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MAROFF-2-Maritim virksomhet og offsh-2

Laser Radar for Safe and Clean Seas

Alternative title: Laser Radar for Sikker ferdsel og Godt Miljø til havs

Awarded: NOK 19.8 mill.

Project Manager:

Project Number:


Project Period:

2020 - 2024



Safety and security at sea depends already on advanced technologies, such as radars, satellite sensors and GPS navigation. So does environmental monitoring and maritime resource management, such as fisheries. This project introduces a new invention which will further improve these capabilities for critical applications, such as safe navigation in crowded waters, safe operation of autonomous ships, and specific mapping of concentrations of fish resources or plastics pollution. The invention relates to the use of laser based radar. Conventional radar systems are good at reaching far away, and can penetrate rain and fog, but do not give clear pictures and only detects objects on the sea surface. Camera systems give clear pictures but can not penetrate fog or map well into the water. The LADAR technology as invented here combines the longer range and detection ability of RADAR while maintaining the very high accuracy and ability to provide high resolution of CAMERA systems. Specific for the LADAR is also the use of multiple colours also in the invisible visual range to provide additional information. The project works with national research institutions (NTNU, NIVA, FFI, UiO) to research the physics behind the concept and engages national and international users. The outcome of the project is research papers covering various aspects of the physical science, the implementation and technology, and user application.

The project goal will be to build laser based remote sensing devices for maritime safety and security. 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 consortium 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).

Funding scheme:

MAROFF-2-Maritim virksomhet og offsh-2