Innovative new gyro compasses, GMDSS and thermal cameras are being installed to improve safety of navigation and vessel security
Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine recently introduced its Navigat 2500 and 3500 fibre-optic gyro compasses. These solid-state units offer maintenance-free operation and superior heading measurement in all kinds of dynamic conditions, according to the company. They are compatible with Sperry Marine’s CompassNet networked heading management system.
As solid-state units, Sperry Marine managing director James Collett says these gyro compasses are robust and reliable technology because they has no moving parts.
“It is more important than ever to keep a course and have immediate access to information that could affect vessel safety,” says Mr Collett.
These gyro compasses come with a five-year warranty, mean time between failures of 150,000 hours and require no annual maintenance.
Navigat fibre-optic gyro compasses come with simplified cabling, rapid installation and increased redundancy. Sperry Marine used its experience and knowledge gained from supplying naval vessels to adapt these devices for commercial vessels. It also signed a global distribution agreement with system integrator Radio Holland covering CompassNet heading management systems, Navigat 2500 and 3500 fibre-optic gyro compasses and Navigat 100 and 200 spinning mass gyros.
Raytheon Anschütz introduced its new Standard 22 NX gyro compass in March, offering additional interfaces and integrated sensors.
Standard 22 NX has more interfacing flexibility as it connects to additional heading receivers or has a direct connection to a Bridge Alert Management (BAM) system.
“The new interface capabilities will simplify and shorten system integration, installation and commissioning,” says Raytheon Anschütz product manager for gyro compasses Olav Denker. “This contributes to overall cost efficiency and an even more positive cost-lifetime performance ratio.”
There are additional interfaces to National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA)-standard equipment for extra heading and positioning sensors. Interfaces are configured by selecting NMEA telegrams, baud and update rates.
Standard 22 NX also has two ethernet interfaces in compliance with the latest International Electrotechnical Commission’s IEC61162-450 standard, enabling easy integration into local area network-based systems.
Standard 22 NX also enables the direct connection of rate-of-turn indicators to the compass system. “This means that less separate hardware and less installation efforts are required compared to conventional systems with rate-of-turn requirements,” says Mr Denker.
Optional accessories include heading distribution units, operator devices, or repeater compasses. Standard 22 NX can be connected to a redundant CAN-bus with six wires for a robust gyro compass system.
Certification and CCTV
In Q1 2020, Japan Radio Co (JRC)/Alphatron gained certification from Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) for a range of bridge systems, enabling these to be installed on OSVs and icebreakers built for Arctic conditions.
This certification covers GPS compasses JLR-21 and JLR-31, echosounder JFE-380 and a range of doppler speed logs. RS also certified JRC’s JMA-3300 radar, different types of black box radar, Weatherfax JAX-9B, Navtex, safety satellite communications and different kinds of medium-frequency and high-frequency radio equipment. This certification enables JRC to distribute its bridge equipment in the Russian Federation and provide servicing in ports and offshore bases.
Separately, JRC/Alphatron has enlarged its portfolio of closed-circuit TV security with intelligent cameras through a partnership with Hikvision. In addition, Alphatron applied algorithms and advanced technologies to develop Alpha HeatDetectionSystem, for security and fire-prevention applications. Its cameras, which include analogue AlphaCam, could be adapted for advanced facial recognition for gangway access or trailer identification in terminals.
For security and safety communications, IMO is modernising the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) by enabling Iridium Communications to provide a new service using its Next constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.
Iridium received a letter of compliance from the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), confirming Iridium’s LEO constellation meets the operational and technical requirements of IMO and has started offering terminals to vessels.
Iridium chief executive Matt Desch received the letter from IMSO director general Captain Moin Ahmed on 13 January 2020, formally authorising Iridium to provide satellite GMDSS service for emergency and safety communications at sea and for alerts of serious maritime incidents.
Iridium will work with its partners around the world towards rolling out its GMDSS service throughout H1 2020. Its GMDSS launch service providers include Arion Communications, AST, Marlink, Marsat, NSSLGlobal, Satcom Global and Speedcast.
As part of GMDSS modernisation, IMO approved a draft revision of the International SafetyNet Manual to reflect updates to related GMDSS services provided by Inmarsat. SafetyNet is integral to GMDSS for distributing maritime safety information (MSI) over satellite for automatic printing on ships. It provides navigational and meteorological warnings, meteorological forecasts, urgent safety-related messages and search and rescue-related information to ships.
Damen Shipyards Group introduced its new human machine interface (HMI) for OSVs and workboats in Q4 2019. Damen sales manager Joost van der Weiden said redesigned graphical user interfaces are included in the latest deliveries of support vessels to improve the information display for crew.
These HMIs were developed in partnership with VanBerlo and Praxis for bridge, engine control and switchboard rooms. There are separate displays for vessel navigation, towage operations, engine and thruster controls, tank levels and winch operations, which can be chosen depending on which crew member needs them.
Damen has developed an HMI nautical dashboard in the wheelhouse for captains to view heading, speed, fuel consumption and other alarms. There is an HMI technical dashboard for chief engineers that displays information on main engines, generator sets and thrusters.
There is also an HMI indicating information required for deck machinery control and a dashboard displaying system information, such as fuel tank levels, pressures and consumption rates.