Port of Melbourne welcomes proposed funding for intermodal terminal
17:58 Throughput of Taganrog port in 4M’2021 climbed by 4% Y-o-Y
17:42 Throughput of Azov port in 4M’2021 climbed by 5% YoY
17:24 ONE and StormGeo partner to enhance safety and fuel efficiency for 250-vessel fleet
17:06 Scorpio upgrades its entire fleet with Marlink's hybrid network solution
16:57 Russian Maritime Register of Shipping introduces CON-M notation
16:29 Norcod strengthens team with new CFO
16:24 AIDA Cruises opens with AIDAsol Europe's largest shore power plant in Rostock-Warnemünde, Germany
16:20 EU awards nearly € 25 million in funding to ‘green port project’ Rotterdam
15:55 Multipurpose Reloading Complex in Ust-Luga expands its fleet of environment protection equipment
15:31 Award-winning design and innovation - Galeon 410 HTC
15:24 Austal Australia delivers 10th Guardian Class Patrol Boat
15:08 Oil shipments via CPC Marine Terminal in 4M’21 fell by 11.2% YoY
14:23 Wan Hai Lines launches weekly AA5 Service with call to the Port of Oakland
14:00 Average spot market price for Russian M100 product rose to RUB 22,994 pmt
13:41 Throughput of Port Vysotsky LLC in 4M’2021 fell by 5.6%
13:22 Estuary container shipping on the rise in Zeebrugge
12:53 Russian Railways' network loading climbed by 1.8% in 4M’2021
12:30 Keppel Offshore & Marine awarded US$2.3b contract to build FPSO for Petrobras
12:12 Evac´s marine growth prevention ensuring efficiency on new Polish Navy tugs
11:42 StormGeo to be acquired by Alfa Laval
11:16 BLRT Grupp completed maintenance of icebreaker Botnica
10:44 Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum 2021 digital tables global cruise industry issues
10:25 Lena River United Shipping Company opens navigation season of 2021
10:01 Ocean Network Express expands its refrigerated container fleet
09:39 Oil prices decrease on demand concerns
09:18 Baltic Dry Index as of May 10
09:01 APM Terminals agrees divestment of APM Terminals Rotterdam to Hutchinson Ports
08:47 DP World expands European inland network through Swissterminal tender success to operate three Alsace ports

2021 May 10

16:18 Island Offshore secures contract for its W2W vessel Island Diligence
15:53 Van Oord acquires second autonomous survey vessel
15:29 Diana Shipping Inc. announces time charter contract for m/v Myrsini with Bocimar
14:19 USCG rescues 3 people from sinking vessel near Black Bay
13:48 Sea trial completed for hospital ship Global Mercy
13:47 Damen awarded contract by Engage Marine for three ASD Tugs 3212
12:56 Seacat Rainbow secures first long-term charter with Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Ltd
12:36 Nor-Shipping to identify post-pandemic potential on new industry talk show
11:42 Maritime companies committed to nurturing young talents despite COVID-19 challenges
10:27 Precautionary measures in seaport stepped up

2021 May 9

16:03 ClassNK certifies Alpha Ori’s AssetAI as Innovation Endorsement for Products & Solutions
15:34 EU COVID-19 Certificate is crucial to revive regional tourism but it must be non-discriminatory and respect high security standards
15:02 Full power of Current Direct project brought into focus
14:27 UK High Court confirms shipowner had an unfettered right to collect freight under its bills of lading even whilst on time charter
13:15 VIKING YouSafe™ W2W lightweight immersion suit makes crew transfer easier
12:32 Port of Gothenburg set to introduce Berth Planner for smart calls
11:52 Five improved facilities in the Port of Amsterdam
10:49 ClassNK issues AiP for Kawasaki hydrogen carrier cargo containment system
09:10 IAA PortNews' congratulations on Victory Day!

2021 May 8

17:09 Kalmar and BTP strengthen long-standing collaboration with new order for Kalmar Ottawa T7 terminal tractors in Brazil
16:17 Sweden’s first inland shipping shuttle service introduced between Stockholm Norvik and Port of Västerås
15:39 Cameroonian port orders two Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbor Cranes to raise productivity and handling capacity
15:26 IMO meeting to focus on containers lost at sea
14:48 ABP invests £140K to enhance facilities at Port of Troon
14:27 SEA-LNG members the Port of Corpus Christi Authority and Stabilis Solutions partner to construct LNG fueling infrastructure for marine vessels
13:22 Passed with flying colours: Formosa 2 project team in Taiwan
13:06 Start-up of Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 production in Qingdao will strengthen ties with Asian shipyards
12:47 CDWE signs Exclusivity Capacity Agreement with CSBC for pin piles for the Hai Long offshore wind farm
12:43 LNG will play key role in industry’s decarbonization ambitions, suggests ABS survey
11:36 Shipping unites to create $1M target emergency relief fund in response to COVID-19 seafarer crisis
10:12 Ports prepare for digital revolution: report examining connectivity at UK's economic gateways