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Marine Electronics


November 2013 Issue

Cougar XT Completes Sea Trials for ACSM Fleet
Off the coast of Spain, ACSM (Vigo, Spain) has completed sea trials of a second Saab Seaeye (Fareham, England) Cougar XT ready to add to its ROV fleet.

This follows successful trials offshore Norway and in the Baltic where ROV pilots and technicians reported minimal downtime and satisfaction with its performance.

Operating near the Port of Ferrol, Spain, the 2,000-meter-rated Cougar undertook a range of free-swimming tests, including survey routes, manipulator intervention on structures and other wet tests.

An additional test included a collaborative venture with Abyssal (Leça da Palmeira, Portugal), trialing their 3D visualization system that uses Augmented Technology to provide the pilot with a heads-up display in 3D showing flight paths and checkpoints to guide the pilot to the exact target location. The Cougar XT can carry out light work-class jobs, along with survey tasks, and can easily be fit with a wide variety of sensors, ancillary equipment and tooling for tasks such as drill support, salvage and inspection, repair and maintenance.

ACSM intends to make the Cougar XT available to clients, not only as a free-swimming option but as a backup vehicle for ACSMís other TMS-housed Cougar where long projects or difficult offshore areas would make any quick ROV replacement a challenge.

Evolution Autopilot Wins NMEA-BWI Tech Award
Raymarine (Nashua, New Hampshire) took top honors at the 2013 National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) International Marine Electronics Conference & Expo in San Diego, California, in September, winning the NMEA-BWI Technology Award for its Evolution Autopilot.

The heart of the Evolution system is Raymarineís EV sensor core, which contains a nine-axis sensor system for precise monitoring of pitch, roll, yaw and heading. It also contains all of the autopilotís guidance electronics. This reduces the size of the traditional autopilot core pack to an ultracompact 5-inch disc that can be mounted just about anywhere above or below decks.

After installation is complete, the Evolution Autopilot requires virtually no calibration. A Dockside Wizard collects a few basic parameters about drive type and rudder, after which the vessel is ready to get underway. The previous task of compass linearization has been replaced by a fully automatic background routine that runs while the vessel is underway. Simultaneously, Evolutionís AI algorithms go to work immediately to develop a baseline steering configuration for the vessel. Rudder gain, counter rudder and other variables are calculated and updated automatically.

The first runner-up in the Technology Award competition was Nobeltecís (Beaverton, Oregon) TimeZero app, and Garminís (Schaffhausen, Switzerland) quatix marine watch was the second runner-up.

Three members of Boating Writers International (BWI) selected the winners from a dozen entries of recently introduced marine electronics products, based on innovation, benefit to boaters, practicality and value.

Wärtsilä 20DF Engine now in US Market
Wärtsilä Corp. (Helsinki, Finland) has released its 20DF dual-fuel engine for sale in the U.S. market. The engine meets the strict emissions compliance criteria of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4. This release to the U.S. market is in response to the growing demand for natural gas-fueled engines.

Wärtsiläís dual-fuel (DF) technology allows engines to use either natural gas or diesel oil. The Wärtsilä 20DF is a commercial-duty, medium-speed, dual-fuel engine. Engines supplied to the U.S. market will operate primarily on natural gas, with marine diesel oil as a pilot fuel or as an emergency backup fuel. The 20DFís power spans the range from 1,056 to 1,584 kilowatts per engine.

Wärtsiläís lean-burn, low-pressure, dual-fuel engine technology utilizes a very low percentage diesel fuel as a pilot ignition source, amounting to about 1 percent of total energy. According to the company, this technology is attracting the attention of global fleet owners operating within the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA), for which regulations came into force in August 2012. The legislation is aimed at achieving stricter control on emissions of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from vessels. ECAs have also been established in the Baltic Sea and North Sea.

India Invests in new Research Vessel
Indiaís government will invest in a new scientific research platform vessel to be built by Bharati Shipyard, based in Mumbai, India. This indicates that Indiaís technology sector continues to grow.

The Class XII merchant vessel will host scientists from various Indian government scientific laboratories. It will be used to carry out multipurpose research along the coastal seabelt of India.

Bharati has chosen GE Power Conversion (Paris, France) to supply the power and propulsion system for the ship. This will be the first diesel-electric ship built in India to incorporate medium-voltage equipment. Delivery of the vessel is expected in 2015.

Bharati has signed two contracts with GE Power Conversion for the current project. The main one is with GE Power Conversion in France for design, production and supply of the power and propulsion equipment (generators, motors and drives). The supplementary contract is with GE Power Conversion in India, which will be responsible for technical services, design, documentation, installation checks, commissioning and sea trials.

The medium-voltage propulsion system is rated at 3.3 kilovolts, with two propulsion motors of 5 megawatts. Each motor is fitted with one of GEís MV7000 drives. MV7000 drive technology can be applied to a wide range of equipment. The drives can feed both induction and synchronous machines with high-performance vector control across all speed ranges.

GE has been working on this project for two years. Overall, the company sees good prospects for power and propulsion systems in the marine industry in India.


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