Wärtsilä unveils innovation vessel at SMM

By Mike Brezonick06 September 2022

Wärtsilä Voyage, part of the technology group Wärtsilä, has unveiled its new demonstrator and innovation vessel, AHTI, at SMM in Hamburg, Germany. With AHTI, Wärtsilä Voyage has created a seaborne environment where customers can test Wärtsilä Voyage’s own technologies, as well as its technology partners’ solutions. These trials will be conducted in changeable real-life sea conditions which can be difficult and costly to recreate in a laboratory environment.

Wärtsilä Voyage AHTI Wärtsilä Voyage unveiled its new demonstrator and innovation vessel, AHTI, at SMM in Hamburg. (Photo: Wärtsilä)

In its previous life, AHTI served as a German government fishery patroller. AHTI was chosen as a target for retrofit technology installations to prove what is already technologically possible for the current fleet, and to create a platform for further innovation and development.

Wärtsilä Voyage said the creation of a floating R&D facility also helps it to cut down the cost and time barriers associated with real-life tests, returning meaningful results on a much lower risk and cost base than going into full-scale testing directly. AHTI also creates a first-party resource where customers and technology partners can collaborate.

In the first half of 2022, AHTI’s bridge was upgraded with a number of products from Wärtsilä Voyage’s portfolio including NACOS Platinum, SPECS and RS24. The vessel has also been fitted with on-the-market partner technology products from OSCAR and Drynet. Soon, Wärtsilä Voyage will be installing SceneScan, SmartMove, Remote Control and Satellite Connectivity onboard.

With this expansive breadth of technology onboard, AHTI is a bridge to the highly automated, connected, situationally aware and data-enabled future for maritime that Wärtsilä Voyage is aiming to create.

“Technology designed to solve the industry’s biggest challenges must be tested in situations that come as close as possible to real life scenarios,” said Hendrik Bußhoff, head of Product - Autonomous Systems, Wärtsilä Voyage. “However, we understand that real world testing is costly and time consuming.

“Trialing new equipment almost always means testing it on a customer ship which can often bring with it a lot of obligations and questions about documentation, schedules, data ownership and compliance. This is why we invested in AHTI. We now have a resource that will shorten time-to-market, enable us to fail fast and innovate quicker, and compare and understand different technologies outside of controlled environments.”

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