The Mayflower project features the Wärtsilä RS24 high-resolution radar system Photo: IBM
Wärtsilä is providing the radar system for the first fully autonomous, unmanned vessel to cross the Atlantic.
The Mayflower Autonomous ship, named after the 17th century ship that transported the Pilgrims from Plymouth to the ‘new world’ in 1620, will launch in summer 2020. Led by marine research organisation, ProMare, the project is developing autonomous systems that can later be deployed commercially.
As part of a global consortium, Wärtsilä will supply its RS24 FMCW K-Band radar system which will work in tandem with the AI Captain system provided by IBM.
“Our team has followed the development of technologies applicable to ship autonomy, and when selecting systems for the Mayflower project, we quickly recognised that the Wärtsilä RS24 was the perfect radar solution,” said Brett Phaneuf, co-founder of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship Project.
The Mayflower will support the development of a flexible platform for oceanographic research and will also act as a testbed for new navigation software, renewable energy, and propulsion systems for marine vessels.
Already in use on board the Wärtsilä IntelliTug, the RS24 has a resolution five times higher than existing marine S and X-Band radars with spin cycles of 60rpm and is specifically designed to look for hazards at close ranges of up to 1000m.