The Finnish group Wartsila has successfully tested the remote control of a ship in the North Sea from a centre in California, US.
The tests involved sailing the 80m long offshore supply ship Highland Chieftain, 3,085gt, through a sequence of manoeuvres using a combination of Dynamic Positioning (DP) and manual joystick control, on Aug 21 off the North Sea coast of Scotland in collaboration with Gulfmark Offshore, the US-based operator who provided the ship.
Although the test ship was in the North Sea, Wartsila conducted the remote control navigating from its office in San Diego, California, 8,000km/5,000 miles away.
The Highland Chieftain was already fitted with a Wartsila Nacos Platinum package for navigation, automation and DP systems, as well as a Wartsila drives package.
Wartsila said that for the test, additional software was added to the DP system in order to route data over the ship’s satellite link to the onshore work station in California.
Wartsila carried out the test using standard bandwidth onboard satellite communication and no landbased technology was used for the communications between the ship and the remote operator work station.