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Convoy navigation

Under a-Nav project, we have begun testing Convoy Navigation as an option. This occurs in cases where the Remote Control Station (RCS) is installed onboard the head vessel of a convoy of ships rather than onshore, and is used to control the movement of the other vessels in the convoy.

This offers a unique capability that could potentially expand for use across a variety of maritime transport services. For example, during transport in icy waters, ice convoys with an icebreaker acting as a lead vessel (with a crew) could be followed by MASS (maritime autonomous surface ships) under control by the icebreaker. This could also work in the case of a transport convoy made up of several ships, only one of which has a crew.

This is how the Rosmorport dredging convoy is being organised. It is a simulated situation in which the lead ship (in this case the dredger) has the RCS onboard as a crewed vessel, followed by barges which do not have crews. The barges move along a given route in automatic mode, and at the operator's command they may approach the dredger and unload at the final destination of the route. The crew only boards these barges for technical maintenance and emergencies.