How might we improve the reliability of high speed signal transmission from the headblock to the cabin to allow for more timely and accurate quay crane operations?

Key Focus Area:

Smart Port

Quay cranes are used at container terminals for loading and unloading of cargo at the berth. Over the years, the height of quay cranes has more than doubled, from a 25m Panamax crane to the latest 54m quay crane at Tuas Terminal. There is also an increased industry interest to explore the use of a 60m quay crane.

From a height of 60m, human operators seated within the cabin of these quay cranes will need to rely on high-definition cameras and LiDAR sensors mounted on the headblock to assist them as they manoeuvre the spreader through the vessel.  These devices will need to transmit signals to the cabin through copper cables within the spreader cable terminated at the trolley. The high current passing through these cables generates electromagnetic interference, making the transmission of low voltage high speed signals challenging. Vibrations on the headblock and cabin can also introduce unnecessary noise, further reducing the signal voltage level integrity.  Fibre optic cable can be added into the spreader cable to manage this.  However it is not sustainable as the lifespan of fibre optic shortens over time.

PSA and PSA unboXed are looking for an innovative solution to overcome the limitations of the current means for transmitting high speed data between the headblock and cabin of a quay crane. This solution can make use of the direct line-of-sight between the headblock and cabin to achieve high reliability in terms of speed and quality of the data, while taking into consideration any challenges posed by a full metallic environment (containers and ship structure) when the spreader is lowered into the vessel under deck.

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