Multi-ship following operation in ice-covered waters with consideration of inter-ship communication

Weibin Zhang, Ziyao Zou, Jin Wang, Lei Du*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


With the advancement of technology, the ship-to-ship communication plays an increasingly important role in fleet following operations. In this study, a new ship following model that considers communication conditions is constructed for convoys following icebreaking ships through sea-ice areas. The model combines the effects of ice and communication on speeds and inter-ship distances. Then, the linear stability of the model is analysed. Simulation and analysis using actual data reveal that modelling stability is improved compared to models that do not consider communication and the backward-looking effect. The model provides a theoretical basis for maritime traffic simulation software. Moreover, it can accurately predict changes in the velocities of following ships. Consequently, the high stability of the proposed following model can be utilized for risk mitigation for fleets navigating in ice-covered waters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107545
Number of pages11
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date20 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Following model
  • Icebreakers
  • Internet of vessels
  • Maritime transportation
  • Sea-ice


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