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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

Bridge electronics of tomorrow unveiled

Tue 21 Mar 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Bridge electronics of tomorrow unveiled
ISIC has developed a 55in display for voyage planning stations

Denmark-headquartered ISIC is launching new products developed to cope with demand for what it calls the ‘electronics of tomorrow'. One of these will be a 55in multi-touch monitor that is ecdis approved for back-of-the-bridge voyage planning stations.

According to ISIC chief executive Bo Lander Rasmussen, these new products are required because of the changing nature of the maritime industry. He says the industry is changing - not only its financial and commercial aspects, but also within the new technologies that support different user interfaces and ways of exchanging information. In addition, more commercial off-the-shelf products are becoming available.

Mr Rasmussen said that ISIC will continue to focus on developing advanced products, designs and services to support the evolution of the design and operation of ships. “We must ensure that the products that are developed are cost competitive without compromising our high quality standards,” he said.

He added: “As the market in general turns towards more commercial off-the-shelf products, products must be diligently engineered and thoroughly analysed before volume production takes place. This is how we ensure that our smart solutions are also appropriate for the electronics of tomorrow.”

As an example, ISIC is introducing a slimline 55in 4K voyage planning station that has all of the approvals for displaying electronic navigational charts. It has split-screen options built in as standard and no additional bonding, which would increase the cost, said ISIC sales manager Poul Pallesen.

He explained that the development of a new product range is conducted in close and open co-operation with ISIC’s customers and partners in the market. “We are often involved in the development of new product ideas at an early stage, adding value to our customers by contributing to the development of innovative and cost efficient solutions. At the end of the day, the success of our customers is our success,” he said.

In the future, Mr Rasmussen expects that user interfaces that are found in commercial products, such as smart phones and tablets, will be adapted to interface with onboard ship systems. This could, for example, involve remote control of different instrument settings or the display of required information.

These features could add value for users when they are managing the ship. This could possibly be done by some of the mobile devices already being used on board ships today. As a first mover, ISIC will present the first application that enables seafarers to interact directly with an ISIC system by remote control by using their mobile devices.

Alphatron Marine and Japan Radio Co (JRC) have introduced the new AlphaScan 5900 radar that has X-band and S-band scanners and radar displays. This includes JRC’s 8ft solid-state, high speed and S-band radar scanner. AlphaScan 5900 includes a smart multi-button, or trackball, unit that controls the system and a Blizzard processor for target tracking and other functions. Radar data can be monitored on JRC 19in and 26in multifunction displays. Data can also be displayed on 46in monitors that come with the AlphaBridge concept.

Alphatron Marine recently delivered an AlphaBridge to Seacor subsidiary Seabulk Towing for tugboat Trident. This is the first of three new Robert Allan-designed Rotortugs being built by Master Boat Builders in Alabama, USA. Alphatron supplied two ergonomically designed consoles with a central, rotatable, captain’s chair mounted on sliding rails. The layout of the consoles was designed in close co-operation with Seabulk Towing.

Trident has specialised sea and river radar designed for inland and manoeuvring applications in enclosed waters. At each end of both consoles is a retractable screen, one with the radar display and the other a multi-function screen displaying navigation and operational data. The AlphaBridge tugboat console was fabricated and wired in Rotterdam, in The Netherlands, then shipped to the shipyard in 2016.

Flir Systems has revealed two additions to its M-Series marine thermal cameras for workboats and leisure vessels. The M100 and M200 thermal cameras provide enhanced awareness to seafarers at night. These compact pan-and-tilt marine thermal cameras have Flir’s Boson high-performance thermal camera cores. They feature an integrated multi-core video processor, which produces high quality images, and artificial intelligence functions.

Flir has also introduced Raymarine Axiom multifunction displays that have built-in RealVision 3D sonar, powered by the Raymarine LightHouse 3 operating system. These can be combined with the M100 and M200 thermal cameras to introduce Flir’s new ClearCruise intelligent thermal analytics, which helps mariners identify obstacles, boats and navigation markers at night. The RealVision 3D function identifies seabed and underwater structures and fish shoals.

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