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Chinese ‘smart ship’ noted by LR

The first Chinese ‘smart ship’ has been presented with LR’s cyber-enabled ship descriptive notes. The vessel, Great Intelligence, was designed by Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI) and built at Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard (GWS), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}Great Intelligence, a 38,800 dwt modified version of the Green Dolphin fuel-efficient bulk carrier concept, is a Chinese pilot smart ship project involving LR, System Engineering Research Institute (SERI) and China Class Society (CCS).

LR’s latest CES descriptive notes will be assigned to the project. The vessel achieved LR’s CES descriptive notes – Cyber AL2 Safe (Navigation, Propulsion, Steering), Cyber AL2 Maintain (M/E, A/E, Boiler, Shaft) and Cyber AL2 Perform (Energy Management).

“LR is extremely pleased to be presenting this first smart ship in China with our latest cyber-enabled ship descriptive notes,” said Nick Brown, LR Marine & Offshore director.

“It is a true landmark for all parties involved and another step forward in our digital journey as an industry as well as a milestone for smart shipping in China. We are very proud to be helping our clients build more autonomous ships that are safer, more efficient and energy saving.”

The Ship Operation and Maintenance System (SOMS) will utilise a range of advanced sensing technologies connected to the ship’s network, creating a ‘brain’ that incorporates intelligent technologies, such as machine learning.

Factory acceptance and sea trial tests for the Great Intelligence’s smart system have now taken place, with LR satisfied that the smart system meets its requirements.

These smart technologies include an Intelligent Navigation System, intended to augment rather than replace existing vessel systems. Data from ship and shore-based service stations is collected and analysed against baseline ship’s route information in order to identify opportunities for route optimisation, for example alteration of the ship’s route to avoid adverse meteorological conditions, or modification of the route to avoid identified obstacles.

The Intelligent Navigation System also provides smart functions such as ship route optimisation to reach the destination in the shortest time, with minimal fuel consumption. Any actions taken in response to information provided by the system must be performed by a human.

In related news, LR has also introduced a newly revised ShipRight procedure to address the challenges posed by new uses of data, new platforms and new types of services, ways of working and vessels.

The new procedure has been developed based on the experiences of the classification society in live projects with clients such as Rolls-Royce, CSSC and Synergy Marine, as well as through lessons learnt by working with academic and industry partners at QinetiQ, the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre.

The update includes three new descriptive notes. These include: Cyber MAINTAIN, for recognition of digitally enabled condition based maintenance systems; Cyber PERFORM, for recognition of performance optimisation systems; and Cyber SECURE, recognising that cyber security has been assessed in the context of design and build.

Descriptions of autonomy levels have also been refined, with differences between vessel automation, remote monitoring and control, and fully autonomous operation and associated accessibility from onboard or ashore having been clarified.

Autonomy levels are now referred to, and defined as, ‘Accessibility Levels for Autonomy/Remote Access’, and are numbered from 1 to 5.{mprestriction ids="1,2"}

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