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Blog Understanding the Value of Remote Command Stations for Autonomous Vessels

November 10, 2020

As the industry accelerates its adoption of autonomous marine technologies for workboats and other vessels, operators are bringing remote command stations online to support them.

[dt_highlight color=”” text_color=”” bg_color=””][/dt_highlight]Remote command stations explained

Remote command stations are workspaces equipped with several connected monitors and a reliable network connection, as shown above. From a shoreside location or a second vessel, operators can remotely command and control autonomous vessels with full situational awareness, thanks to live cameras and real-time data from AIS, GPS, radar and other equipment.

In this technology update, Sea Machines explains how remote command stations are solving some of the most persistent challenges on the water.

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CHALLENGE 1: Limited visibility into vessel operations from shore

SOLUTION: 24/7 Remote vessel monitoring

Remote command stations enable operators to monitor the operations and progress of working autonomous vessels in real time, anywhere there is a network connection. This “on-watch redundancy” can help to prevent operational incidents and keep crews safer. From these stations, human operators can command fleets of minimally manned or unmanned vessels with greater efficiency and reduced operational cost.

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CHALLENGE 2: Human exposure to toxins and challenging sea states

SOLUTION: Minimally manned or unmanned operations

Especially important in hazardous, toxic or dangerous work environments, remote-helm control increases safety by eliminating or reducing the need for humans to be on board vessels. Crew can be relocated to safer remote workstations to support on-water missions. Minimally manned and unmanned autonomous vessels can also reduce the resources required, helping to limit operational costs.

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CHALLENGE 3: Time-consuming and dangerous at-sea shift changes

SOLUTION: Remote crews require fewer stop-work periods

Remotely operated, reduced-crew vessels do not require as many operational interruptions for shift changes and breaks. This is especially important in poor sea and weather conditions, and through periods of low light or visibility. From a safer remote location, crews can drastically increase production and, in some cases, continue missions 24/7.

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CHALLENGE 4: Highly manual operations

SOLUTION: Technology that automates operations

Sea Machines systems automate tedious, redundant and dangerous tasks, and allow crew to focus on higher-level operations. From remote command stations, operators can program vessels to autonomously deploy routes and workboats can be commanded to follow paths in unmanned or reduced-crew modes. Automated obstacle detection and collision avoidance capabilities reduce risk further.

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[dt_highlight color=”” text_color=”” bg_color=””][/dt_highlight]Contact Us

For operators workboats and other commercial vessels, Sea Machines autonomous-command and remote-control systems are available now. There’s no need to build new vessels. The Sea Machines SM300 or SM200 can be added to workboats as a retrofit or as part of new-build specifications. In most cases, customers see return on investment realized within a year.

If you’re ready to increase your fleet’s capability, predictability and productivity, while simultaneously reducing your at-sea risk and operational costs, contact Sea Machines via the form below.