European Space Agency to Support Uptake of Autonomous Shipping

The European Space Agency (ESA) has signedon to help the One Sea Association in a callaborative effort promoting the development of new space-enabled services which will support the maritime sector’s transition towards autonomous shipping.

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.

This new partnership will combine One Sea’s expertise 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.

Sinikka Hartonen, Secretary General of One Sea Association, said, ‘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.”

Rita Rinaldo, Head of Business Applications Projects and Studies Implementation Division, 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.”

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