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Dynamic positioning system for marine operations

Basic Information

Students: Julius Lang, Ilja Kempi, Kalle Nieminen, Mikael Palmen, Aleksi Laakso

Project manager: Aleksi Laakso

Instructor: Tero Hänninen

Starting date: 26.1

Completion date:


This project is a sequel to the projects done in this course in 2019 and 2020. This project had three main objectives at the beginning; translating the previous year’s project from ROS1 to ROS2, and then implementing a dynamic positioning system on the resulting ROS2 environment. Furthermore, an indoor positioning system was to be implemented, in order to be able to use the small-scale model ship for research and development in Aalto Ice Tank testing facility.


Dynamic positioning is a system that is widely used in marine operations in several applications, for example in offshore support vessels and offshore oil rigs. The dynamic positioning system is used for keeping a vessels position and attitude fixed, while external forces, such as wind and waves, are present. The system is based on using acceleration, heading and position data obtained from several sensors, and then calculating the required total thrust force required to keep the maintain the desired position and attitude. This project is aiming to implement a dynamic positioning system to a small-scale model ship that is used for research activities by the Automation department of Aalto University. The small-scale ship has been used for research since the 1980s, and in the project work courses 2019 and 2020 it was completely modernized, when it was fitted with new thrusters and new control system.


The project faced significant issues in the ROS1 to ROS2 transformation, due to lack of documentation and support for Python coding language, which the previous project was based on. Furthermore, there was little senior support available from the department regarding ROS2 and Python. Even though the system was to some extent successfully transferred to ROS2, the dynamic positioning system was implemented on the ROS1 environment.

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Multimedia File Video(Group1-12).mp4 May 16, 2022 by Aleksi Laakso