The test area is available for all parties desiring to perform tests regarding maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) of any level of autonomy. The following outlines the overall process from requesting access to the test area to the testing period and test wrap-up. Figure 1 below depicts the steps for utilising the test area.  

The first step is to request a test period. A request is done via the DIMECC website. The application to use the test area can be submitted via email testarea@dimecc.com. It should include information about the organization, country, ownership of the vessel(s) under test, contact information of the person responsible for the test and information about the types of tests that are planned. DIMECC will contact the ones making the request for additional information if needed. 

The second step is to sign an agreement between the testing party and DIMECC. The agreement contains the principles and policies, that both parties need to adhere to, and facilitates resolving any ambiguity regarding the test area usage.  

After the agreement has been signed by both parties, the third step is to cover the test area usage fee, which is a compensation for using the test area. The usage fee is used to finance the test area service.  

The fourth step is pre-test reporting. Finnish authorities require the contact details of the people responsible for the tests. This information should be passed to DIMECC, who forwards the details to local authorities. The pre-test reporting includes also acquiring the needed permissions (when applicable) for entering and using the test area. The permissions are also delivered to DIMECC for verification. Delivery of this information must be to DIMECC at least one (1) month prior to the test period. 

The fifth step is the actual test period when the test area is used for testing. During the tests, the test entity is expected to keep a log of the tests, which contains the descriptions, test execution dates and times. It should also include description of handling any temporary constructs put into the sea for the duration of the tests, if any. The test log should be signed by the person(s) responsible. 

The final step is to provide the test log to DIMECC for validation.  

 

Principles and policies 

Effective, safe and smooth operations of the Jaakonmeri test area necessitates adhering to a set of principles and policiesThe general principles of the test area usage are outlined here