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Tuesday, February 11, 2020 

Wärtsilä has received DNV GL type approval for its SceneScan system, said to be the first laser-based targetless relative dynamic positioning (DP) reference system.

SceneScan can work without the need for pre-placed positioning targets, thus providing greater operational flexibility than with conventional systems. Furthermore, since it requires no reflector targets, costs are reduced.

Although DP reference systems are typically used on offshore vessels, the TA tests for SceneScan were carried out onboard the Kairos, an LNG bunker vessel owned by Germany’s Bernhard Schulte. This extends the potential for DP applications beyond the traditional offshore sector. The system was installed and commissioned during October 2019, and the successful TA testing was finalised in December 2019. Installation was carried out by the ship’s crew without Wärtsilä supervision, thus emphasising the user-friendliness of the system’s design.

”This type approval from DNV-GL clearly demonstrates Wärtsilä’s technical leadership in this field and provides verification of functionality. 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,” said Andrew Stead, Director NCS Navcom and Smart Sensors, Wärtsilä. 

“It was a pleasure to work with the team from Wärtsilä on the approval process for SceneScan. 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 organisation 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,” said Jann Voss, TSI-LNG, BSM Germany.

In January, the largest ever LNG bunkering operation in German waters was carried out in the port of Rostock. 1800m3 of LNG was transferred from the Kairos to DEME’s next generation offshore installation vessel, the Orion. The safe manoeuvring of the Kairos to the final mooring position was performed using the SceneScan system.

SceneScan is claimed to enable a further step towards autonomous shipping, where the ability to ensure accurate and cost-effective positioning in varying environments and conditions is a key pre-requisite for smart manoeuvring. It additionally enables more flexible and safer LNG bunkering at sea, in accord with the Zero Emission Energy Distribution at Sea (ZEEDS) initiative, in which Wärtsilä is a partner. ZEEDS aims to create a clean offshore fuel production and distribution ecosystem.

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