Getting AHTI ready for upgrade

AHTI came with a long maritime history. We needed to strip him out and prepare him for his new life as our floating R&D facility.

This week has seen the beginning of some quite intense work on AHTI, our new boat, and something which can probably be best described as a great clean out:

  • The wheelhouse console has been stripped of most of the old equipment. What's left is pretty much limited to the engine control system, propulsion and steering equipment.
  • What used to be a cosy corner in the aft wheelhouse with a small settee, including a little A/C unit, had to make space for where 19" racks for internal and external communication will sit, along with some of our more software-based products.
  • Lots of colleagues from NACOS Core Service and colleagues from the sensor team in Leicester undertook a survey of the site, in person and remotely. The goal was sketching out the new console layout and system arrangement. A lot of attention also went towards the mast to agree on new locations for aerials and new sensors coming on.
  • Other preparatory work like removing old cables, pipe and hosework, identifying new cable routes and looking at power supply arrangement.
  • Digitisation of the printed drawings and wiring diagrams.

A little reward at the end of a long working day was getting the crane up and running which, after a little resistance we managed, and then launching the dinghy to see if its engine comes to life (it does – and quite well).

Trading in mouse and keyboard for a crowbar at times certainly reconnects you so much better with the reality on board a ship than any amount of email or PowerPoint will ever do. Aside from that, having to look after the entire ship from bow to stern and everything in between holds countless lessons on the context our systems have to live in when installed on a ship. It makes you wonder how much analogue stuff we are dealing when it comes to "digitalising shipping".

Written by
Hendrik Bußhoff
Head of Product Autonomy Solutions