The R&D activities of the department Nautical Systems are focused on contributions to support a safe and efficient transport on the seven seas as well as on inland waterways. We do this to contribute to the minimization of the risk of collisions and groundings within the scope of increasing vessel traffic and the growing complexity of electronic systems aboard and around a ship.
According to this our scientists, engineers and technicians research in 3 working groups on new methods and technologies to increase the accuracy and integrity of data provided by maritime sensors and services. On one hand this comprises all navigation relevant data describing the own-movement of a vessel as well on the other hand all data which are of interest concerning the surrounding environment of a vessel (e.g. other vessels, obstacles).
Our centrals aims within these areas are as follows:
For this we collaborate with partners at national and international level. One core element of our work is focused on the support of the e-Navigation strategy of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). For that purpose we are integrated in working groups at national level (e.g. leadership of the PNT-working group of BMVI) as well as on international level. For the latter we are an associate member of IALA and bring in our knowledge into the PNT working group of the IALA eNAV committee.
The Research Port Rostock is playing an important role as a testbed to validate our technologies under real environmental conditions. DLR is one of the founder members of the Research Port and our department is also responsible to deal with all foreign issues. Within the scope of measurement campaigns we have temporal access on a diving vessel. This vessel is equipped, besides typical nautical standard sensors like Radar, Gyro, ECDIS, Speed-Log and GPS receiver, with a lot of additional new nautical sensors like high precise GNSS-receivers as well as different inertial measurement units. All installation points are completely measured.
At DLR branch Neustrelitz the department is strongly involved within the Research Cluster Maritime Safety and Security. Together with DLR‘s Earth Observation Center we are responsible for the leadership of the Research Cluster. We use the cluster to continue our work within the integrated maritime PNT system and for traffic situation assessment with a specific focus on real-time capable processing and demonstration systems.
Image: Enno Kapitza for DLR
The current research activities are focused on the development of reliable Bayesian recursive estimation schemes which serve as the basis to develop methods which could meet the requirements for safety-critical applications such as vessel navigation. The work particularly addresses the question of how one can achieve an efficient high-dimensional Bayesian filtering in order to estimate the error in the sense of an upper bound under consideration of a residual risk. Primarily, so called tightly coupled filters are developed, which allow the detection of faulty satellite signals and the exclusion of faulty measurements from the navigation solution.