Advances in display technology have led to a new generation of electronic voyage planning stations on ships. These developments have come at the right time, as shipping transfers from preparing routes on paper charts to electronic passage planning. While ecdis at the front of the bridge should be kept uncluttered and used primarily for voyage monitoring, there should be no limit to the information that is displayed on the planning station at the back of the bridge.
The navigation station should have the latest electronic navigational charts (ENCs) installed at different ranges and scales. It should also have weather, sea-state, environmental and hazard information pertaining to any planned voyage. Other information, such as port conditions and date-dependent data, plus services including weather routeing and route optimisation, can be installed on the planning station. All this should be integrated into a single display for preparing safe voyages that can be used by the bridge team.
The displays should have touchscreen control and split-screen options for route planning and checking against known hazards. There should also be a simple process for transferring verified and approved routes to ecdis at the front of the bridge. These stations will become more important as the industry moves further towards instigating e-navigation concepts.
Hatteland Display recently received type approval for its new 55in voyage planning station for ship bridges. This verified that the ultra high definition chart and planning table has the requisite clarity and colour range for safe navigation and use with integrated bridge systems. Hatteland president and chief executive Trond Johannessen said the product incorporates a large 4K resolution multi-vision display and touchscreen flat panel technology.
He said the 55in station enables integrated bridge system and navigation technology manufacturers to combine multiple data from different ship systems into a single display. The 4K resolution ensures that multiple data types can be easily viewed under all conditions. Mr Johannessen added: “The 55in ultra high definition chart and planning table is designed to become the central focus on the bridge of the future as it has the capability to clearly display multiple data in one place. This is a growing requirement as vessel operations become more complex and data-centric.”
He continued: “Type-approval testing of our flagship display system enables manufacturers to meet the needs of their customers by designing smart shipping solutions that deliver gains in safety and operational efficiency, by leveraging the most innovative technologies, data integration and display methods.” The display uses thin-film transistor technology with an active-matrix liquid crystal panel and light emitting diode backlighting. It has a resolution of 3,840 by 2,160, a contrast ratio of 4,000:1 and a 6.5 millisecond response time.
The digital chart table is tested to the International Electrotechnical Commission’s IEC 60945 standard and type approved for use in marine conditions for ecdis and e-navigation. The brightness, contrast and reliability were tested for displaying ENCs. In addition to the 55in display, there is a mechanical pod that houses a Hatteland HTC02 computer. The floor stand model, for chart table configurations, has lift and tilt mechanisms. The display can also be integrated into a bridge console or mounted on a wall.
Hatteland unveiled a 32in ultra high definition display for radar and ecdis as part of its Series X MVD range. This offers viewing clarity in all light conditions, is calibrated for ecdis and can display multi-application data on a single screen instead of on multiple monitors, which means it can be used for voyage planning.
Marine Technologies (MT) is using a 55in Hatteland Display monitor for its latest chart table concept. This uses Navtor software and its ENC kernel for voyage planning applications, said MT Norway general manager Sveinung Tollefsen. “The 55in chart table is good for route planning and can be a standard platform for other applications,” he said. “It runs other applications such as weather overlays and trend reviewing.” Navigation data can be displayed from Raytheon Anschütz radar and ecdis.
Eizo Corp has been developing a 46in multi-touch desktop monitor for voyage planning. Eizo global maritime product manager Rob Hawksworth explained that the technology will be ready for testing this year. “The 46in multi-touch desktop has an anti-glare, anti-fingerprint top coat, and is good for night operations as it goes down to just one candela,” he said.
“It has palm rejection – so it does not count the palm as a touch – and a wide bezel so that the navigator can put things down on the surface without covering the image. It is ecdis compliant and can be used for radar and conning.” The desktop monitor has a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080, and can be tilted and height-adjusted. Mr Hawksworth also presented Eizo’s ultra-wide monitors for displays. These are 48in and 36in concepts that could be introduced in 2017 if customer feedback is positive.
Eizo supplied 42in displays for JRC and Alphatron Marine’s AlphaBridge systems. It also supplies the 46in display for the AlphaChartTable. This is an electronically-tilted display that navigators can use for voyage planning. It has a built in Navtex and GPS navigator and software interfaces.
Navtor supplies e-navigation software and hardware, such as the NavStick USB device for downloading ENCs to ecdis. It has developed the NavSync and NavTracker applications that enable navigators and shipowners to manage chart usage, chart update history and vessel tracks. Its NavBox application automatically downloads navigational data when connected to ecdis.
For voyage planning, Navtor developed the NavStation that combines a 46in touchscreen with the planning software and weather information. It includes access to digital e-navigation information, such as the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office’s Admiralty Digital Publications (ADP), that is integrated as an overlay on top of the official ENC charts.
Voyage planning can also involve weather routeing with information from specialised providers. Navtor offers an integrated weather and routeing functionality using StormGeo’s Bon Voyage System (BVS). It enables voyage optimisation using weather and ocean information. Navigators can calculate the least time, least fuel or least cost using BVS. This uses algorithms to produce speed and fuel consumption curves and cost and time estimates, and to generate enhanced maps and graphics for displaying optimal routes. It can show weather induced constraints and no-go zones.
P&O Ferries goes paperless for ship navigation
P&O Ferries has started using Global Navigation Solutions’ (GNS’s) Voyager software on all its ships for managing its transfer towards paperless navigation. GNS will supply digital and paperless navigational products to 15 vessels during the transition. The latest edition of the software is Voyager 7, which interfaces with electronic navigational chart (ENC) suppliers and other information providers.
Voyager 7 detects potential navigation compliance problems and downloads chart and publication updates directly to vessels. Navigators can access weather information from Meteo Group, BVS and weather routeing from StormGeo and A2BviaC distance tables for route planning and optimising fuel use. GNS’s software is used by Hamburg Süd on its container ships, by NYK LNG Shipmanagement on gas carriers and by ER Schiffahrt on almost 100 of its ships.