Maritime And Coastguard Agency Publishes MARLab Report

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The Maritime and Coastguard Agency this week published its MARLab Report which sets the country on course for the safe testing and operation of autonomous surface ships in UK waters.

MASS is a relatively new but fast evolving industry and the MARLab project sets out to support it by establishing the regulatory barriers to the testing and operation of MASS, and to scope ways to regulate innovatively.

Solis Marine was chosen as a MARLab delivery partner for our experience in shipping, navigation and collision avoidance, the use and application of data and emerging and innovative marine technologies.

Working with MariTrace, we managed the data stream element of the project by developing a prototype portal which MASS stakeholders could access and use.

Developed as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), the portal shows how multiple data sources can be consolidated in a single location, in this case Portland Harbour, for MASS operators to access on demand.

During the study we were able to assemble more than 20 different datasets from the Met Office and UK Hydrographic Office, along with AIS data from the MCA, which was used to gather valuable stakeholder feedback.

The system architecture of the MVP allowed us to identify potential design considerations, preferred technology solutions and to iron out the sticking points in the event of a full scale roll out.

Now the test period is at an end, Solis Marine is exploring various avenues to see how we might continue to operate the datahub in key locations and territories where we have established an obvious need.

You can download the full MARLab report and watch the MCA’s supporting animation which summarises the project here

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