One Sea and ESA join forces on autonomous shipping

One Sea Association and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) to promote the development of new space-enabled services which will support the maritime sector’s transition towards autonomous shipping.

One Sea Association

This new partnership will combine One Sea’s knowledge in the maritime sector and in autonomous shipping with ESA’s technical competence and mandate through the Business Applications and Space Solutions program to support the development and demonstration of space solutions in addressing user needs. 

Satellite communications and satellite navigation play a key role in the adoption of autonomous shipping technologies and operations.

During offshore passages, ships are often further from land than satellites which can offer secure and resilient communication channels for monitoring, command, and control of autonomous ships. Furthermore, in ports and congested areas, high-precision position navigation and timing (PNT) provided by satellites is also critical for the safe operation of autonomous shipping. 

“We are thrilled about the possibility to collaborate with ESA. We are looking forward to finding ways to jointly support the development of safe and sustainable maritime transport,” Sinikka Hartonen, Secretary General of One Sea Association, said.

“ESA is keen to kick-off the work with One Sea Association and its members to strengthen the development and adoption of space solutions as enablers of digital and autonomous shipping, accelerating the sustainable transformation of the maritime sector,” Rita Rinaldo, Head of Business Applications Projects and Studies Implementation Division.

One Sea Association is a non-profit global alliance of commercial manufacturers, integrators and operators of maritime technology, digital solutions and automated and autonomous systems.

The association promotes the implementation and creation of conditions needed for an automated and autonomous maritime transport system. It engages in the development of the international legal framework and participates in the standardization work.

Last month, One Sea welcomed Finnish start-up Groke Technologies as its new member, bringing additional knowledge in situational awareness and autonomous navigation to the global alliance on maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS).

The start-up is also collaborating with K Line and Japan Radio Co. on a research and development initiative aiming to expedite the implementation of autonomous ships and related technologies.

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