L3 ASV to Conduct UK Autonomous Navigation Study
L3 ASV has announced that it has received U.K. government funding for a pioneering project on autonomous navigation of maritime vessels.
The company will conduct a study with its partners in the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), focusing on the future of marine navigational data and charts. The project is funded by the Department for Transport’s Transport Technology Research Innovation Grant (T-TRIG) and aims to promote early-stage science, engineering or technology innovations with the potential to advance the U.K.’s transport system.
L3 ASV’s T-TRIG project will begin by exploring the characteristics of navigational data and charts in terms of what they comprise, their structure and how they are updated.
“Current navigational data and charts have been developed over centuries to be read and interpreted by humans,” said Dan Hook, Senior Director of Business Development at L3 ASV. “Today, and over the coming decade, more and more marine vessels will be operating unmanned, and the charts will be read by computers.”
The project will identify the technical data requirements to enable the development of a Smart Chart system, which will then provide information to autonomous vessels to enable safer navigation.
Mark Casey from the UKHO commented, “A wealth of marine geospatial data, from bathymetry depicting the seafloor to the speed and direction of the tides, supports navigation across our oceans. For over 200 years, the UKHO has supplied this information to shipping and defense to help keep mariners safe at sea. And we have developed our expertise in sourcing and processing this location-based information to help others better understand the marine environment. With this expertise and knowledge, we are well placed to help our partners identify the data requirements and standards needed to support autonomous vessels of the future.”