BMT, a design, engineering, science, and risk management consultancy, has been announced as the winner of the first ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme challenge by the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO).

The challenge was launched by UKHO in collaboration with RE_SET, a boutique strategy consultancy for disruption, innovation and sustainability.

Its objective is to assist start-ups and innovators in developing new solutions for supporting safe, secure and thriving oceans.

UKHO research, design and innovation head Mark Casey said: “The ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme was established to inspire innovative solutions to the threats faced by our oceans, as well as the opportunities.

“Our challenges aim to support the growth of the Blue Economy and unlock the power of marine geospatial data across a range of sectors.”

BMT’s new navigation system won the first innovation challenge whose theme is ‘unlocking autonomous navigation’.

Participants in the challenged were asked to identify how marine geospatial data can help in the safe navigation of commercial autonomous ships.

To address the challenge, BMT combined its simulation technologies – REMBRANDT and TUFLOW to improve the planning of autonomous operations and real-time navigation safety in heavily trafficked waterways and ports.

According to UKHO, the system could successfully simulate the navigation of a 140m part-autonomous ferry in Plymouth port. BMT deployed various ADMIRALTY data sets, which included bathymetry, tidal streams and heights, seabed composition, and also routing of ships for the simulation.

The company’s new application can also be connected to satellite and AIS receivers, and other external and environmental data sources for ensuring safety and efficiency, said UKHO.

BMT will now get to partner with the UKHO for using marine geospatial data and expertise for developing an alpha product for the autonomous shipping industry.

Besides, it has secured a seat at the IoT Tribe Space Endeavour Accelerator for further developing technologies that use satellite-derived data.

BMT chief executive Sarah Kenny said: “We strongly believe in the development and transition to a fully autonomous world and we are particularly proud to put our experience and knowledge towards a challenging navigation project that could become a catalytic factor for industrial innovation in this area and beyond.”

Source : Government Computing

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