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Marine Electronics


June 2013 Issue

NOAA to Beta Test Nautical Chart App Through Labor Day
NOAA is testing MyNOAACharts, a new mobile application that allows users to download NOAA nautical charts and editions of the book series U.S. Coast Pilot. The app was beta released in May and is designed for only Android tablets for the testing period.

MyNOAACharts has GPS built-in capabilities that allow users to find their positions on a NOAA nautical chart and zoom in and out. The Coast Pilot has geotagged some of the major locations—embedding geographical information, such as latitude and longitude, directly into the chart so it is readable in the app—and provides links to appropriate federal regulations. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play app store.

The beta test for MyNOAACharts will run until September 2. NOAA will then evaluate usage and user feedback to decide whether to release a finished version of the app. The app will be expanded to other platforms if the boating community responds positively to the beta version.

Coastline Surveys Completes Investigation of Navitus Bay
Coastline Surveys Ltd. (Falmouth, England) has completed a geotechnical investigation of the seabed cable route at the proposed Navitus Bay offshore wind park, off the south coast of England that examined the viability of the proposed cable route that will transport energy from the wind park to shore.

The survey was largely conducted in challenging environmental conditions, with strong tidal currents and the requirement for shallow-water operations close to the shoreline. It was completed in two 12-hour days. The geotechnical logs, soil descriptions and core photography were of sufficient quality and standard to assist with identification of archaeological features.

Utilizing its 24-meter survey vessel, MV Flatholm, along with its C-Core-HP vibrocorer, Coastline Surveys successfully completed sampling at 22 locations along the planned route for the cable, running from the shoreline to approximately 12 miles offshore.

On investigating the ocean floor, the team expected to find marine sands overlaying bedrock, with a range of depths throughout the area. It soon became clear that the site was made up of a variety of soil conditions, ranging from soft silts to dense sand and clays.

Undisturbed samples were required particularly around the palaeochannels, where fine-grained material and peat deposits were expected.

Coastline Survey’s C-Core-HP unit has a fitted real-time penetrometer to monitor the rate of penetration during sampling. In areas of softer, loose sediments, it enabled the geotechnical team to recover high-quality samples with reduced disturbance.

The stiff clays and dense sands were also dealt with using the C-Core-HP unit, which penetrated the ground up to 1 meter into the underlying stiff clay in some locations. The penetrometer indicated when it would no longer be feasible to recover further sediment. As a result, the team was able to terminate tests when appropriate, saving time and costs while preserving sample integrity.

Lab testing and reporting was completed at Coastline’s facility in Lowestoft, England.

Corvus Energy Lithium Battery Pack Powers Danish Ferry
A new hybrid electric ferry using Corvus Energy’s (Richmond, Canada) advanced lithium-polymer battery solution was commissioned in May in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Scandlines (Odense, Denmark).

The Prinsesse Benedikte ferry refit represents the conversion of a former diesel electric ferry to a hybrid vessel.

Using 2.7 megawatt-hours of Corvus’s battery modules, the retrofitted ferry will provide enhanced technical reliability and efficiency, improve maintenance costs, consume less fuel, deliver significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, be noise-free, and charge in 30 minutes by renewable, shore or generator power.

The modules should last for about 10 years. They represent the world’s largest hybrid propulsion marine battery pack, according to Corvus.

SMARTtide Software Models UK, France Coasts
The Energy Technologies Institute (Loughborough, England), or ETI, and HR Wallingford (Wallingford, England) launched in May a tidal energy modelling tool for use by tidal energy developers to identify the most efficient sites for tidal energy converters, tidal arrays or tidal barrage schemes around the U.K. and French coasts.

SMARTtide (Simulated Marine Array Resource Testing) incorporates a 2D hydrodynamic model of the U.K.’s continental shelf and the northwest European coastline. The software is available as a fee-for-service at http://hrwallingford.com/projects/SMART tide.

The modeling tool calculates how energy extraction at one site could affect the energy available elsewhere. It also identifies how interactions between different sites combine to form an overall effect and considers what constraints these interactions will place on the design, development and location of future energy systems.

The service allows modelers to create input specifications for a site, then the model is run on their behalf without the need for investment in expensive computers, bespoke model design costs and bathymetry data license costs.

GE Power Conversion Technology To Power West Mira Semisub
GE Power Conversion (Paris, France) has signed a multimillion-dollar contract with shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (Ulsan, South Korea), or HHI, to supply electric power, propulsion systems and drilling drives for a new semisubmersible drilling platform.

HHI is building for Seadrill Ltd. (London, England), which is expected to work in either the North Sea or offshore Canada.

The sixth-generation semisubmersible based on a Moss Maritime (Lysaker, Norway) CS60 design, will be built in accordance with Det Norske Veritas’s (Oslo, Norway) dynamic positioning DP3 class, the highest notation in terms of design to withstand specified instances of equipment failure.

West Mira, an ultradeepwater semisubmersible drilling rig, will be capable of drilling wells up to 40,000 feet deep in up to 10,000 feet of water.


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