A Failure-Tolerant CANOpen System for Marine Automation Systems

CANopen-based communication has become popular for failure-tolerant systems. A typical application of that type is the area of marine automation systems, e.g. ship alarm, monitoring and control systems in any kind of ships like product carriers, container ships, passenger vessels, ferries and cargo ships. The main rule to be met in that type of application is, that the system must tolerate at least one arbitrary single component failure. This implies that a general redundant system configuration, including the communication system, has to be provided to fulfill the requirements of a failure-tolerant system.

This article describes a CANopen-based communication system that fulfills the requirements of a failure-tolerant system. It was developed by IXXAT Automation for the Norwegian ship automation systems supplier Kongsberg Norcontrol. The system already operates very successfully in many applications. The implemented system concept is now established as the basis for a CANopen-based standard in ship automation (CiA SIG Maritime Electronics).

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