Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise (OCSNCOE)


Dynamic Positioning Systems

Dynamic Positioning (DP) systems consist of components and systems acting together to achieve reliable position keeping capability. The DP system includes the power system (power generation and power management), thruster system and DP control system.

Dynamic positioning systems have been installed on vessels used worldwide. Typical DP vessels include survey vessels, drillships and semi-submersible MODUs, floating production systems, offshore supply vessels, diving support vessels, cable layers, pipe-laying vessels, shuttle tankers and trenching and dredging vessels.

Class Requirements:
Based on International Maritime Organization (IMO) publication 645, the Classification Societies have issued rules for dynamically positioned ships described as Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3.
   - Equipment Class 1 has no redundancy. Loss of position may occur in the event of a single fault.
   - Equipment Class 2 has redundancy so that no single fault in an active system will cause the system to fail.
   - Equipment Class 3 includes Class 2 requirements AND also has to withstand fire or flooding in any one compartment without the system failing.

For additional, detailed information and references, please see the Introduction to Dynamic Positioning (DP) Systems guide.