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Surveillance of MARiTime surroundings through lasER technology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SMARTER-2 (Surveillance of MARiTime surroundings through lasER technology)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-11-30

Contact and collision incidences are on the rise. This is also the most costly type of incidents in the maritime transport sector, representing 40% of yearly insurance claims. Semi and fully submerged objects in particular are causing headaches to shipping and offshore platforms as they go undetected by current state-of-the-art sensors. There is thus an acute need for improved observation capability of the ocean surface layer.
Similarly, the maritime security situation has in resent years again been deteriorating. This project’s opportunity arises from today’s inability to observe this challenging ocean layer. These incidents can be reduced by an appropriate observational sensor like a LADAR.
Our solution decreases costs of shipping positively impacting transportation sector which in consequence brings costs benefits to whole society.
The project's consortium intends to bring to market an innovative sensor product based on Laser Detection and Ranging (LADAR) technology. The LADAR system enables accurate and real-time surveillance of the ocean surface layer, the water column immediately below and the seafloor, when within reach. Moreover, the system detects, characterizes, classifies and tracks various types of objects in real time. This afford ship, platform or port operators a much-needed broader state awareness, allowing them to make informed decisions and take preventive actions in safety, security or navigational stressed situations. The main SMARTER 2 objective is to commercialize the LADAR for the marine & offshore marketplace.
1) The consortium has reviewed and refined the functional system requirements concerning commercial requirements with an enlarged End User Group and created an end-users requirements document. In the next step, the consortium pitched the technology at several hackathons and accelerators. The consortium also negotiated co-development agreements with industrial partners.
2) The project adapted the prototype (LADAR MK1) hardware configuration and software to best approach the market according to the commercial requirements. The MK2 has a simplified and modular design and hard/software have been constantly upgraded and improved, e.g. by real-time processing using an FPGA. MK2 has been tested extensively indoors and outdoors.
3) The system installation and integration were concluded on several vessels in month 36. The result of this action was among others creating a first general installation plan for several types of ships.
4) The LADAR MK1 has been used as a testbed for lab/performance testing since November 2017, also to evaluate new technologies/functionalities and to enhance the overall sensitivity of the instrument. The MK2 testing started in 2019 and has involved indoor testing using laboratory instruments for accurate calibration and outdoor testing using dedicated mobile test vehicles and vessels.
5) A systematic approach to the individual tasks was done by reviewing the industrial design and assessing the costs, identifying replacement parts and components that required a redesign, a redesign of all system modules, mechanical and electronic, and finally optimization of computational resources, such as processing capabilities.
6) A supplier assessment and selection were organised together with an assembler assessment; to ensure the manufacturing process will be working correctly. Furthermore, an assembly manual was created under this deliverable. The final production version LADAR MK3 will be adapted and refined from the current MK2 version and manufactured by the selected production partner.
7) Under this WP a reuseable packaging solution was designed and a supplier and distributor were selected.
8) All required maintenance &support procedures were specified as well as providing a detailed description of the warranty terms associated with the system.
9) To ensure proper communications with the clients a customer’s relation document was produced. Additionally, this work package also covered the legal protection from competition penalties and limits the liability of Ladar Ltd in cases of malfunctions, data errors and other circumstances.
10) The marketing and sales efforts, based on the initial requirements of the end-user group and WP1 output, have been updated according to new developments and information gathered from during the interactions with other market players. In 2019 the marketing efforts have been directed towards direct engagement with potential end-users.
11) Within the 2nd project period, another refinement of the business plan was conducted, incorporating the latest findings on technology, markets and competitors. Direct engagement with identified user segments as well as outreach to open up new markets, e.g PortXL in Rotterdam, GreenTech in Lisbon, DEME Group, Port of Rotterdam Authorities and Kawasaki were key activities.
12) Since the consortium owns several patents related to the technology, they have been revised for all new claims created in SMARTER2 project. Besides the new claims, we have also started the process of trademarking the product under the name ladar.
13) As for as the management, monitoring and controlling activates are concerned, all have been executed on daily basis from beginning to the end, and all management and financial reporting have been submitted on time at the end of the project.
1) The LADAR gives combined surface and underwater sensing: LADAR penetrates the ocean surface, which makes it possible to detect various types of submerged or partly submerged objects.
2) The LADAR provides 4D surface and subsurface imaging (X, Y, Z, plus time).
3) The LADAR gives high resolution temporal and spatial imaging.
4) The LADAR operates independent of speed.
5) Complementing performance: The LADAR is not limited by wind or wave spray (as is radar) or solely above surface or below surface monitoring.

The results include a LADAR re-design for quantity/scale-up manufacturing that greatly lowered production cost and thereby increased the LADAR Ltd. profit margin.
Additionally, this project further validated & demoed the LADAR added value to end-users; re-assessed relevant regulatory framework & certification; developed packaging & distribution networks; improved system installation and integration instructions and procedures; derived and performed system training; further generated IPR and patents; regularly assessed marketing, sales and commercial values and performed such activities as outlined in the disruptive business plan (as to further gain insight into the qualities versus market value of the system, which is needed for determining criteria for success, planning & execution of the commercialization plan).

We differentiate 4 major impact types. The first one being scientific where we investigate the ultimate possibilities of the use of laser light for maritime security to reach theoretical conclusions about the potential applications of the system. The second impact is the technological impact expressed in terms of progress of TRL levels related to the overall system as well as that of available enabling techonologies. The third type of impact is the social impact. The project actively increases maritime security by preventing intruders, terrorist attacks, smuggling activities. Finally, several new job openings were created both in the companies involved with the project. Forth and the last type of impact is the environmental impact.
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