Aberdeen-based marine and naval architectural consultancy, Tymor, is preparing for a new wave of autonomous and remote-controlled shipping by embedding artificial intelligence into its ‘Measurement of Stability in Service’ system (MOSIS).
The MOSIS system measures a vessel’s vertical centre of gravity to provide vital feedback on vessel stability in variable conditions. Now Tymor has embarked on a three-phase programme over three years to enhance the system to meet the future needs of industry. The first phase is aimed at integrating MOSIS with other ship instrumentation and sensors, followed by a second phase to deliver stability information in real time, and finally an artificial intelligence application with be embedded to support autonomous shipping.
Scottish Enterprise is supporting the project through their Innovation Grant programme and has committed part funding against the £100,000 cost of the first phase of system development, which includes an enhanced user interface and updated coding.
Autonomous vessel control is presently focused on using aids such as radar and weather information to make decisions for routing and collision avoidance. Uniquely Tymor is focused on providing stability and motion data to enhance this intelligence and support safe operations. This allows experienced mariners remotely in charge of the autonomous vessel to make more informed decisions.
Development of MOSIS will see it gather real-time data during vessel operation, to compare actual conditions with baseline stability and motion calculations and provide immediate feedback to assist mariners with control of the vessel. Significant changes due to damage, accidental operation or ship dynamics will produce alerts to ensure optimum safety.
The new artificial intelligence application will then learn the vessel’s changing motion characteristics in real-time, whilst in service, identify patterns developing which may lead to the vessel exceeding safe operating envelopes and advise when to take necessary action. For example, it will advise the operator to move away from a course and speed which may lead to an increased stability risk developing.
Kevin Moran, managing director of Tymor explained: “We are excited to be working at the forefront of developing the technology required to support an emerging era of autonomous shipping. Autonomous ships, like autonomous cars, are expected to become much more prevalent in the future. To build on existing navigational systems and meet the advancing needs of autonomous control, Tymor’s experience in real-time stability and motion monitoring will ensure that MOSIS provides additional vessel safety.”
Chris Cooper, account manager at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland is home to a nation of innovators and seafarers and to see these disciplines brought together in a forward-thinking technology project of this type is tremendously exciting. Safety for autonomous vessels cannot be underestimated and will quickly benefit many key sectors such as oil and gas, defence and commercial shipping.”