Autonomous collision avoidance navigation system (ACANS)

Puts the boat on autopilot with the security of collision avoidance

Software & Information Technology

Coast Guard statistics indicate that a collision with a recreational vessel or a collision with a fixed object are the first and second primary accident types for watercraft. In 2015 there were nearly 1500 of these incidents recorded resulting in almost 1000 injuries.  Operator inattention and improper lookout were the first and third highest contributing factors.  Even with the advances in onboard electronics and GPS systems, boating collisions continue to be a problem.

Navy researchers are responding to this issue with smart navigation technology.  ACANS navigates via a route tracking algorithm, detecting an obstacle and the obstacle’s bearing, speed, distance, and direction of travel with respect to ownship. It determines whether a collision between the ownship and the obstacle is probable, reducing ownship speed when a collision distance is less than a predetermined distance, determining a new heading using fuzzy logic in a modified course alteration diagram (MCAD) controller, and changing ownship course to the new heading. The route tracking algorithm resumes when the obstacle is cleared from the probability of collision.

System components include a computer controlling the throttle, rudder, obstacle detection device, gyrocompass, and autopilot.

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