ST Engineering completes sea trials of autonomous tug

ST Engineering has successfully completed the initial sea trials of a fully autonomous tug in Singapore waters under the Smart Maritime Autonomous Vessel (SMAV) project.

POSH Harvest, a harbour tug owned and operated by PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH), was converted into an autonomous vessel incorporating key features such as: autonomous waypoint navigation with collision detection and collision avoidance (CDCA); remote centralised control and health monitoring of onboard systems; and forward looking maintenance capabilities such as condition-based maintenance, predictive diagnostics, and prognostics on critical shipboard systems.

Before the sea trials, multiple testings and simulations were performed in a laboratory setting. The simulated scenarios were reiterated with varying parameters, and the same applies for the autonomous kit where stringent tuning trials were simulated to match the vessel characteristics.

The actual trials using POSH Harvest were conducted in various scenarios with varying speeds up to 8.5 knots, while the vessel is in autonomous waypoint navigation mode.

Development work on the SMAV project will continue through 2020.

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