Japan Radio Co (JRC) and Alphatron Marine used the new Open Bridge standard for graphical user interfaces for its first installation of mooring assistance technology
A consortium led by DNV created the design guidelines for bridge systems to improve the working environment for seafarers and overall ship safety, with the first installation of an AlphaMINDS multifunctional information navigation display system in Q1 2021.
AlphaMINDS was installed on an inland waterways transportation vessel, MTS’ Prinses, operating in northern Europe. This mooring aid equipment uses the inhouse-developed Lynx software application to display speed and distance to the shore when mooring. The information is supported by several sensors, including the recently developed high-accuracy Global Navigation Satellite System receiver with radio transmission RTK input if that signal is available.
Lynx is a cross-platform and modular SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) software for vessel control systems.
JRC/Alphatron Marine said its new developments are all adapted and based upon Open Bridge standards. “Navigating crew on ship bridges are often using a variety of systems that lack consistent user interface design from one system to another,” said JRC/Alphatron Marine. “Consistency across systems is an essential aspect for reducing human error and increasing user ability in workplaces where users interact with a variety of physical and digital systems.”
Using the Open Bridge design guideline enables wheelhouse equipment suppliers to follow the latest industry standard. “But the flexibility of our platform still allows for colour palettes and widgets to be easily imported into Lynx to design, according to customer needs or a tailor-made graphical user interface,” said JRC/Alphatron Marine.
“With the implementation of the Open Bridge design guidelines we may help realise design consistency across multi-vendor bridges and contribute to an improvement of the quality of ship bridges, the work environment for seafarers and overall ship safety.”
When Alphatron introduced AlphaMINDS to Riviera Maritime Media in Q4 2019, its graphics displayed information as a selected add-on to ECDIS for operational modes, such as berthing, dredging operations or passing through busy shipping lanes.
In this first application, AlphaMINDS River will display a true image of Rensen-Driessen-built Prinses in the correct position on the chart when the captain starts the inland waterways tanker.
There are multiple functions to enhance Prinses’ navigation through European waterways, locks and canals. Different layers can be switched on and off, depending on the operational situation or what a master thinks is necessary to prevent accidents.
Information is collated from sensors and peripherals such as ultrasonic distance sensors, an echo sounder, vessel GPS, gyrocompass and rate-of-turn indicator. Data is processed and vessel position and motion information are displayed on the bridge.
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