TOC EventsTBA GroupPort of South LouisianaVan AalstSailors SocietyPort of Stockton
  • Van Aalst
  • TBA Group
  • Telestack
  • Sailors Society
  • TOC Events
  • Port of South Louisiana

Wärtsilä comes onboard Mayflower Project

Wärtsilä comes onboard Mayflower Project

(Posted on 18/06/20)

Retracing the voyage of its famous 17th century namesake vessel, the Mayflower Autonomous ship is set to become one of the world’s first fully autonomous, unmanned vessels to cross the Atlantic. Led by marine research organisation, ProMare, the project is developing autonomous systems that can later be deployed commercially, offering a window into the future of shipping and marine research.

Wärtsilä has joined a global consortium of technology partners that includes IBM. IBM is providing the AI, cloud and edge computing, and power systems behind the Mayflower’s AI Captain that will enable the vessel to sense, think and make decisions at sea.

The Wärtsilä RS24 system is a ground-breaking high-speed, high-resolution FMCW K-Band radar (24GHz) designed to provide high levels of situational awareness – especially in densely populated marine environments. The RS24 radar system will work in tandem with the Mayflower’s onboard cameras, AIS, and navigational systems as a core part of the AI Captain. The AI Captain constantly evaluates the Mayflower’s environment and long-term goals, and modifies the ship’s course in order to avoid debris and storms which could threaten the ship at sea.

The RS24 is already established as one of the primary sensors onboard the Wärtsilä IntelliTug - the first commercial Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship, which underwent successful trials in Port of Singapore waters last year.

The Wärtsilä RS24 has a five times higher resolution than existing marine S and X-Band radars with spin cycles of 60 rpm. This enables resolution separation of small crafts in crowded waters, especially in close proximity to the vessel, and will allow the Mayflower to navigate safely in complex situations. By identifying potential hazards, and through fusing data with that from the video recognition and AIS, the Wärtsilä system helps produce a high-fidelity map of the operating area.

“Our team has followed the development of technologies applicable to ship autonomy, and when selecting systems for the Mayflower project, we quickly recognised that the Wärtsilä RS24 was the perfect radar solution. Having Wärtsilä as a partner really helps the project; they understand the marine environment and how the various instruments should be designed, deployed, operated and maintained, plus they have tremendous experience in integrating systems, says Brett Phaneuf, Co-Founder of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship Project.

“We are pleased to provide our latest, high-resolution radar technology, the RS24, as an integral component of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project. This will form the primary instrument for acquiring and tracking targets, and maintaining situational awareness at a scale that allows for early path planning and hazard reduction. This is a unique and highly significant project, and Wärtsilä is honoured to participate in this partnership,” says Dr Sasha Heriot, Business Development Manager, Wärtsilä Voyage.

Wärtsilä’s experience in integrating complex systems, and its know-how in manned and unmanned marine operations, were cited as being of huge importance to the project. The company’s Smart Marine approach emphasises the value in collaborating with qualified partners to achieve greater efficiencies throughout the maritime ecosystem. It is anticipated that when completed, the Mayflower voyage will represent a major step forward in bringing autonomous shipping to realisation.

The Mayflower will support the development of a flexible and cost-effective platform for oceanographic research. It will also act as a testbed for new navigation software, renewable energy, and propulsion systems for marine vessels.

At 15m in length and weighing a mere 5 tons, the Mayflower is small and fast. Performing nimble manoeuvres to avoid other ships and marine debris, the Mayflower will benefit from a highly responsive short-range radar to help detect and avoid potentially show-stopping objects in the water. Specifically designed to look for potential hazards at close range, up to 1000m, the Wärtsilä RS24 radar will play a fundamental part in securing safe passage as she traverses oceans.

The new-generation Mayflower is set to take to water for sea trials in the summer of 2020.

Latest News

Phoenix Lighting expands range

(Posted on 21/06/22)

Phoenix Lighting has announced the launch of the Soar Series, an expansion of its product offering of... Read more


Konecranes Gen 6 MHC to upgrade Venetian port bulk handling

(Posted on 20/06/22)

The FHP Group has ordered an eco-efficient Generation 6 Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbour Crane for... Read more


Shipping fuel and lubes prices skyrocket

(Posted on 12/06/22)

More than 40 marine fuel suppliers from around the world have gathered at this year’s Posidonia... Read more


New Liebherr MHC breaks new ground

(Posted on 08/06/22)

With its new mobile harbour crane, Liebherr is presenting ground-breaking technical developments and... Read more


ABS-approved sterntube-less ship concept to keep oceans clean

(Posted on 08/06/22)

Thordon Bearings has welcomed the announcement by classification society ABS to award Approval in Principle... Read more


Wärtsilä opens world-leading Sustainable Technology Hub

(Posted on 03/06/22)

Wärtsilä Corporation has opened its new technology centre, the Sustainable Technology... Read more


Wärtsilä and Anglo-Eastern reach major safety milestone

(Posted on 31/05/22)

Wärtsilä Voyage, part of the technology group Wärtsilä, and ship manager Anglo-Eastern... Read more


Inmarsat Fleet Hotspot addresses connectivity requirement

(Posted on 31/05/22)

Eight significant amendments have been agreed to update the landmark Maritime Labour Convention 2006... Read more


Trials of innovative Inmarsat solution wrap up in Singapore

(Posted on 25/05/22)

Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has completed the first phases... Read more


Pacific Basin and Nihon Shipyard sign zero-emission vessels MoU

(Posted on 18/05/22)

Pacific Basin Shipping Limited, one of the world’s leading dry bulk shipping companies, has signed... Read more


Bühler GmbHThe Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology ViganCleveland Cascades LtdTelestackCimbria
  • Cleveland Cascades Ltd
  • Vigan
  • Cimbria
  • Bühler GmbH

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping