Market growth in the use of ‘autonomous’ vessels has led to increased sales of Spectre autopilots

H-Scientific Ltd  (HSL) continue to grow through increased sales of Autopilots for ‘autonomous’ vessels. The general increase in the use of AUV and ASV by the oil and gas and surveillance industries combined with oceanographic research has led to a sales increase of the Spectre range of autopilots.

HSL’s founder Dr. Henry Robinson commented ‘Our long established technical leadership in vessel control, both above and below water, has led to organic growth of the Company. Customer from around the world have approached us and we pride ourselves on being agile enough to respond to their needs’.

The interest and growth in autonomous vessels has also provided additional opportunities for HSL. Dr Robinson also states, ‘We understand the nature of developing autonomous vessels and have solved a lot of our customers problems in a collaborative way. Our aim is always to make the ‘mission’ successful. So our focus in not only on the technicalities of the engineering but the overall delivery to the end customer, this way we ensure we deliver the right solution’. This in turn has led to other sales opportunities such as power management and communication modules and the implementation of a low cost RUDIC’s Iridium satellite communication and control of the autopilot.


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H-Scientific Ltd (HSL) offer a low cost method of vessel testing re: ShipSim and AUVsim

H Scientific ltd (HSL) are one of the leaders in the field of ship simulation.  It supported the development, testing and accreditation of the ship control systems with the world's only off-the-shelf marine simulator supporting the ISO11674, ISO16329 and IEC62065 standards for heading and track control systems. H Scientific authored the IEC62065 mathematical model.

HSL now offer both a ShipSim and AUVSim which allows autopilot and vessel designers the ability to simulate the vessel control and dynamics prior to committing to expensive sea trials. Both simulators have a strong track record in helping to accelerated development and keeping the cost down.

HSL’s founder, Dr Henry Robinson, states ‘..with an increase in the number of autonomous vessels being designed and the increased cost of sea trials and the resultant delays in the time to market, we offer a cost effective aid to the design process, it’s a proven way to optimise the design’

Existing customers of ShipSim version 2 or lower are now being offered a discount for upgrading to the newer ShipSim3 which has increased functionality and speed. To see more details click on ShipSim 3 


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Effective use of satellite communication for autonomous vessels

H-Scientific Ltd (HSL), a market leader in marine autonomous control and communications electronics, have provided multiple customers with a unique and low cost solution for keeping the costs of sending data from autonomous vessels to the control centre down.

Dr. Henry Robinson, the company founder commented ‘we understand that valuable ‘smart’ data collection is the goal of most autonomous missions, remote access to that data and determining its quality is key to the mission success. Therefore working with Iridium, RUDICS system we first determine, with the help of the customer, what constitutes good data and only transmits this data at the same time allowing the customer to escalate the data density and coverage’.

Approaching the problem this way ensures the costs are kept to a minimum whilst quality and integrity are maintained.


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Adaptive Autonomous Ocean Sampling Networks Phase 1. H Scientific formed part of a consortium working on the SBRI AAOSN Feasibility Study, funded by SBRI and NOC. H Scientific provided a communications system linked to an array of simulators which were remotely controlled over the internet by our project collaborators. The simulators predicted the performance of a fleet of Autonaut surface vessels and Slocum underwater gliders. This was used by our project collaborators to test and optimise adaptive re-tasking mission control algorithms; Phase 1 of the project was concluded with a successful system demonstration to the project sponsors at the end of March 2015.

A Chinese University placed an order for a Sim-In-A-Box system; this is a development system which comprises the MicroSPECTRE controller card, RCW operator interface software and AUVSim to simulate the behaviour of a controlled underwater vessel.

A long standing client in the Far East placed an order for 3 autopilot systems for delivery to a Naval customer.

H Scientific fitted a MicroSPECTRE autopilot to a lightweight surface craft for the UK MOD. Sea trials in Horsea lake were carried out successfully in September 2014, and the system has proved itself itself conducting high precision hydrographic surveys at sea. A further contract to fit an autopilot to a catamaran has been received.

IEC62065 Edition 2 was issued in 2014; changes to the vehicle model included the clarification and modification of some control parameters and also, significantly, the introduction of a ramp period over which the tide changes in magnitude and direction. ShipSim 3 incorporates these changes and upgrades are available to customers with on-going support contracts.

Autonaut at sea

During 2014, 3 systems were provided for Autonaut vessels, 2 for the National Oceanographic Centre and one in the USA at the Chichester base. The Autonaut is a wave powered autonomous vehicle developed by MOST AV, based in Chichester and Tavistock. Satellite communications allow operation out of sight, and the vehicles are fitted with AIS receivers, and can take action to avoid collision with maritime traffic. One of these vehicles participated in the challenging NOC MASSMO project from the Scillies during which the vehicle was at sea for 13 days and nights in stormy conditions.

H Scientific received an order from Sagar Ship Repairers in Mumbai, India, for a Spectre Mk 3 autopilot system. Successful sea trials were completed in April 2014.