DNV GL has granted type approval for Wärtsilä’s SceneScan position reference system. It is the world’s first laser-based targetless relative dynamic positioning (DP) reference system that can work without the need for pre-placed positioning targets.

Without pre-placed positioning targets, the system provides significantly greater operational flexibility than conventional systems. Furthermore, since it doesn’t require reflector targets, costs are reduced. Type approval provides verification of functionality.

Testing on board LNG bunker vessel

Whereas DP reference systems are typically utilised on offshore vessels, the type approval tests for SceneScan were carried out onboard the Kairos, an LNG bunker vessel owned by Germany’s Bernhard Schulte KG. This extends the potential for DP applications beyond the traditional offshore sector.

The system was installed and commissioned during October 2019, and the successful type approval testing was finalised in December 2019. Installation was carried out by the ship’s crew without Wärtsilä supervision, emphasising the user-friendliness of the system’s design.

In January, the largest ever LNG bunkering operation in German waters was carried out in the port of Rostock. 1800 cbm of LNG was transferred from the Kairos to DEME’s next generation offshore installation vessel, the Orion. The safe manoeuvring of the Kairos to the final mooring position was performed using the SceneScan system.

Towards autonomous shipping

By its flexible and accurate near-field positioning sensing, SceneScan enables a further step along the path towards autonomous shipping. The ability to ensure accurate and cost-effective positioning in varying environments and conditions is a key pre-requisite for smart manoeuvring. This is an important step on the way to enable more flexible and safer LNG bunkering at sea.

Picture: The LNG Bunker vessel Kairos has been fitted with the Wärtsilä SceneScan laser-based targetless relative DP reference system (by Jann Voss, TSI-LNG, BSM Germany).