Unmanned Systems Technology 021 | Robot Aviation FX450 l Imaging Sensors focus l UAVs Insight l Liquid-Piston X-Mini l Riptide l Eurosatory 2018 show report l Zipline l Electric Motors focus l ASTS show report

94 A s advances in, and global awareness of, autonomous vehicle technologies continue to grow, it is estimated that the maritime trade and logistics sector could save tens of thousands of dollars a day just by automating a single container vessel. Seeking to share and learn about the benefits, opportunities and challenges of this burgeoning industry, the Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium at the Amsterdam RAI in June drew speakers, exhibitors and visitors from across the world to begin investigating the use case for unmanned systems in international shipping. Guidance Marine attended the symposium to discuss its SceneScan 2D Lidar for ship positioning, particularly in autonomous approach or station-keeping operations in navigation and docking. “It’s a single-beam rotating Lidar, and it measures range and bearing, not just to retro-reflectors but to the natural scene,” explained Russ Miles. “The beam is adjustable in elevation, so we can chose the height and trajectory we want the beam to ‘trace out’.” For accurate localisation, the angle of the Lidar must capture the most useful surrounding objects and structural members to provide reference points for the host vessel. To do that, the system performs a scan over several seconds when approaching an objective such as an oil platform for example, to capture a 3D picture of the area across its -20/+16 º vertical field of view (FoV). As the ship tilts, rolls and heaves, each ‘slice’ scan must be rated for its similarity to adjacent slices, the expected position measurement accuracy, range to the scene and the tilt angle from the sensor. Based on these ratings, the Lidar then chooses the highest-rated slice to focus on, to give the best information on the ship’s position. The system also builds a network of reference scans, to accumulate an understanding of how the scenery and Rory Jackson highlights some of the technologies and systems on show at this major maritime event Steering groups August/September 2018 | Unmanned Systems Technology Visitors to the symposium were able to discuss how best to use unmanned systems in shipping