Fri, 06/10/2022 - 10:54
Otter drons

Yesterday, on June 9, the presentation of the newly acquired floating drone OTTER of SIA “RĪGAS BRĪVOSTAS FLOTE” (RBF) to a wider audience of experts and interested parties took place in the premises of the Freeport of Riga Authority and the city canal water area.

This is the first depth measuring floating craft of this type in Latvia - a drone or a floating unmanned autonomous platform with a multi-beam depth measuring system for use in port waters, as well as coastal and inland waters of Latvia. The newly acquired technical device opens up unprecedented opportunities for mobility in the provision of hydrographic services not only in the port, but also in other water bodies.

Viesturs Zeps, Chairman of the Freeport of Riga Board: “No modern port can operate without innovation. For several years now, we have been actively participating in testing various innovative technologies and relevant experiments of various innovative technologies on behalf of the Freeport of Riga Authority. We have invested our funds into the implementation of innovations in the operation of the Port of Riga - by introducing automated systems for access to the port, developing the provision of hydrographic services, data analysis, forecasting, etc. Using the OTTER drone platform, together with LMT we will test both the stability of 5G data streaming, and together with RTU scientists we will create new algorithms for port water area tests, which will allow us to develop and commercialize new products created by us in the future. At the same time, the main advantages of this unmanned craft are the introduction of new and environmentally friendly technologies, mobility of functions and resource saving in the work of RBF, all of which increase efficiency of the Freeport of Riga, promoting the port’s competitiveness.”

Minister of Transport Tālis Linkaits also took part in the event yesterday. “Innovation and introduction of new, environmentally friendly technologies promotes sustainability and fosters the development of technical services provided in the port, which has a positive impact on the efficiency and competitiveness of Latvian ports. This innovation will give an additional impetus to the work of RBF and the improvement of business services, ” said the Minister of Transport.

During the presentation, a memorandum of understanding was signed between RBF and LMT (Latvijas Mobilais Telefons) on cooperation in 5G technology research and innovation, bringing together leading experts in the field.

“In order to provide a 5G network in the port and the Baltic Sea, it is necessary to create a test environment and test technology, for example, on RBF vessels or navigation aids,” explained Kaspars Ozolins, the RBF Board member. “The development of new digital solutions for RBF is essential to facilitate the exchange of data between the ship and the shore, or the drone-ship, the drone-shore. In the case of hydrographic measurements, these are enormous amounts of data, the more efficient circulation and exchange of which requires a 5G network, ”emphasized K. Ozolins.

“LMT has been developing 5G innovation research for several years, participating in international European Union and NATO projects in the field of drones, mobility, the Internet of Things and defense. LMT also extensively involves local Latvian companies and start-ups, as well as Latvian scientists in these projects. 5G opens up much wider possibilities for digitization and automation in virtually all industries. LMT is one of the first operators in Europe to start researching and developing 5G maritime technologies. This innovation cooperation between RBF and LMT will promote scientific research as well as attract international research partners and foster various innovation demonstrations in Latvia. Innovative 5G technologies will significantly promote the digitization of services provided in ports, modernization of technical devices and fleet, provision of real-time communication between ships and also with ports, development of autonomous solutions, their implementation and use, ”said Edgars Grandans, LMT Corporate Customer Service Director.

RBF is a capital company of the Freeport of Riga Authority and a provider of the port technical services. The RBF's strategy for the next 5 years includes ambitious plans to develop services, innovations and technologies in order to expand its scope of operations, becoming the highest quality provider of the port technical services in Latvia.

“There are no plans to cancel the fleet services, but to expand our capacity to work in hard-to-reach places with the new OTTER technology. Both the ship and the drone have their advantages, but going to another port with a ship to take measurements takes time and fuel, while operating a drone RBF can enhance its mobility, providing optimization of both RBF’s and its clients’ resources. Sometimes more complex work can be conducted involving both a vessel and a drone - this is multimodality in the operation of RBF ”, emphasized Kaspars Ozolins, highlighting the advantages of RBF innovations.

The manufacturer of OTTER is the Norwegian company Maritime Robotics AS, the developer of the measurement system is the Danish company Teledyne.

Information for media

Liene Ozola
  • liene.ozola [at], +371 670 308 53
  • Freeport of Riga Authority
  • 12 Kalpaka blvd, Riga, Latvia, LV-1010