Dynautics has been active in the development of collision avoidance algorithms since 2010. Our algorithms accept data from multiple sources. Algorithms are incorporated within the Spectre Autopilot module.
Dynautics has also developed an external interface for collision avoidance. This interface, published in 2017, is based on the NMEA0183 standard, and allows third party collision avoidance processors to interact with the autopilot. A system of flags enables a remote operator to monitor the process and to enable or disable the collision avoidance processor remotely.
Collision Avoidance comprises two distinct tasks:
- The first task is to detect potential obstacles, other vehicles, buoys, objects floating in the water, the coastline, pontoons, and areas of shallow water. These each have to be detected, classified, and located and tracked. This task may be achieved using a range of techniques such as AIS, ARPA RADAR, mono- and stereo-photogrammetry, LIDAR, sonar and chart data.
- Once the danger zones have been established, the second task is to avoid them, by modifying the vehicle’s speed and heading when necessary.
SPECTRE has an internal algorithm for prioritising and avoiding obstacles, using obstacle data received from the ground station over the command link, and AIS data from an on-board AIS receiver.
Dynautics has developed a stand-alone Collision Avoidance Module which takes in obstacle data from sensors such as RADAR. The Collision Avoidance Module determines whether a risk of collision exists: and if so, raises a flag to take control of the SPECTRE autopilot, sending modified headings and speed commands in order to avoid the obstacles, returning control when the risk has been averted. SPECTRE passes on Collision Avoidance status to the remote operator who can intervene and override the system at any time.