The project MTCAS (Maritime Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System), funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, BMWi), aims the development of a Maritime Traffic Collision Avoidance System, which shall protect the maritime transport against collisions in a dependable and automated way.
Building on the aviation Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), MTCAS will employ state-of the art information and communication technologies to develop solutions suitable to the rules and customs of international maritime traffic. Moreover, by estimating the intentions and movements of other ships, MTCAS will assist the bridge team to detect reliably maneuvers of other ships as well as to improve significantly the quality and reliability of collisions warnings and alarms. MTCAS will provide components to support pro-active decision making on board as well as on shore as an enhancement of the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS). MTCAS aims at a sophisticated assessment of the level of risk and the danger of a collision and will research approaches for consistent triggering of situation-dependent warnings and alarms on-board and in a VTS center. Furthermore, the system shall provide early information and suggestions for pro-active solution of critical situations by coordinated action of the targets involved. This includes reliable gathering of data for constructing the traffic image, enhanced fast-time simulation-based maneuver planning and prediction, as well as a partially automated negotiation of planned trajectories among ships and VTS.
The consortium leader of the joint project is Raytheon Anschütz GmbH. Besides the DLR, further partners in this project are SIGNALIS GmbH, OFFIS - Institute for Informatics as well as the Institute of Innovative Ship-Simulation and Maritime Systems (ISSIMS) of Hochschule Wismar, University of Applied Sciences: Technology, Business and Design.
DLR subproject: Integrity of maritime Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) and traffic situation awareness data for MTCAS
Reliable gathering of data describing the current traffic situation is a basic prerequisite for any collision avoidance system. Based on the traffic situation and the knowledge about respective ship movement models, the trajectories of all vessels can be predicted. This enables an early detection of critical situations and allows the suggestion of maneuvers in order to safely and efficiently overcome the collision risk. Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) data of the own vessel as well as of the vessels in the surrounding are essential elements of the current traffic situation image. Within this subproject reliability analyses of currently used PNT sensors will be performed and integrity information of the actual PNT data will be delivered.
In an introduction phase of MTCAS, vessels with an MTCAS and vessels without an MTCAS onboard will coexist and need to be considered. For all vessels, which are equipped with an MTCAS, the PNT integrity information will be provided by the MTCAS. For all other vessels these information need to be estimated. For that purpose in a first step reliability analyses of AIS and RADAR data with respect to a highly accurate reference trajectory will be performed. For the real time application an AIS plausibility check will be operated and plausibility assessed AIS data will be provided.
The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) under grant number: 03SX405C.
January 2016 – December 2018