Safety and comfort on ships and offshore systems – with inertial sensors from ASC

The development of modern watercraft would be inconceivable without the use of precise measuring technology. High-precision and extremely robust accelerometers from ASC, for example, measure smallest vibrations that occur in ship models in the simulation basin. The data acquired in such tests are used to optimize the ship design. In the testing of autonomous ships (smart shipping) on the other hand, smart sensors and IMUs from ASC are in demand. They continuously transmit the exact position of watercraft to enable safe navigation.
Applications in the shipping industry

Cruise ships have to offer a high level of driving comfort. Good seakeeping behavior is therefore very important in the construction of huge ocean liners. Human perception of mechanical vibrations varies greatly depending on their direction, frequency and amplitude. However, inconveniences to passengers occur primarily below 10 Hz.

Capacitive accelerometers such as the triaxial ASC 5511LN measure extremely low frequencies and have an outstanding signal-to-noise ratio. If slow rotations also have to be analyzed, gyroscopes such as the compact ASC 271 (uniaxial) or ASC 273 (triaxial) are used.

Inertial sensors from ASC play a key role in increasing the driving comfort of ships: They provide shipbuilders with very precise and reproducible data as the basis for simulations for optimal hull design.

Gyro-compassing is used for navigation in shipping. For correct evaluation of the orientation, the gyroscopes that are integrated in the compass must operate with high precision.

The gyroscopes ASC 281 (uniaxial) and ASC 283 (triaxial), with bias stability of <0.1 °/h, are ideal for this application. Underwater vehicles or remotely controlled diving robots also benefit from inertial measurement systems, because GNSS signals are not available even in shallow waters and magnetometers are disturbed by the metal walls of the craft.

Capacitive acceleration sensors of the ASC OS series are also used in tests of so-called hyperloop systems. This futuristic means of transport for people and goods consists of capsules that move through a tunnel tube at the speed of sound.

Hermetically sealed OS sensors from ASC were used to measure the effect of waves on the tunnel tube in a model of an underwater hyperloop system. Their data formed the basis for the successful development of the undersea transport project.

Human error is the cause of ship collisions in more than 75 % of cases. That is one reason why engineers are working on the development of semi-autonomous ships (smart shipping), which will be safer than manned watercraft. To enable precise remote control of ships, their position must be measured continuously and with high precision. Since especially large ships are slow to react, course corrections need to be carried out immediately. This is the only way to effectively prevent collisions.

Due to the stringent safety requirements of semi-autonomous ships, prototypes have to go through extensive testing. Precise localization of ship models is an important part of such tests. Smart sensors and inertial measurement units from ASC are ideal for exact position measurement of the test objects, since they measure with very high precision.

In the development of ships, oil rigs and offshore wind parks, numerous water and weather conditions can be observed in the simulation basin. The goal is measurement and analysis of hydrodynamic forces.

The triaxial accelerometer ASC OS-315LN feature a hermetically sealed housing and protection class IP68, which makes it ideal for continuous underwater use and enables the precise measurement of minimal linear accelerations. In addition, the ASC IMU 7 measures all 6 degrees of freedom and therefore the exact three-dimensional orientation of ship models.

Inertial sensors from ASC combine high resolution with a robust design, which makes them very suitable for drag tank tests, splashdown simulations or determining the effects of surf on offshore systems (slamming). That is why they are used in testing by renowned research institutes.

Custom solutions

Our development engineers are more than happy to take on the challenge of developing custom solutions for special assignments, even for low-volume series.


Press: Köhler + Partner GmbH




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ASC 5421MF

Triaxial, capacitive
Measurement range: ±2 to ±200 g
Noise density: 10 to 680 µg/√Hz
Frequency range (±5 %): DC to 2900 Hz

ASC P401A15

Uniaxial, IEPE
Measurement range: ±50 to ±500 g
Frequency range (±10 %): 0.5 Hz to 15 kHz
Scale factor: 10 mV/g to 100 mV/g