One Sea Association and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a memorandum of intent to establish a strategic collaboration to promote developing new space-enabled services in support of the maritime sector's transition towards autonomous shipping.
The partnership will combine One Sea's expertise in the maritime sector and autonomous shipping with ESA's technical competence and mandate through the Business Applications and Space Solutions programme 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 invaluable 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," the parties highlighted in a press release.
Sinikka Hartonen, One Sea Association's Secretary General, commented, "[...] We are looking forward to finding ways to jointly support the development of safe and sustainable maritime transport."
Rita Rinaldo, ESA's Head of the Business Applications Projects and Studies Implementation Division, added, "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."