MDL's Autonomous System with Dual Navigation Capability Underwent Successful Testing

MDL's Autonomous System with Dual Navigation Capability Underwent Successful Testing


The Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) has successfully certified a cutting-edge Autonomous Navigation System with dual navigation capabilities, developed in partnership with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL). This groundbreaking achievement was demonstrated on the MDL tug MT Andaman, showcasing India's growing prowess in maritime autonomy.

Led by Mr. R. Srinivas, VP & HOD Electrical & Control System at IRS, the project underwent a comprehensive assessment, including a thorough review of the autonomy concept, system documentation, and software quality. A detailed risk assessment was also conducted in accordance with IRS Guidelines for Remotely Operated and Autonomous Surface Vessels.

Before real-world deployment, the Autonomous Navigation System software underwent rigorous simulation testing at the manufacturer's development center, adhering to an approved Factory Test method.

Following the system's installation on the MT Andaman, the IRS conducted harbor trials to verify its functionality using the approved Harbor Acceptance Test process. During these trials, vital equipment, navigation parameters, and situational awareness systems were monitored remotely from the Remote Control Centre (RCC). The RCC also successfully controlled the tug's propulsion and steering systems.

On May 23rd and 24th, 2024, the IRS monitored the tug's autonomous sea trials, which followed the approved Sea Acceptance Test process. These trials successfully demonstrated the system's ability to avoid collisions in compliance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREG).

Various emergency response scenarios were also tested, including the loss of critical controls and communication with the RCC. The Indian Navy played a crucial role in ensuring the safety and success of the trials by deploying an interceptor boat.

Cdr. K.K. Dhawan, Head of Defence at IRS, stated that this collaboration demonstrates the IRS's commitment to advancing the Indian maritime industry through innovative autonomous technology. He emphasized that the IRS, leveraging its experience from similar projects, is well-positioned to support the industry in developing advanced autonomous systems while adhering to the highest safety and quality standards.

This successful certification is expected to pave the way for the wider adoption of autonomous navigation systems in the Indian maritime sector, with potential benefits in efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness.
 

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