The next generation of autonomous landing systems
Autonomous landing systems use sophisticated technology improve safety and efficiency for motion compensated gangways. As automation technology becomes more sophisticated and vessel owners around the world prioritise the optimisation of operational hours, Bosch Rexroth has developed a new autonomous landing solution which significantly improves both safety and performance.
Landing systems are essential when it comes to transferring people and essential items between a vessel and an oil or gas platform or wind turbine generator. Through advanced drive technology and digital sensors, these systems compensate for the movement of the ship and the sea, making them safer to use in adverse conditions. However, manual control is still required when it comes to engaging the landing with the platform. Depending on the experiences of the operator as well as the weather conditions, this can become a challenging task.
More safety comes with Bosch Rexroth’s new autonomous landing solution. Through a combination of sophisticated radar technology, cameras and sensors, the system automatically attaches the landing to the required site without the need for manual input. This means that the operation is consistent and reliable, regardless of weather and ocean conditions. Once connected, the landing utilises the usual motion compensation which works alongside the vessel’s dynamic positioning system to ensure a safe, steady connection between the ship and the platform.
“There are a number of benefits to the autonomous landing system”, says Rene Coppens, Business Development for Barge Master systems at Bosch Rexroth. “First of all, it’s a further improvement of safety. Perhaps most importantly though, our systems increases the available operational hours. Our system can work in difficult conditions and does not depend on availability of operators, so it can really improve the uptime. These three key benefits present a real step forward in autonomous landing solutions.”
After years of research and development, and close cooperation between Bosch Rexroth, the Bosch research department and the partners at Barge Master, the autonomous landing solution is now available to order at new build vessels and should be available for retrofit later this year on the Barge Master motion compensated gangways. “We’ve seen a lot of interest in the systems already”, adds Mr Coppens. “Customers can already see the potential in this kind of automation, and how it can have a real positive impact on their businesses.