Aker Arctic Technology has successfully tested an autonomous ship model in ice-free waters at its ice model test laboratory in the Finnish capital Helsinki.
The model ship, equipped with on-board sensors, successfully identified obstacles in the ice tank in the test.
It also manoeuvred around the obstacles without operator guidance and moored itself at the target pier.
This demonstration is expected to advance with the development of autonomous ships.
The ship model used in the test, features battery-powered propulsion units, data transfer devices to connect to the shore facility, and an autonomous navigation system to guide it around obstacles.
All these components are connected to each other using Distributed Intelligent Vessel Components (DIVEC), a new framework that enables connectivity between the devices and enables data transmission between them.
It also allows interfacing with third-party systems and components.
Apart from using the ice laboratory to analyse icebreaking vessels, Aker Arctic uses it in the development of new technology, sensors and propulsion control systems.
These new components are being developed to enable the autonomous vessels to operate under harsh environmental conditions.
Aker Arctic noted that the technology installed in the autonomous ship model can also be deployed in semi and full-scale prototypes for testing.
An independent research, development and engineering company, Aker Arctic has a wide portfolio of icebreaking ship designs. It has been involved with various projects developed in freezing waters.
It recently entered an agreement with ICEYE to develop and offer ice information and associated services for the clients that are operating in the Arctic and other icy regions.