PILOTSTAR: FUGRO’s docking assistance system

Cadden has developed a portable, high-precision docking assistance system for FUGRO, in line with pilots' docking requirements. This system can help improve the safety and efficiency of complex marine operations.
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The solution addresses the environmental factors that, during complex marine operations, can affect the location of tankers, FPSOs and CALM buoys. Accurate real-time positioning and heading data, combined with metoceanic data, are essential for ship pilots to provide advance warning of conditions likely to affect vessel movement.

Fugro’s PilotSTAR docking assistance system provides positioning assistance during unloading operations for tankers equipped with a CALM buoy or in tandem with a FSO/FPSO. The system integrates with metocean tension and swell sensors to provide a complete overview of the conditions affecting the vessel. This enables appropriate measures to be taken to keep the vessel on course and within operational safety margins.

The PilotSTAR system comprises two fully autonomous G-NAV-based PilotSTAR wing units, which are installed by the pilot on either side of the tanker’s wing. These units, together with the permanent equipment installed on the CALM/FPSO/FSO buoy, calculate a positioning solution based on real-time kinematics (RTK) and moving baseline (MBL) algorithms.

The PilotSTAR system comprises two fully autonomous PilotSTAR wing units, which are positioned by the pilot on either side of the tanker's wing.

Data is exchanged between units by radio, using a method known as Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA). This method allows several units to share the same channel by dividing the signal into different time intervals. The units transmit in rapid succession, one after the other, each using its own time slot. This allows several stations to share the same transmission medium. This is just one example of how the G-NAV real-time tracking solution is useful and ready to use.

A robust carrying case provides the pilot display, including tanker, FPSO and tug navigation data, tanker prediction and historical position, hawser tension and metocean information (wind and sea current).


  • Lightweight, portable equipment
  • Rugged, reinforced components for long-term durability and reliability
  • Lightning-resistant
  • Quick and easy installation
  • User-friendly software
  • Integration of AIS information and weather sensors
  • Virtually unlimited autonomy (hot-swappable battery)
  • Highly durable, non-explosive NiMH battery
  • Sub-decimeter position accuracy
  • Azimuth accuracy of 0.01 degrees
  • Sensitive enough to detect low-speed movements
  • Determination of multiple baselines
  • Integration of metoceanic data
  • Integration of hawser tension data
  • Integration of customer-specific data
  • 2 UHF bands: 869 MHz and 400 MHz
  • Configurable alarms
  • ATEX (for unloading buoy application)

Technical caracteristics

  • Accuracy of tanker DGNSS position – 1 m
  • Relative position accuracy (tanker/FPSO/CALM buoy) – 5 cm
  • Heading accuracy (20 m separation between wing units) – 0.01°.
  • Forward and reverse speed accuracy – 1 cm/s (0.02 knots)
  • Rate of turn (ROT) – 0.1°/min
  • Dedicated AIS receiver – Yes
  • Wi-Fi connection to pilot display – Yes
  • Tanker wing unit dimensions – 20 x 18 x 20 cm (L x W x H)
  • Battery capacity – 14 hours, hot-swappable
  • Wing weight – 3.6 kg


PilotSTAR belongs to FUGRO. Efficient and reliable, it improves safety during all phases of loading operations. Reducing the risk of collision is just one of the benefits, as it also reduces costs.

Contact our sales team to get more information

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