million available for future of Maritime Autonomous Systems - 30 July
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory is making £9 million available to support the future of Maritime Autonomous Systems.
The Ministry of Defence through the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and in partnership with a number of associations and industry bodies is making funding available through four initiatives each addressing different areas of maritime autonomy.
Autonomy in Maritime Unmanned Vehicles offers the potential to transform the manner in which many activities are conducted at sea such as the clearance of sea mines and persistent
Philip Smith, Affordable Maritime Presence Programme Manager at Dstl says:
"The opportunities presented by Maritime Autonomous Systems are very exciting. However if we are to fully exploit these opportunities we need to invest in key areas such as
'Supervised Autonomy' and 'Deployment & Recovery' in order to meet future requirements and position the UK as a world leader in next generation Maritime Mission Systems. The funding we are making available through these four initiatives is a significant step towards achieving this."
Maritime Autonomous Systems Technology Competition: Sponsored by Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, this competition addresses Underwater Unmanned Vehicles and Unmanned Surface Vehicles for defence applications and is directed at small and medium-sized enterprises in the Solent that can create or safeguard jobs in the local defence supply chain. The total funding available is worth £1 million and awards will be made for projects of up to £75,000 in value. The competition closes in April 2015.
Autonomous Systems Underpinning Research Competition: Addressing unmanned system enablers for all environments this competition, sponsored by Dstl, is worth £1.5 million. Open from September 2014 for a year, the competition will award projects of around £250,000 to be split into 2 phases.
Adaptive Autonomous Ocean Sampling Networks Competition: A Small Business Research Initiative competition sponsored by the Natural Environment Research Council and Dstl addressing the tracking of dynamic maritime features with unmanned vehicles. With a total of £1.5 million available the competition is open from September 2014 for 18 months and will award projects of around £250,000 to be split into 2 phases.
Towards Excellence in Maritime Autonomous Systems: Recently announced by the Minister for Portsmouth, Matthew Hancock, the competition sponsored by the UK’s innovation agency, the
Dstl addresses Maritime Unmanned Vehicles for defence and civil applications. Open from October 2014 for 3 years the competition is worth £5 million and will award projects of between £500,000 and £1.5 million directed to collaborative, business-led, consortia.
David Pepper took up his appointment as the new Chair of the Defence
Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) Board on 1 August 2014. He has
a background in defence and security issues, having been Director of the
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) from 2003 to 2008.
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- Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks
Drones do it and
spacecraft have done it many years. Recently automobile makers have
put their first autonomous cars on the streets. Small boats do it also: Unmanned vessels on the ocean is
no longer a dream – it is a reality,
with a time frame of around ten years to acceptance.
The MUNIN project
is investigating potential concepts for a fully or partially unmanned merchant vessel. The
initial case study vessel, is a dry bulk carrier of handymax size, operating on routes between Europe and South America. The project is being partly funded by the EU in pursuit of one of the project outcomes of the European
Waterborne Strategic Research Agenda: The
But what is an autonomous ship, where true autonomy demands self
sufficiency, which should include energy. For now the phrase is being
used to describe diesel powered craft that are unmanned. These vessels
are in no way truly autonomous.
Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services CML (Fraunhofer
CML) is situated at the Hamburg University of Technology in Hamburg, Germany.
CML homepage Hans-Christoph
Burmeister, is the project coordinator at Fraunhofer CML
Norwegian Marine Technology Research Institute (MARINTEK), Trondheim,
Norway. MARINTEK is a company in the SINTEF Group, one of Europe’s
largest independent research institutions. MARINTEK
University of Technology is a Swedish
university located in Gothenburg that focuses on research and education
in technology, natural science, and architecture. Chalmers
Wismar – University of Applied Sciences Technology: Department of
Maritime Studies is part of the faculty of Engineering at Hochschule
Wismar, situated in Rostock-Warnemünde, Germany. They are exerts in
simulator training as full mission ship handling carried out by
Professors and lecturers with license management levels such as Master
of a ship or Chief Engine Officer. Hochschule
AS is a Norwegian company located in Trondheim specialising in marine
sensor systems such as the SECurus system that combines advanced
stabilized long range IR and digital video cameras with an Electronic Chart
System which overlays information of several sources for a speedy
evaluation of real time situations for good response. Aptomar
Entwicklungs- und Logistikgesellschaft mbH is an internationally
operating provider for maritime software solutions, located in
It offers state-of-the-art solutions in the field of maritime simulation
of machinery plants, computer based training applications, information
and operation systems, consultancy and courseware. MarineSoft
ehf is a leading provider of energy management solutions for the
international shipping industry with it’s headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Marorka’s products and services enable vessel operators to optimize
fuel consumption by maximizing the energy efficiency of their vessel or
ehf homepage On 16 June
2012, Marorka signed an agreement with seven leading specialist firms
and research institutes in the shipping sector participating in the
MUNIN research project - Maritime Unmanned Navigation
through Intelligence in Networks.
College Cork UCC is situated in south-west Ireland
and was founded as a Queen’s College in 1845. The Law Department at
UCC is at the forefront of legal research in Ireland, the EU and
internationally in various areas, including environmental law, human
rights, marine law, business law, comparative law, constitutional
law and legal theory. UCC
The available budget is of 3.8 million EUR in total whereby 2.9 million
EUR is funded by the EU. The
MUNIN project has been started on 01.09.2012 and will be finished in three years time.
Partly or fully unmanned ships offer many possible benefits, but one of the main driving forces for the project has been the problem of recruiting sufficiently qualified
crew members. This is already a significant problem in Europe, and it will increase as “slow Steaming” becomes more
widespread to save fuel. Lower speeds and longer voyage durations will increase the overall demand for crew while reducing the attractiveness of the job: staying at sea for three weeks or more and communicating with friends and family via cost intensive
The idea of a ship sailing without a look-out and helmsman is worrying and even frightening to many people. One important part of the project, therefore, is to show that unmanned ships can be at least as safe as conventional vessels, and may even be safer. Professionals agree that “human error” is the cause of between 65 and 90% of shipping accidents. While the definition of
human error and the role played in it by technology can be discussed, there is arguably great potential for improving safety by relieving the crew of the most tedious tasks, such as keeping a look-out over open sea for three weeks at a stretch. The MUNIN project will employ the KISS principle: Keep it Simple and Stupid! It is important that the technology employed is well-tried and trustworthy. It is also important to use the appropriate technology for the problems at hands.
defence science and technology laboratory
MOD UK PORTAL
MOD UK Enterprise
PENDING - The
Bluefish™ platform in modified form is suitable for adaptation to a
robotic battleship or support ship for submarines and aircraft carriers
during operations, hydrographic and oceanographic duties, mine
countermeasures and persistent monitoring for safer oceans against piracy.
In a world that is changing rapidly it is hard to imagine a modern navy
without such craft. BMS does not build vessels in house. BMS provides a
consultancy service as to development strategy, including licenses
for this technology - preferably in collaboration with industrial