Article

3DPortGuard Docking Aid


published on 24 August 2021 332 -

Australian technology provider Frontier Automation has released a new vessel tracking system that can be used as a docking aid tool by pilots. As for all Frontier Automation control systems, it uses 3D machine vision to automatically detect and track in real time shipping vessels within range of a berth by providing information on critical distances to mooring infrastructure, on vessel speed and angle, and on vessel movement directions and orientations.

Frontier Automation’s permanently installed LiDAR docking aid system is intended to be a set and forget solution. It fully autonomously tracks every single mooring cycle of all attending vessels, without the need for any error prone manual equipment set up, and without the need for any equipment to be brought on board the vessel.

Frontier Automation have carefully designed an intuitive PPU display that provides all critical information to pilots during the berthing process as per AMPI specifications in the PPU Code of Good Practice for the Implementation and Use of Portable Piloting Units.

All approach events are automatically recorded in a data base external to the PPU that can be searched and recalled to replay as a video and numerically assess any docking event.

The value proposition for 3DPortGuard from a pilot’s perspective is that it makes a pilot’s core activity of berthing large vessels simpler, safer, and provides piece of mind when compared to the use of conventional GNSS docking aid systems because:


  • Pilots don’t need to bring anything on board other than their PPU, i.e. no weighty or bulky docking aid system transport by the pilot for set up on the vessel which can be a hazard during the ladder transfer from tug to vessel, because the system works remotely
  • Pilots don’t need to set up anything on board the vessel, which can be error prone for GNSS based systems if the piloting phase is stressful due to:

    • Limited time window to do so
    • Difficulty to complete the set up on vessel because of adverse conditions such as night-time darkness, foul weather, distractions from other tasks
    • Fatigue due to excess work hours caused by delays or extension of shifts, particularly night shifts

  • The system is 100% reliable and is not susceptible to the intermittency of accuracy creating a collision risk that GNSS based docking aid systems are known for
  • The system is always on and available to the PPU display whilst in range of the berth pocket, it does not need any manual intervention by pilots at all to make it available
  • Full 3D replay and numerical assessment of historical docking events provides the platform for safe procedure development and training

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LV
Louis Vest Houston Pilots, USA
on 30 August 2021, 19:19 UTC

"Pilots don’t need to bring anything on board other than their PPU, i.e. no weighty or bulky docking aid system transport by the pilot". A good pilot PPU does exactly what is discussed in the press release.
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