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Detections of potential collision situations by relative motions of vessels under parameter uncertainties

Detections of potential collision situations by relative motions of vessels under parameter uncertainties

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Published by LP Perera
The detection of potential collision situations by relative motions of vessels under parameter
uncertainties in vessel manoeuvring is presented in this study. The detection process consists of the
observations of the relative navigation trajectory and course-speed vector between two vessels. The proposed
detection process is developed as a part of the intelligent navigation system that makes decisions
under multi-vessel collision situations. A two vessel collision situation is considered and the extended
Kalman filter algorithm is used in this study to estimate the relative navigational trajectory as well as the
relative course-speed vector. Finally, prior and posterior collision/near-collision situations are simulated
and successful simulation results on the detection of potential collision situations are also presented in
this paper.
The detection of potential collision situations by relative motions of vessels under parameter
uncertainties in vessel manoeuvring is presented in this study. The detection process consists of the
observations of the relative navigation trajectory and course-speed vector between two vessels. The proposed
detection process is developed as a part of the intelligent navigation system that makes decisions
under multi-vessel collision situations. A two vessel collision situation is considered and the extended
Kalman filter algorithm is used in this study to estimate the relative navigational trajectory as well as the
relative course-speed vector. Finally, prior and posterior collision/near-collision situations are simulated
and successful simulation results on the detection of potential collision situations are also presented in
this paper.

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Published by: LP Perera on Sep 19, 2011
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03/21/2013

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Sustainable Maritime Transportation and Exploitation of Sea Resources – Rizzuto & Guedes Soares (eds) © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN 978-0-415-62081-9
Detections of potential collision situations by relative motionsof vessels under parameter uncertainties
Lokukaluge P. Perera & C. Guedes Soares
Centre for Marine Technology and Engineering (CENTEC), Instituto Superior Técnico,Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal 
ABSTRACT: The detection of potential collision situations by relative motions of vessels under param-eter uncertainties in vessel manoeuvring is presented in this study. The detection process consists of theobservations of the relative navigation trajectory and course-speed vector between two vessels. The pro-posed detection process is developed as a part of the intelligent navigation system that makes decisionsunder multi-vessel collision situations. A two vessel collision situation is considered and the extendedKalman filter algorithm is used in this study to estimate the relative navigational trajectory as well as therelative course-speed vector. Finally, prior and posterior collision/near-collision situations are simulatedand successful simulation results on the detection of potential collision situations are also presented inthis paper.situations in maritime transportation. The proposedmethodology (i.e. detections of collision situations)is a part of the intelligent navigation system (INS)that is presented in Figure 1 and further describedin section 2.1 INTRODUCTIONThe detections of collision situations are impor-tant facilities of transportation systems to improvethe safety and security in navigation. However, col-lision situations could be simplified by assumingthat the targets are moving in straight line motionsand states/parameters conditions are deterministic.Even though, land and air transportation systemscould satisfy these assumptions, maritime trans-portation systems are often involved with maneu-vering trajectories and stochastic state/parametersituations under varying sea conditions.Furthermore, the navigation constraints androuting schemes in maritime transportationhave enforced vessels to execute close quarternavigation, which increases the risk of collisions(Robson, 2006). Therefore, the detections of col-lision situations under maritime transportationwill be a complicated process that needs advancedtools and technologies.This study proposes a methodology to detectcollision and near collision situations by esti-mating the relative navigation trajectory and therelative course-speed vector between two vessels.Furthermore, the vessels’ navigation under maneu-vering and stochastic states/parameter conditionsis considered. Even though, this study is limited toa two vessels collision situation, this concept canbe developed for a multi-vessel collision situationby accumulating multiple two vessel collision situ-ations as proposed by Perera et al. (2011a).The estimated relative navigation trajectory andrelative course-speed vector can use as an evaluationmechanism prior to collisions or near collision
Figure 1. Intelligent navigation system.
 
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1.1
Collision in maritime transportation
Human errors are still one of the major causes of maritime accidents (Guedes Soares & Teixeira,2001) and 75–95% of marine accidents and cau-salities are caused by some types of human errors(Rothblum et al., 2002, and Antão & GuedesSoares 2008) in accordance with the reported data.Therefore, as illustrated by e-navigation (eNAV2010), the accumulation of intelligent decisionmaking capabilities into navigational systems willlimit the human subjective factors in navigation,which can increase the safety and security of mari-time transportation.The proposed e-navigation concept can beformulated as a collaborated network of trafficinformation among vessels and shore based sta-tions to improve safety and security in maritimetransportation. Furthermore, the e-navigation candecrease navigational errors, increase awareness of vessel situations, improve traffic monitoring facili-ties, and reduce transportation costs. (Ward andLeighton, 2010).1.2
Safety measures and risk assessments
The safety measures of maritime transportationwere influenced by several groups (Wang et al.,2006): ship designer, ship operators and maritimesocieties. The ship designers influence by safedesign of bridge layout, navigational equipments,engine and steering control, maneuverability, andredundancy. The ship operators influence by safeoperation of ship speed, manning levels, crew atti-tude and training, and maintenance. The maritimesocieties influence by safe aiding and monitoringof vessel traffic systems, pilots, traffic lanes, aidsto navigation (i.e. AIS, GPS) and safety inspectionprocedures.However, the effectiveness of maritime safetymeasures are eventually evaluated under rigorousnavigation and collision conditions with respectto the vessel operator’s decisions. Therefore, thebest onboard navigation tools (i.e. intelligent sys-tems and sensors) should be available to influencethe ship operation to make better decisions thatimprove the safety and security conditions withinmaritime transportation.The analysis of vessel navigation informationwill help to detect collision situations and to assesscollision risk. The collision risk should be evalu-ated in real-time by vessels and/or Vessel TrafficMonitoring and Information Systems (VTMIS) inorder to guarantee safety and security measures inmaritime transportation. As illustrated by Imazu(2006), the mathematical formulation of collisiondetection between two vessels can be divided intwo methods: Closest Point Approach method(CPA) that is a two dimensional method (2D) andPredicted Area of Danger method (PAD) that is athree dimensional method (3D).The CPA method consists of calculating theshortest distance between two vessels and assess-ing the collision risk that could be predicted withrespect to each vessel domain. However, the CPAmethod alone cannot be implemented in the evalu-ation process of collision risk, since it does notconsider the vessel size, course and speed varia-tions. An extensive study of the CPA method withrespect to a two vessel collision situation is pre-sented by Kwik (1989).The PAD method consists of modeling one ves-sel possible trajectories as an inverted cone andthe other vessel trajectory as an inverted cylinder,being the region of both object intersections cat-egorized into the Predicted Area of Danger. Bothvessels’ size, course and speed conditions could beintegrated into the geometry of the objects of navi-gational trajectories in this study.However, both studies are limited to constantparameter conditions (i.e. fixed vessel’s speed andcourse conditions) that may not always be realis-tic in maritime transportation. Therefore, a novelmethod to detect potential collision situations withthe parameter uncertainties in maritime transpor-tation (i.e. variation in vessel speed and course con-ditions) is proposed in this study.1.3
Collision risk assessment
This study formulates a methodology to detectpotential collision situations, while vessels aremaneuvering in close proximity. The proposeddetection process consists of the derivation of rela-tive navigation trajectory and course-speed vectorbetween two vessels that could use to evaluate priorcollision/near collision conditions.Even though, in this study, the collision detec-tion process is derived with respect to a two vesselcollision situation that can be developed for a multi-vessel collisions situation by the accumulation of two vessel collision situations. The proposed colli-sion detection process consists of following steps;the observation of both vessels’ positions; theestimation of both vessels’ velocities, accelerationsand navigational trajectories; the calculation of the vessel relative navigational trajectory and rela-tive course-speed vector of a selected vessel withrespect to other vessel.In general, the vessel navigators monitor collisionsituations by observing the relative bearing of othervessels in open sea; the unchanged relative bearing of a vessel could lead to a collision situation. However,this requirement alone could not predict accuratecollision conditions and should not be used in thedecision making process under complex navigationalconditions; that involve multiple vessels.
 
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Therefore, the observation of relative navigationtrajectory and relative course-speed vector of theother vessel could use to improve the detectionof collision situations. The relative navigationtrajectory could illustrate as a conventional bear-ing observation situation. However, the relativecourse-speed vector of the other vessel can be usedas an additional tool that could improve the colli-sion detection process.It is assumed that both vessels’ positions aremeasured by conventional AIS and GPS systems.However, there are many challenges faced by thesystems during its position measurements: Thefirst, the AIS and GPS position signals can beassociated with sensor noise and/or system errors,therefore the measurements accuracy would becompromised. The second, the vessels are maneu-vering under varying sea conditions; the own andtarget vessel kinematics and dynamics could beassociated with time-varying parameter condi-tions. Therefore, these conditions are identified asparameter uncertainties that have been illustratedin this study.Hence, a proper mechanism to identify the ves-sel states (i.e. position, velocity and acceleration)is considered. The extended Kalman filter, one of the well known estimation algorithms, to overcomeprevious challenges and to estimate accurate ves-sel states is proposed. One should note that thestate estimation based only on both vessels’ posi-tion measurements is another advantage in thisapproach.The main contribution of this study can be sum-marized as the estimation of vessel’s relative navi-gation trajectory and course-speed vector based onparameter uncertainties in vessel maneuvering thatcan be used to detect potential collision situationsamong vessels. The organization of this paper is asfollows. Section 2 contains an overview of the INS.Section 3 contains the mathematical formulationof detection of collision situations. Computationalsimulations are presented in Section 4. Finally, theconclusion is presented in section 5.2 INTELLIGENT NAVIGATION SYSTEMThe proposed INS that is designed to accumulateintelligent e-navigation facilities into maritimetransportation is presented in Figure 1. As indi-cated in the figure, the system consists of threemain sub-systems: Vessel Monitoring & Informa-tion System (VMIS), Collision Avoidance Sys-tem (CAS), and Autonomous Navigation System(ANS).The main objective of the VMIS is to facilitatethe INS by vessel traffic information that consistsof vessels’ position, course, speed, accelerationand trajectory conditions. The system consistsof a scan sensor (i.e. Radar/Laser Sensor) andthree main modules: Vessel Detection & Tracking(VDT) Module, Vessel State Estimation and Tra- jectory Prediction (VSETP) Module and Inter Ves-sel Communication (IVC) Module.A Radar/Laser sensor is used as a target detec-tion unit in the VMIS. The VDT module consistsof an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) basedmulti-vessel detection and tracking process. Themain objective of the VDT module is to detect andto track vessels that are represented by clusters of data points that have been generated by the Radar/Laser sensor.The VSETP module consists of an ExtendedKalman filter (EKF) based vessel state estimator(i.e. position, velocity and acceleration) and navi-gational trajectory prediction process. This processis executed by information given by the VDT mod-ule. Furthermore, each vessel state conditions (i.e.position, course, speed, etc.) will transfer from theIVC module to the respective vessel OVC modulethrough a wireless network.The proposed CAS is presented in Figure 1. Themain objective of the CAS module is to generalcollision avoidance decisions/actions in a sequen-tial format that could be executed during vesselnavigation. As presented in the figure, the CASconsists of the following modules: Own VesselCommunication (OVC) Module, Parallel DecisionMaking (PDM) Module, Sequential Action For-mation (SAF) module, and Collision Risk Assess-ment (CRS) Module.The OVC module is the communication unitbetween the vessel and the VMIS as mentionedpreviously. The PDM module consists of a Fuzzylogic based decision making process that gener-ates parallel collision avoidance decisions withrespect to each vessel that is under collision risk.The inputs to the PDM module are the range,bearing, relative course and relative speed of theother vessel. The outputs from the PDM mod-ule are course and speed change decisions of thevessel. The inputs and outputs are formulated asfuzzy membership functions. The Convention onthe International Regulations for Preventing Colli-sions at Sea (COLREGs) rules and regulations andexpert navigational knowledge are considered forthe devolvement of Fuzzy rules.The main objective of the CRA module is toevaluate the collision risk and the expected timeuntil collision of each target vessel with respectto vessel navigation. The tools developed in thisstudy, the relative navigation trajectories and thecourse-speed vectors, will use in the CRA moduleto improve the system capabilities.Furthermore, the CRA module will transfercollision risk information to the SAF module for

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