On 12 February, the NOVIMAR Smart Navigation-team executed model scale tests for the control system of the Vessel Train-concept. The test day was part of a period of 2 weeks in which the Vessel Train concept is subject to a series of simulations and scenarios at the laboratory of DST Entwicklungszentrum für Schiffstechnik und Transportsysteme in Duisburg.
Amongst the scenarios that were tested, NOVIMAR partners witnessed the way two ships were remotely interacting whereby the following vessel was able to follow the track as set out by the leader vessel and to stop adequately.
Argonics’ CEO Alexander Lutz, with a mix of excitement and relief, explained testing on a 1/16th scale comes with some extra complications. Timing had to be increased by a factor 4 which meant computational power for handling the software was pushed to its limits.
Furthermore, the sessions in the controlled environment of DST provided the development team with valuable insights in the effect of side currents. Lutz expected these insights to contribute to an even better track piloting system in the near future.
State of the art monitoring sensors of the DST team closely followed every movement of the vessel train. Further analysis and finetuning of the control system will take place in the summer; a real life demonstration is planned by the end of 2020.