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Marine Electronics


July 2013 Issue

Boatracs Electronically Manages Fleet Operators’s Vessels
Boatracs Inc. (San Diego, California) has completed a fleet-wide implementation for Fleet Operators Inc. (Morgan City, Louisiana) to manage its vessel communications and tracking, as well as logs for billing, human resources and maintenance. This includes the Boatracs Narrowband satellite solution for communications beyond cellular range, Boatracs BTConnect for vessel tracking and Boatracs BTForms for electronic logs.

Fleet Operators’s oil and gas industry customers have been requiring an electronic version of vessel logs, and the company needed a way to maintain constant connectivity with its vessels to collect this data in a low-cost, easy-to-use way that did not require maintenance of an IT department.

DNV Engineer Wins Prize for Thesis on CFD in Marine Turbines
Philimon Gonidakis, a senior engineer with DNV (Høvik, Norway), was named the recipient of Cranfield University’s Professor John Sharp Prize. Gonidakis has just completed a master’s in offshore and ocean technology at the university, which was jointly funded by DNV Piraeus in Greece and the DNV Education Fund.

The thesis used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to investigate marine turbine performance. It was funded by DNV and is entitled “CFD modeling and simulation of an experimentally investigated horizontal axis marine current turbine and study of the free surface proximity impact on its performance and wake formation.” The thesis shows the impact of boundaries in the efficiency of a turbine, which can be positive or negative.

“As opposed to wind turbines, tidal turbines are normally installed in narrow and shallow straits where the flow interacts with the boundaries and the flow regime that the turbine sees alters significantly,” Gonidakis said.

“It is vitally important to attract and retain talent in the industry to ensure the energy and maritime sectors continue to thrive,” Hari Vamadevan, DNV’s U.K. regional manager, said. “I hope this award will encourage other students, at any stage in their education, that hard work and innovative thinking is recognized and can play its part in the future of the industry.”

WW Is First Wireless Broadband Network for US Inland Waters
Aboard its newly refurbished river fleet vessel, the MV Safety Pledge, CONSOL Energy Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) and the Port of Pittsburgh Commission unveiled the first wireless broadband network deployed on inland waterways in the U.S. 

Developed on Pittsburgh’s three rivers over the past several months, this new neutral wireless broadband network, called the Wireless Waterways (WW), will connect proprietary, stove-piped, and stand-alone systems into one system of systems to improve the safety, security and efficiency of the inland waterways and the thousands of vessels that navigate them every day. 

The WW is comprised of an interconnected network of physical devices and applications useful in river commerce and security and will integrate real-time navigation information, cargo tracking and the operation of waterway sensors.

The WW will enable the development and use of specialized applications to improve navigation and information exchange, increase security and productivity, realize functional interoperability between public safety systems and organizations by enhancing real-time situational awareness and improve the collection of data by environmental agencies. The WW network will provide the platform to improve the efficiency of waterway transportation, enabling regions like Pittsburgh to stay competitive in the global market.

The Port of Pittsburgh’s Wireless Waterways Project, which includes the nation’s first ever maritime-focused Interoperability Test Bed (ITB) and a pilot for a proposed national broadband network system, was launched in 2012 through grants from Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Port of Pittsburgh Commission. The ITB should attract maritime research and development investments and is expected to provide a research edge for water-related companies in the region. The Port of Pittsburgh Commission is working with Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh-based Water Economy Network to advance the economic development potential of the project.

Conxx Inc. (Cumberland, Maryland) constructed the network, which will be available on cell phones, iPads and other wireless devices.

To date, the technology has been installed on CONSOL Energy’s MV Safety Pledge, vessels owned by Campbell Transportation Co. Inc. (Houston, Pennsylvania) and the Gateway Clipper Fleet (Pittsburgh).

The MV Safety Pledge is also testing the WW Broadband Network for quality-of-life initiatives to support a follow-on application submitted earlier this month for a U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER grant to extend the WW project nationwide.

Christened in May, the Safety Pledge will be a testbed for riverbed sounding technology, a 3D camera/software technology and GPS tracking technology.

ROTV Prepared Quickly for Fugro Client Needs in North Sea
At the beginning of the 2013 pipeline inspection season, client requirements led to Fugro Survey Ltd. (Aberdeen, Scotland) needing to move fast to acquire a new remotely operated towed vehicle (ROTV). Fugro then placed an order with MacArtney (Esbjerg, Denmark) for the FOCUS-2 vehicle, which needed to undergo a range of preparations and modifications. Since FOCUS-2 systems operated by Fugro are fitted with EdgeTech (West Wareham, Massachusetts) 2200-M integrated side scan sonar systems operating at 300 and 600 kilohertz, the involvement of EdgeTech sonar technicians was required as well.

In just three weeks, a fully equipped and operational FOCUS-2 system was ready for Fugro for acoustic pipeline inspection services in the North Sea.

In addition to side scan sonar, FOCUS-2 can carry a broad range of sensor packages and underwater equipment, including multibeam sonar, sub-bottom profiler, fiber-optic gyro, magnetometer, sound velocity sensor, motion reference unit and INS.


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