DNV GL has granted type approval to Wärtsilä’s SceneScan, the world’s first laser-based target-less relative dynamic positioning (DP) reference system.
Marking what Wärtsilä calls “a paradigm shift” from conventional DP reference systems, SceneScan can work without the need for pre-placed positioning targets, providing significantly greater operational flexibility than with conventional systems. Furthermore, as it does not require reflector targets, costs are reduced.
While DP reference systems are typically utilized on offshore vessels, the type approval tests for SceneScan were carried out onboard the Kairos, an LNG bunkering vessel owned by Germany’s Bernhard Schulte KG. This extends the potential for DP applications beyond the traditional offshore sector.
The system was installed and commissioned during October 2019, and the successful type approval testing was finalized in December 2019. Installation was carried out by the ship’s crew without Wärtsilä supervision.
“This type approval from DNV-GL clearly demonstrates Wärtsilä’s technical leadership in this field and provides verification of functionality,” says Andrew Stead, Director NCS Navcom and Smart Sensors at Wärtsilä. “The innovative SceneScan approach cuts costs and improves safety wherever vessels are in close-quarter operations. Furthermore, by piloting this project with an LNG bunker vessel, we are again pushing the envelope for applications requiring DP capability. I fully expect the DP landscape to change markedly in 2020 as a result of Wärtsilä’s exciting and class-approved technology.
“It was a pleasure to work with the team from Wärtsilä on the approval process for SceneScan,” says, Jann Voss, TSI-LNG, BSM Germany. “We had fantastic technical support to implement this new technology into an existing DP system, while at the same time keeping the original equipment available on board as back up in case we have to revert back to the original design. We have acceptance of the new equipment by the vessel’s class and the recognized organization for the annual DP verification. Thanks to the Wärtsilä team for the excellent co-operation. We would be delighted to work with them on any further technical developments and new technologies for the safe manoeuvring of DP type vessels.”
In January, the largest ever LNG bunkering operation in German waters was carried out in the port of Rostock when 1,800 cu.m of LNG was transferred from the Kairos to DEME’s next generation offshore installation vessel, the Orion. The safe maneuvering of the Kairos to the final mooring position was performed using the SceneScan system.
Wärtsilä says that SceneScan’s flexible and accurate near-field positioning sensing enables a further step to be taken on the path towards autonomous shipping.