From 1 September, bridge systems installed on EU-flag vessels will need to conform with new test standards for bridge alert management
New installations of bridge systems on vessels flagged under European Union (EU) member states, and the UK, will need to comply with new test standards for bridge alert management.
From 30 August 2021, bridge systems integrated into newbuilds and retrofit projects for EU-flag vessels will need additional certification to prove conformance with IMO’s performance standards for bridge alert management (BAM). According to the EU’s Marine Equipment Directive (MED), these will need to be certified to the new test standards from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
Sperry Marine technical manager Simon Cooke says while existing equipment does not require updating, this will “result in increased carriage of equipment that applies IMO’s BAM concept and a corresponding reduction in the mariners’ workloads to manage and understand alerts.”
He explains the background and details behind these requirements to Maritime Optimisation & Communications.
In 2010, IMO set out BAM performance standards in Resolution MSC.302(87). “These new performance standards were intended to address the increasing number of audible alerts on the bridge that required action by the mariner,” says Mr Cooke.
“BAM performance standards harmonise the priority, classification and presentation of alerts and aim to avoid distracting the bridge team with unnecessary audible and visual alarm announcements.”
BAM is a concept rather than a specific equipment type. BAM performance standards also define requirements for a central alert manager together with a corresponding human machine interface.
IMO’s performance standards have been in force since 2014. Mr Cooke says products supplied by Sperry Marine are already certified to MSC.302(87). Other bridge system integrators also follow this certification.
In 2018, IEC published the standards IEC 62923-1/2 to test for compliance with Resolution MSC.302(87). “These IEC test standards added further technical detail of how to implement the IMO resolution and the IEC also published interface requirements between BAM-compliant equipment to support improved alert management,” explains Mr Cooke.
“It was made clear that the alarms raised should be focused on helping the mariner understand the alert condition, as opposed to being overly technical in nature,” he continues, “and manufacturers can adopt the new optional icons to clearly indicate the priority and type of each alert.” Sperry Marine is adopting these new icons in its bridge systems.
Vessels will continue to carry legacy equipment that is not fully BAM-compliant, “so provision was made for this legacy equipment to adopt the BAM concepts as far as practical when integrated with other systems,” says Mr Cooke.
IMO’s drive to improve performance and alert management has been further adopted by the EU’s MED with the 30 August deadline. The UK is expected to apply equivalent requirements to UK-flag vessels, “and other administrations may take a similar approach” Mr Cooke says.
System suppliers also have guidelines from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) open-source platform for bridge design. These were updated in April with updates and additions following feedback from the OpenBridge community.
AHO Institute of Design Professor Kjetil Nordby says the new additions include over 200 icons to update maritime, navigation and user-interface components. There are new alerts, settings and support patterns. He welcomes more feedback on the new OpenBridge guidelines with comments added directly in Figma, a collaborative integrated design tool open to the community.
OpenBridge Consortium currently has 27 public and industrial partners, including classification society Lloyd’s Register, representing most stakeholders involved in design, development and use of maritime workplaces. This consortium is connected to the SEDNA EU project, which develops design guidelines for augmented reality-based graphical user interfaces (GUI).
Japan Radio Co (JRC)/Alphatron Marine says all its new developments are adapted and based upon the new OpenBridge standard, as initiated by DNV, for GUIs. This includes its AlphaMINDS multifunctional information navigation display system.
Alphatron says OpenBridge design guidelines help the company 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”.
AlphaMINDS uses inhouse developed LYNX software to provide additional information and alerts to bridge teams. Its first application is AlphaMINDS mooring on an inland vessel which indicates speed and distance to the shore during these operations. Information is supported by onboard sensors, including a high-accuracy global navigation satellite system receiver with real-time kinematic input if available.
JRC joined Inmarsat’s Certified Application Providers in 2021 to provide smart bridge solutions using Inmarsat’s dedicated Fleet Connect bandwidth.
Taiwan Navigation was the first to trial Smart Ship Viewer (SSV) bridge solution on board Handymax bulk carrier Tai Splendor. As a result, Taiwan Navigation has committed to using SSV and Fleet Connect on eight newbuildings and eight existing vessels.
JRC satcom business group manager Hiroshi Miyashita explains how SSV improves bridge operations and alerts to onshore managers.
“The SSV is a networked bridge and communications management solution with capabilities including ship monitoring, ECDIS, navigation and routeing, voyage data recorder downloads and data sharing using the J-Marine Cloud,” he says.
Bakker Sliedrecht has further developed its BIMAC vessel management system for the latest dynamic positioning (DP) vessels, inland shipping and dredgers. BIMAC was adapted to fast surface vessels, DP3 crane vessels and the largest cutter dredgers ever built, while it has evolved to address the increasing number of inputs and outputs on new vessels.
BIMAC software has become central for Bakker Sliedrecht’s condition-based monitoring solution as it facilitates acquisition, storage, access, visualisation and sharing of vast amounts of data. BIMAC makes this data available on a single interface for the operator. From this, trending and analysis can be done on the vessel management system and alerts can be sent.
Bakker Sliedrecht harmonised the visual front-end of ship automation, reducing the number of dependencies and improving visualisation of both the remote operation and the local control.
Dyena Systems has introduced its vessel impact and motion monitoring system (VIMMS) to provide alerts of excess shock and vibration on both crew and vessels during operations in high waves and speeds.
VIMMS includes a helm unit and two remote sensors for measuring accelerations on the vessel structure and at the helmsman’s seat. It provides real-time information on impacts received and can be configured with set thresholds. If parameters are close to these thresholds, a helmsman can adjust speed or course to reduce repeated shocks and vibration exposure.
Oceanic Systems, a manufacturer of alarm, display and control systems, revealed its Poseidon marine network video recording (NVR) unit in Q2 2021. This provides vessel’s security and monitoring through multiple dedicated closed-circuit TV displays. It supports up to 24 cameras and holds 800 hours of footage for continuous recording with an overwriting buffer. Poseidon NVR has a touchscreen for users to view cameras live, or replay selected recorded footage and zoom, pan and control camera feeds.