Research Papers: Structures and Safety Reliability

Ship-to-Ship State Observer Using Sensor Fusion and the Extended Kalman Filter

[+] Author and Article Information
Sondre Sanden Tørdal

Faculty of Engineering and Science,
University of Agder,
Jon Lilletunsvei 9,
Grimstad 4879, Norway
e-mail: sondre.tordal@uia.no

Geir Hovland

Faculty of Engineering and Science,
University of Agder,
Jon Lilletunsvei 9,
Grimstad 4879, Norway
e-mail: geir.hovland@uia.no

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manuscript received May 21, 2018; final manuscript received September 27, 2018; published online January 17, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Nianzhong Chen.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 141(4), 041603 (Jan 17, 2019) (9 pages) Paper No: OMAE-18-1062; doi: 10.1115/1.4041643 History: Received May 21, 2018; Revised September 27, 2018

In this paper, a solution for estimating the relative position and orientation between two ships in six degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) using sensor fusion and an extended Kalman filter (EKF) approach is presented. Two different sensor types, based on time-of-flight and inertial measurement principles, were combined to create a reliable and redundant estimate of the relative motion between the ships. An accurate and reliable relative motion estimate is expected to be a key enabler for future ship-to-ship operations, such as autonomous load transfer and handling. The proposed sensor fusion algorithm was tested with real sensors (two motion reference units (MRS) and a laser tracker) and an experimental setup consisting of two Stewart platforms in the Norwegian Motion Laboratory, which represents an approximate scale of 1:10 when compared to real-life ship-to-ship operations.

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Fig. 1

Illustration of the relative ship motion tracking problem where two ships are laying alongside each other and a suspended load is supposed to be landed onto to the secondary ship deck by using an offshore crane

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Fig. 2

Ship-to-ship body kinematics

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Fig. 3

Comparison between the linear transfer function magnitude |h(jω)|2 and the Pierson–Moscowitz wave spectrum S(ω) with significant wave height Hs = 8 m and typical wave period Tp = 12 s

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Fig. 4

Picture taken from the Norwegian Motion Laboratory's lab facilities located in the University of Agder's Mechatronics lab found at Campus Grimstad, Norway

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Fig. 5

Illustration of the lab equipment used to carry out the lab experiments. The lab consist of two Stewart platforms (Bosch Rexroth EM8000 and EM1500), an industrial robot (Comau SMART 5 NJ 110 3.0), two MRU sensors (Kongsberg/SEATEX MRU H), a Leica Laser tracker (Leica AT960), and its accompanying tracking probe (T-Mac TMC30-F).

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Fig. 6

Position estimation error when compared to the internal feedback sensors of both the Stewart platforms

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Fig. 7

Orientation estimation error when compared to the internal feedback sensors of both the Stewart platforms



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