DNV GL issues remote operation guidance

DNV GL wants a culture of safety for autonomous and remotely operated ships Photo: DNV GL DNV GL wants a culture of safety for autonomous and remotely operated ships Photo: DNV GL
Industry Database

The offshore industry needs a robust set of standards enabling new, safely implemented systems to reach the market in order to reap the full benefit of remote operations, say experts from DNV GL.

To aid the industry in developing these standards, the classification society issued a class guideline for ‘Autonomous and Remotely Operated Ships’ in September of 2018.

Are Jørgensen, DNV GL’s project manager for the guidelines said: “We want to help build a safety culture around new technologies for autonomous and remotely operated ships.

“A lot of this knowledge can be applied to offshore operations, but not everything. In shipping, we have divided ship functions into engineering and navigational systems.

“We believe that categories need to be derived for offshore too, such as supply and installations, in order to reflect how much effort is needed to achieve safe, autonomous operations in which areas.”

Reasons to automate

There are three principal reasons to automate: firstly the business case, whether it can help the operators to earn more money. The second reason is safety – automated control and alarm systems can contribute to reducing the risk of accidents. Finally automation helps protect the environment, with one of the main benefits being a reduction in the likelihood of spills.

Software at the core

Software-based control systems are becoming increasingly complex. In response to this, DNV GL is introducing a scheme where software integrity is separately verified. Testing these complex systems is by use of a ‘digital cousin’ to simulate operation allowing for quick testing without risk to personnel, assets or the environment.

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