GSAB project showcases assisted port operations solution

May 28, 2024  - By
Photo: GSAB

Photo: Grimaldi

The Grimaldi Satellite Autonomous Berthing (GSAB) project, funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) Navigation Innovation and Support Program (NAVISP) program, has developed a system for automatic, high-precision port berthing operations in large (200m) carrier ships. The system offers ship captains and crew with an overview of ship conditions in real time port settings, including detailed information on maneuvering operations.

Project leader Grimaldi Euromed, in collaboration with two divisions of Kongsberg, conducted the research and development of the new system, including integrating various sensors to provide accurate positioning and ranging data with high integrity. The GSAB system suggests the best path for berthing based on all available and relevant information sources, while augmented reality (AR) goggles provide an intuitive method of visualizing critical berthing information.

System subcomponents include an inertial navigation system (INS) where GNSS measurements are fused with motion/attitude data from the Kongsberg motion gyro compass (MGC). This allows the system to deliver robust and precise data on vessel location, velocities and acceleration. A perception system includes a camera-based sensor for determining steel-to-steel distances from the vessel to any obstruction and quays.

Kongsberg illustrated increased efficiency using to the new system, including a clear reduction in the time required to enter and exit from a port, and a corresponding decrease of emitted pollutants.

Radiolabs, a non-profit research organization, recently joined the GSAB consortium. It focuses on investigating and prototyping a new ground truth reference system, which integrates and fuses GNSS, IMU, and lidar-derived data to provide highly accurate positioning and ranging.

At the recent final presentation of the GSAB project, hosted by ESA, Federica Pascucci of Radiolabs described the results of the project, based in part on previous work in the automotive sector. She said the GSAB work was promising, having verified the effectiveness of Radiolabs’ lidar-based system for positioning, with adaptations necessary for application in maritime scenarios.

The GSAB project demonstrated significant potential cost and time savings benefits and improved safety and environmental performance. The partners will continue their work in the framework of a new ESA NAVISP-funded project, GSAB2, to demonstrate the system’s use in increasingly autonomous vessels and apply newly developed, advanced algorithms based on artificial intelligence.

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