H-Scientific Integrates Autopilot System with WAM-V Catamaran

By Mike Ball / 18 Dec 2017
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H-Scientific SPECTRE control system on WAM-V boat

H-Scientific Ltd., a technology provider for the autonomous marine market, has announced that, working in conjunction with Marine Advanced Research Inc. (MAR), it has demonstrated mission planning, collision avoidance and sonar deployment with MAR’s WAM-V (Wave Adaptive Modular Vessel) 16-foot catamaran in a recent sea trial in the UK.

Over the course of five days, H-Scientific demonstrated the control of the WAM-V in various sea states up to Wind Force 3, using its SPECTRE autopilot system. The vessel was used as a technology demonstrator for collision avoidance, navigation for survey purposes, sidescan sonar deployment, power management and remote communications.

Dr. Henry Robinson of H-Scientific commented: “This is a unique vessel and our electronics system engineering provided us with another opportunity to demonstrate the adaptability of the SPECTRE control system. We were very satisfied with its performance, it maintained a very low cross track error suitable for autonomous surveying.”

Commenting on the development process, Dr. Robinson also stated: “Every vessel has its own unique challenges. Our process of simulation, electronic system engineering, and sea trialling provides us with a unique advantage of speed to market. In the case of WAM-V we were able to offer the control and navigation electronics, power management and UHF and Satellite communications.”

The Wave Adaptive Modular Vessel (WAM-V) is an innovative class of watercraft (both autonomous and manned) using unique suspension technology to improve seagoing capabilities. The articulating system uses springs, shocks and ball joints to minimize structural loading. The result is a light, modular vessel that can perform in sea conditions where an ordinary boat of similar size could no longer operate.

The demonstration boat was fitted with the following H-Scientific electronics:

  • PMM – Power Management Module
  • SPECTRE 2 – Autopilot
  • Torqeedo twin-engine adapter
  • Data Logger
  • UHF modem interface
  • Iridium Sat communication interface
  • Differential actuator drive
  • Joystick and Joystick Modem

Additionally, electronics and systems from other companies were also fitted:

  • Simrad – 4G radar
  • Garmin – GPS
  • Raymarine – AIS (Automatic Identification System)
  • Torqeedo – Cruise 2000 electric outboard motors

H-Scientific provides ShipSim (Vessel simulators), SPECTRE and Micro-SPECTRE autopilots, PMM (Power Management Module) and many other electronic modules for autonomous vessels.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact