An efficient and safe passage in the Arctic Ocean for recreational crafts and charter yacht operators.
Our challenge: Safe passage at sea
- In 2017 a total of 32 vessels made the journey: a cargo ship, a cruise ship, a tanker, dedicated icebreakers, and several adventure yachts
- Satellite coverage in the region is unreliable
- Only 6% of Arctic waters are mapped according to international standards
- Majority of Arctic tourists come from the US, Australia, UK, and Germany, with the rest coming from Europe and Asia‘s more affluent countries.
- Dwindling ice is making regions and sea routes more accessible, which for a long time were reserved for adventurers, research expeditions and indigenous people
- Satellite coverage and communication capabilities are only rudimentary in both the Russian and Canadian Arctic
- Harsh environmental conditions of the Arctic, a low rescue infrastructure and shoals along the routes are only a few examples of factors that make regular use of Arctic sea routes difficult
The idea of North Star is that of a democratized and a data-driven route navigation system. North Star transforms a vessel into a rover and into an on site data-gathering platform, where it becomes a node in a "mesh cloud" of other North Star nodes in the Arctic seas. This in turn forms a mesh network that contributes augmented data back to the GNSS ecosystem.
What is a mesh cloud?
A mesh cloud is the coverage area of all radio nodes working as a single network, where access to the mesh depends on the radio nodes working together to create a radio network.
Why a mesh network?
- A mesh network is reliable and offers redundancy
- When one node can no longer operate, the rest of the nodes can still communicate with each other
- They can communicate directly with each or through one or more intermediate nodes
- It can self form and self heal
- It works with different wireless technology, including
- It does not need to be restricted to any one technology or protocol
EGNOS and Galileo
North Star's neural engine primarily relies on the raw data provided by the GNSS and gets augmented with the boat's own in situ data. The boat's in situ data is then shared to the mesh cloud where other North Star nodes, in turn, can use to augment their own data for a safe and efficient data-driven navigation in the Arctic seas.
What North Star is not
It is not an autonomous navigation system. Our AI Pilot takes over only when the boat suffers extended satellite signal loss, but even then, it does not act autonomously. All control and authority rests solely with the boat's crew.
Our awesome team
Paola: computational fluid dynamics + neural networks + aerospace engineering
Avin: user experience and user interaction design + human factors engineering
Arthur: product development + IoT + big data analytics