My research is about exploring how smart techniques can reduce the workload for humans onboard ships. This research is applicable both for unmanned and manned vessels.
The research is summarized in the Licentiate Thesis from 2019; found on the following page:
There are many reasons for reducing the workload for humans, or even use unmanned vessels at sea:
- Most accidents at sea are due to human errors, and by either guiding humans or replacing human tasks, the accidents are likely to be reduced.
- It is in many cases hard to recruit personnel to ships, as ships are often on missions for multiple weeks in a row.
- The crew is expensive, and ships need to be designed in a more expensive way if humans should be able to live and work on it.
- If the expenses are reduced by removing the crew, the ships' speed can be reduced, thereby reducing the environmental impact.
Currently, I have had two sub-projects:
When navigating, it is important to know the position of the ship. GPS is one of the most well-used systems for positioning. A problem with using satellite systems as a positioning system, is that GPS transmission can be jammed or even spoofed so that the GPS is fooled that it is located in the wrong position.
In this project, we measure the bottom depth and magnetic field, and compares these values to known maps in order to estimate the position, without using GPS. The algorithm uses a particle filter for this estimation. See publications for more information.
Virtual Reality for Remote Supervision of an Unmanned Surface Vessel
In this project, we want to be able to supervise an Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV). An important constraint is that the USV should be able to go beyond line of sight with a low bandwidth between the human and the USV. In the project, it has also been important to give the human operator a good overview of the situation, with the goal to reduce accidents at sea.
An interface has been developed for Virtual Reality (VR) presentation, where a virtual replica of the surrounding real world is created. Detected surrounding ships are superimposed into the virtual world. A user study has been conducted to compare Safety, Situational Awareness and Cognitive Load with a normal interface, as well as with an interface in 3D presented on a computer. See publications for more information.