Surface applications include USVs and manned craft which need to remain in a given area or on a waypoint in order to operate a process such as dredging, or to keep sensors located over a fixed point. Dynautics has pioneered the concept of Area DP, in which the vessel is required to remain within a defined area but not necessarily on one waypoint. This adaptation results in calmer propulsion demands and significant fuel savings.
The Area DP concept has been extended to a sea-state adaptive DP system. In a significant sea state, it would be fruitless to attempt to keep station to the nearest inch: by recognizing the natural motions which arise from the sea state, the DP system can reduce its activity levels and save fuel, while achieving the best possible accuracy in the prevailing conditions.
The Area DP concept has also led to the development of algorithms for extremely slow tracking. The autopilot can be given a DP boundary, within which it is commanded to creep slowly along a given vector. This can be used, for example, for inspecting pipelines or for water injection dredging