Wärtsilä ANCS(Automation, Navigation & Control Systems), part of technology group Wärtsilä, has delivered to Seaspan, a marine transportation and shipbuilding company, the cutting-edge autonomous SmartDock capabilities to the seas. This delivery marks a significant step towards autonomous docking and undocking operations, making maritime activities safer and more efficient.
The SmartDock system developed by Wärtsilä ANCS enables Seaspan to perform autonomous docking manoeuvres even in challenging conditions, where currents reach up to two knots. With its advanced technology, SmartDock guarantees consistent, safe, and predictable docking and undocking manoeuvres every time, reducing the need for intensive interaction from the vessel’s captain.
Wärtsilä ANCS’s scope of work, which was signed in 2021, includes providing the autonomous SmartDock system, including track development for autodocking at Tilbury, Duke Point, and Swartz Bay ports in Canada. Notably, the SmartDock system employs an advanced UKF (Unscented Kalman Filter) estimator, combining sensor measurements from various sources, such as GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and Wärtsilä ANCS’s laser sensor Cyscan AS, to calculate precise position and rate estimates of the vessel’s motion. This data is then compared to a preprogrammed ideal trajectory of the vessel, and the advanced controller allocates thrust and steering commands, ensuring safe and consistent autonomous docking and undocking manoeuvres.
The commissioning of the Seaspan Trader cargo vessel has just been completed, with the Seaspan Transporter cargo vessel scheduled to be commissioned in late 2023/early 2024. These vessels, equipped with the SmartDock system, will operate in the waters of British Columbia, Canada.
“Wärtsilä ANCS is excited to continue supporting Seaspan and build on an already strong working relationship. We look forward to the potential implementation of the SmartDock product across some other vessels in Seaspan’s ferry fleet, further advancing the automation and efficiency of maritime operations,” commented Klaus Egeberg, Director, Dynamic Positioning, Wärtsilä ANCS.
“Seaspan is proud to lead the charge in this technological advancement in vessel manoeuvring. The integration of Wärtsilä ANCS’s SmartDock system into Seaspan Trader exemplifies our unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation in maritime operations,” says Alex Treharne, Integration Engineer, Seaspan.