When precise manoeuvres are required in a marine environment, relying on GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) alone is impractical. Millions of people use GNSS to navigate every day, and everyone has experienced signal loss at some point or situation when the satellite system failed to determine the exact location. This often happens when you are surrounded by tall buildings or structures that obstruct or deflect the satellite signal or when the satellite signal is deliberately blocked or spoofed. Unfortunately, this loss of signal is not limited to the shoreside.
In a marine environment, alternative ultra-reliable positioning technologies are, therefore, required. Wartsila’s DP (Dynamic Positioning) Sensors based on laser and radar technology can provide both local position information (where the vessel is relative to its surroundings), and also situational awareness (regarding what is around the close vicinity of the vessel). This ensures you always have complete view and control of your surroundings, without GNSS gaps and lags.
The Artemis system is a 9GHz microwave position reference sensor made for long-range marine Dynamic Positioning (DP) applications. This position reference sensor has the longest range of any sensor currently available in the market. Used exclusively in the offshore shuttle tanker market, the latest version builds on a legacy of over 40 years of experience. Artemis accurately measures the range, heading and bearing to a second Artemis unit. Development continues to add new and improved features to ensure it is the most reliable sensor for these safety-critical operations.
The patented laser technology, CyScan AS, uses a reflective target on the quayside or asset to calculate its position. Currently, it is the only laser sensor in the market to provide positive target identification. This means it can ignore reflections from all shiny and reflective surfaces for the safest navigation. CyScan AS can also provide the global position through a feature called CyScan GeoLock. With a range of over 2 km, it can be used on both approaches to the asset or quayside and close-range manoeuvres, where knowing a vessel’s precise position is critical.
The 9 GHz RadaScan View accurately measures the range, heading and bearing in relation to the powered responders mounted on the asset. The all-weather system also enables automated approach and position keeping with respect to a rig or another vessel. The rotating scanner enables the system to display a traditional radar image on the ‘View Dashboard.’ This means that DP Operators can see responders in relation to the structure on a single screen — an extremely useful feature for safe operation in low visibility conditions.
Object and hazard detection is essential for safer operations. The 24 GHz RangeGuard system measures the distance to the nearest object in its field of view (110o by 11o). Comparable to parking sensors found in the automotive industry, RangeGuard sensors can be installed around a vessel to provide alerts about incoming hazards in its close vicinity.
RangeGuard Monopole is the DP version of this sensor and is designed for offshore wind applications. Service Operation Vessels (SOV’s) approach a wind tower without reliance on physical targets. RangeGuard Monopole calculates the position relative to the centre of the monopole. This is very repeatable and means that vessel turnaround times are decreased, and the vessel can complete more missions per day. Wind farm owners also reduce cost by no longer having to install or maintain targets.
Yet another patented laser technology from the Wärtsilä Voyage stable, SceneScan, is also the only targetless laser sensor available in the market right now. It is used in inland waterways and DP operations for precise positioning. It operates like the CyScan AS. However, it does not use reflector targets. SceneScan tracks reflections from artificial structures within the sensor field of view and measures their position relative to the scene. It provides position information when vessels pass under bridges (where GNSS is unreliable) and for station keeping during DP operations, including offshore wind.