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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

Bridges designed for optimising the wheelhouse view

Mon 06 Nov 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Bridges designed for optimising the wheelhouse view
The updated AlphaBridge enables a single operator to control the main displays and bridge equipment

JRC and Alphatron have updated their AlphaBridge integrated system and Navico has introduced a new echosounder and speed log for tugs and workboats

Japan Radio Co (JRC) and Alphatron Marine introduced a new and simplistic-designed integrated bridge solution for workboats, including tugs, in October. AlphaBridge is designed and integrated by Alphatron using JRC bridge equipment. Its design should enable optimised views from the wheelhouse and full control of displays and equipment, including autopilot, VHF and propulsion, from the master chair.

AlphaBridge has three 26 in navigational displays in the front consoles. The bridge is fitted with JRC’s latest JMR-5400 marine radar and a new conning system. “Flexibility and ergonomic control are one of the leading principles in the AlphaBridge system,” said JRC. “Customised and specific operations allow full control from a single workplace without compromising the high ergonomic standard.”

For inland operations, this updated version of AlphaBridge can come with a JRC river radar, such as JMA-610 and Alphatron’s new track and control unit. For open sea operations, JRC has developed a JMR-5400 radar with 19 in or 26 in displays and updated human-machine interface and greater processing power. AlphaBridge can also come with a new adaptive autopilot and a new VHF radio with a 5 in touchscreen.

For ocean-going operations, Alphatron has introduced the NeCST route planning station. This interactive chart system allows operators to plan voyages on a 46 in touchscreen. The planning station would be connected to other bridge systems enabling officers to transfer a route to an onboard ECDIS.

Alphatron has also opened a shore-based support centre to offer remote diagnostics, assistance in voyage planning and weather routeing.

Echosounder innovation

Navico has introduced two new bridge products for tugs and workboats that improve navigation and monitoring. Navico has released an IMO type-approved echosounder for commercial vessels, including tugs. This S3009 echo sounder is based on the non IMO-approved S2009 sounder that is used in mainly leisure and fishing vessels.

According to Navico sales director for commercial marine sectors Jon Krohn the S3009 comes within a package that includes transducer options for both shallow and deep waters “while it continues to be an easy-to-install solution”.

He told Tug Technology & Business that Navico also has a new simple-to-install Simrad portfolio of IMO-approved speed logs. “Its easy-tank mounting technology means installing the transducer is very simple without the need for costly or customised gate valves and transducer tanks,” he said.

Navico supplies suites of equipment for tug bridges, including a range of radar. Mr Krohn said this could including the R3016 Cat 3 IMO type-approved unit. “This radar was designed specifically with these types of vessels in mind,” he said, adding that it has a 16 in high-definition widescreen and an X-band 12 kW antenna.

An alternative for tugs and workboats would be Navico’s HALO solid-state, pulse compression radar, which is used exclusively with the NSO and NSS series of multifunction displays. “Operators have the option for various size displays to fit a wheelhouse console,” Mr Krohn said. “Our HALO also complies with new low emission standards that enables safe operation in ports and harbours.”

HALO comes with 3 ft, 4 ft or 6 ft (90 cm, 120 cm or 180 cm) antennas. “This gives various options that can be customised to the performance requirements and to the turning circle and space available on the mast,” he added.

Navico also supplies electronic chart systems and complete IMO-approved ECDIS to tugs and workboats. “This ensures we have a suitable system for even the smallest of bridges,” said Mr Krohn. These support all of the major cartography and chart manufacturers.


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