The Eidsvaag Pioner, a supply ship equipped with a range of Kongsberg Maritime technologies, has completed a 160-nautical mile autonomous voyage carrying fish feed from Norway’s Averøy port to an offshore fish farm.
The vessel is one of two that are equipped with remote operation systems as part of Autoship, a four-year project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research programme.
The 13-hour voyage involved the autonomous departure of the Eidsvaag Pioner from the port of Averøy followed by a remotely controlled round voyage to the fish farm in waters off Norway’s northwest coast near Kristiansund.
The Eidsvaag Pioner undocked automatically, sailed out of the harbour autonomously, and manoeuvred out of the harbour into open sea. The ship then took a route between several islands, avoiding other sea traffic, before delivering fish feed to Ocean Farm 1, owned by Salmar ASA, one of the world’s largest producers of farmed salmon.
The autonomous trial was initiated, managed, and monitored by personnel at Kongsberg’s Remote Operating Centre in Ålesund. Various manoeuvres were undertaken using Kongsberg technology and cloud-based communications systems.
They included auto-undocking, autodocking, dynamic positioning, situational awareness, autonomous navigation, use of Kongsberg’s Intelligent Machinery System, Connectivity & Cyber Security System, and the real-life operation of the company’s Remote Operating Centre.
Geir Håøy, Kongsberg CEO, said: This was an opportunity to show the world that remote and autonomous technologies can be successfully deployed on a general cargo vessel, carrying out a range of operational aspects of a typical voyage.
“There has been great collaboration between all partners in the Autoship project, and we have all been impressed with how the Eidsvaag Pioner performed under remote control and during autonomous sailing and docking. Today we have demonstrated a range of the key enabling technologies that will lead the way towards routine remote and autonomous operation in the years ahead.”
The North Sea project involved collaboration between Kongsberg personnel, Eidsvaag AS, Norwegian research organisation Sintef, and the University of Strathclyde, UK.
A second Autoship demonstration is due to take place later this week. The June 1st project will involve the autonomous navigation of a cargo barge deployed on an inland waterway in Wintam, Belgium.
Norwegian coastal cargo ship completes autonomous voyage