In September 2017 I started my graduation thesis at the RDM-Centre of Expertise in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. I did research for a consortium consisting of RMD-CoE, an innovation center; Condast, a programming company; and PKmarine, an adviser company. I researched what collision avoidance looks like for an autonomous ship.
For this research I defined which navigation information an officer of the watch needs to navigate a ship, I analyzed different shipping disasters regarding to collisions, I categorized the disasters on where it went wrong during the process of situational awareness, and which navigational information was missing or wrong. One of the main questions is about which means there are at the moment to collect navigational information and the new technologies that are available. In order to be able to answer this question I made a parallel with both the aviation industry and the car industry to investigate which new developments can be found there. Eventually the final question remains: how can all of this, eventually, be integrated into a collision avoidance system?
During my research the consortium gave a demonstration with an aquabot (a kind of drone on the water) for Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch government organization for water management). This aquabot was equipped with a demo version of the collision avoidance system, it sailed a preprogramed route and dodged objects it came across. My research contributes to the development of the collision avoidance system.