The AUTOFOCUS project goal will be to build up to five pre-production LADAR prototypes. The consortium will perform a design iteration of its current engineering prototype which was developed with a focus on maritime security. After an extensive test campaign and market research in 2018 and 2019, the consortiums will develop this product for the maritime safety and autonomous shipping market. These pre-production prototypes will also include advanced electronic components such as proprietary PCBs. This will enable the consortium to reduce the size of the sensor system and to integrate all components into the sensor head, eliminating a base electronics unit. This will not only increase the functionality and attractiveness of the LADAR in the target markets high-speed vessels, high-value vessels and autonomous vessels but also feasibly allow the future possibility of sensor application to the private super yacht sector, drones and technology leaders in port, offshore and fishing operations.
These pre-production prototypes will be field-tested on various platforms. Through a partner, Ladar Ltd., the consortium members are since 2019 involved in a pilot project in autonomous shipping applications together with the Port of Rotterdam. The consortium will expand this activity to involve the Norwegian DoD and Kongsberg.
Another outcome of the project will be investment in the development of advanced software algorithms, that will include a set of scanning patterns to adapt to the environmental conditions and autocalibration of the sensor, interface design with other sensors on board of vessels (both manned and autonomous), object detection and classification algorithms, and object tracking algorithms. The aim is to develop an open platform, on which independent software engineers can later programme specific applications.
Furthermore, we will embark on the process of EMC verification and type approval with an external certification body 9e.g. DNV-GL).