CART – Cooperative Autonomous Robotic Towing system

ABSTRACT

The project CART, that stands for Cooperative Autonomous Robotic Towing system, proposes a new concept for salvage operations of distressed ships at sea. The CART concept is based on the development of robotised unmanned marine platforms able to (semi-)automatically execute the high risk operation of linking the emergency towing system of distressed ships to towing vessels. This will minimise the risk for human lives and increase the safeguard of the environment, helping, for instance, to prevent oil pollution at sea, during salvage operations.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
MASSIMO CACCIA

   TYPE AND DATE
   FP7 – Research for the benefits of SMEs
   STARTING DATE – Nov 1, 2011
   ENDING DATE – Jul 31, 2013

COST
TOTAL COST €: …
TOTAL FUNDING € …

CNR ISSIA
COST € 301,831.00
FUNDING € 301,831,00

SUMMARY

The key idea consists in collecting a floating object at sea by executing a knot around it with a floating rope. In our case, the floating object is a buoy launched by the distressed ship, while the knot is executed by an unmanned robotic vehicle towing the floating rope connected to the tugboat winch.

Two main scenarios have been considered involving harbour and open sea operations. The first scenario considers the case where a tugboat needs to tow a burning ship, typically a tanker in an oil terminal, out of a harbour. The CART vessel has to recover a buoy nearby the moored ship. The second scenario considers the case where a tugboat needs to recover an emergency towing system deployed by a distressed vessel in open sea.

The CART vehicle, that is an intelligent emergency towing system, has to move away from the distressed vessel in order to be recovered by the tugboat in safe conditions. An extension of this case considers a scenario where a ship in distress is rescued by another ship. In this case, a second CART vessel automatically executes a knot around the intelligent emergency towing system. To demonstrate the feasibility of the CART concept three prototype Unmanned Semi-Submersible Vehicles have been developed.

 
 
 
 
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SOURCE OF FOUNDING

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PARTNERSHIP

Posidonia srl (coordinator), Italy
PKL AS, Estonia
SRS Mecano Instalatie, Romania
University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Croatia
Det Norske Veritas AS, Norway