Wärtsilä helps Seaspan ferries to dock safely

2023-11-14T21:51:50+00:00 November 14th, 2023|Technology|

Wärtsilä ANCS, part of the large technology group, has delivered its autonomous SmartDock capabilities to ferry operator Seaspan.

This delivery marks a significant step towards autonomous docking and undocking operations, making maritime activities safer and more efficient, the company claimed.

SmartDock was developed by Wärtsilä ANCS and enables Seaspan to perform autonomous docking manoeuvres even in challenging conditions, where currents can reach up to two knots.

Wärtsilä ANCS’ scope of work in the contract, which was signed in 2021, includes providing the autonomous SmartDock system, including track development for autodocking at the Canadian terminals of Tilbury, Duke Point, and Swartz Bay.

SmartDock employs an advanced UKF (Unscented Kalman Filter) estimator, combining sensor measurements from various sources, such as GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and Wärtsilä ANCS’s laser sensor Cyscan, to calculate precise position and rate estimates of the vessel’s motion.

This data is then compared to a pre-programmed ideal trajectory of the vessel, and the advanced controller allocates thrust and steering commands.

The commissioning of the ‘Seaspan Trader’ was recently completed, with ‘Seaspan Transporter’ scheduled to be commissioned in late 2023/early 2024. These vessels operate in the waters around British Columbia, Canada and will utilise the technology.

“Wärtsilä ANCS is excited to continue supporting Seaspan and build on an already strong working relationship. We look forward to the potential implementation of the SmartDock product across some other vessels in Seaspan’s ferry fleet, further advancing the automation and efficiency of maritime operations,” said Klaus Egeberg, Director, Dynamic Positioning, Wärtsilä ANCS.

“Seaspan is proud to lead the charge in this technological advancement in vessel manoeuvring. The integration of Wärtsilä ANCS’s SmartDock system into Seaspan Trader exemplifies our unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation in maritime operations,” added Alex Treharne, Integration Engineer, Seaspan.