Rosatom to develop digital model of unmanned Arctic vessel
© RIA Novosti. Sergey Krasnouhov

Rosatom to develop digital model of unmanned Arctic vessel

Experts from the Russian Federal Nuclear Center National Research Institute of Experimental Physics, affiliated with Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, are developing a digital model of an unmanned Arctic vessel that will guarantee more cost-effective regional freight traffic, the Institute's sources said.

"Unmanned navigation is the most promising IT aspect of sea-going and river-going transportation. While developing an unmanned vessel's digital model, experts will be able to considerably improve its hull, eliminate the superstructure, install a cargo hold in the bow section, streamline the correlation between the vessel's dimensions without consideration for oscillation motion effects on the crew, and renounce the life-support systems. It will be possible to increase cargo-hold volumes and the ship's lifespan," the Nuclear Center's spokesperson noted.

According to experts, the life-support infrastructure accounts for the bulk of navigation expenses. In addition to this, crews are responsible for between 60-80 percent of all incidents onboard vessels, with navigational errors incurring daily losses worth $1.5 million.

"This sum is also included in the vessel's cost. An unmanned vessel will include equipment for relaying and receiving signals, for monitoring and diagnosing onboard systems, etc. This should yield an economic effect, especially in the uninviting Arctic region," Institute sources noted.

The Institute is developing the unmanned vessel together with the Krylov State Research Center and the Russian Academy of Sciences' Shirshov Institute of Oceanology. In late March, the project was unveiled at a meeting at the Agency of Strategic Initiatives.