ABS, SpaceX to jointly develop autonomous ships for rocket recovery

UNMANNED CRAFT WEEK
Photo: ABS

ABS has entered into a joint development project (JDP) with SpaceX to review the remotely controlled functions of autonomous rocket recovery droneships used for booster rocket recovery at sea.

The rocket recovery droneships are modified to include an expanded deck to increase the size of the landing platform, four thruster engines for propulsion and to hold on station, and blast shielding to protect electrical and engine equipment on deck. The droneships are entirely unmanned during landings, with a robot deployed on board to secure the rocket booster to the droneship before the vessel returns to port.

The project will review the design of one of SpaceX’s three rocket recovery droneships for compliance with the ABS Guide for Autonomous and Remote-Control Functions. Due to the unique and challenging operating requirements, ABS will apply a risk-based approach to the evaluation of the autonomous functions.

A copy of the ABS Guide for Autonomous and Remote-Control Functions can be downloaded here.

Click here for more news stories, feature articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on unmanned craft.


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