HAL - AUTONOMOUS COMPUTER HARDWARE
4. HAL COMPUTER HARDWARE
What type of computers will be the most suitable for this project?
Computers have progressed so much that most laptops would have the computing power to run the SolarNavigator.
But is that enough?
It is suggested that the onboard processing takes place on several computers powered by a battery-backed, electronically-controlled power system. Well, even that is standard practice these days. We're sure that many people reading this page will have built their own workstation, so know how powerful most home machines have become., and also that they are subject to errors. But, we cannot afford an error on the SolarNavigator. Reliability is key.
For that reason the platform that is used must be of the highest quality. And even then, common sense dictates fail safes are built in. That would mean separate systems for the key functions, with overall monitoring and alerts; involving several computers.
The reason for having more than one computer system, is reliability. The other reason is that we may want some aspects of the ship's autonomy to be the lead (dedicated) program, running on one machine and another taking care of visuals, which is memory hungry. It all boils down to processing power.
The computer hardware includes a 6DOF inertial measurement unit. Other hardware, such as a GPS, is included in the Autopilot package above and the Navigation Instruments include radar and sonar (early warning), for obstacle avoidance.
HAL ties all this together - the hardware that is, and processes the information coming in.
New Icom navigation system
06 Dec 2012 - Icom UK’s MXS-5000 Marine Commander
Marine navigation expert, Icom UK,
launched its new MXS-5000 MarineCommander product in December 2012, it is a fully integrated and
fully customisable navigation system, that may prove to be suitable for
Solarnavigator is a battery electric ASV (Autonomous Solar Vessel), a trimaran with an extremely
efficient active hull that runs on solar power = energy from nature. This hull form has never been
attempted before, nor has the use of wind energy been used in such manner for crew comfort
(or complete onboard autonomy). A fleet of such vessels could be the basis of an international peacekeeping, and/or emergency rescue force.
2. BRUCE THE AUTOPILOT & A BIT MORE
3. STAR WARS - DRONE SATELLITE REMOTE CONTROL, MANUAL OVERRIDE
4. HAL COMPUTER HARDWARE
6. THE EYES AND EARS - HAWKEYE
7. SELF DEFENCE - SCORPION
8. CAPTAIN NEMO - AI ROBOT
9. LOCAL NAVIGATION EVENT
10. INTERMEDIATE CIRCUMNAVIGATION
11. THE AUTONOMOUS CIRCUMNAVIGATION
Email: or phone UK:
+ 44 (0) 1323 831727 +44 (0) 7842 607865
Blueplanet Productions, Solar House, BN27 1RF, United Kingdom
The design of the Solar Navigator boat has been licensed for use in
the John Storm series of books by Jameson Hunter
This website is copyright © 1991- 2013 Electrick Publications. All rights reserved. The bird logo and names Solar Navigator and Blueplanet Ecostar are trademarks ™. The Blueplanet vehicle configuration is registered ®. All other trademarks hereby acknowledged and please note that this project should not be confused with the Australian: 'World Solar Challenge'™which is a superb road vehicle endurance race from Darwin to Adelaide. Max Energy Limited is an educational charity working hard to promote world peace.