Home | Contact ST  

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Marine Electronics


August 2014 Issue

IMO Subcommittee Approves Iridium Application
Iridium Communicationsí (McLean, Virginia) application to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the provision of mobile satellite communications in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) was reviewed by the IMO Subcommittee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) and will proceed to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its next meeting in November, before advancing to a group of experts for comprehensive technical and operational evaluation, expected by mid-2016.

Iridium would be able to provide service in polar regions, unlike the incumbent GMDSS provider. Demand for reliable voice and data communications is on the rise in the polar regions as shipping and trade routes continue to expand there. Iridium will begin deploying its second generation constellation (Iridium NEXT) in 2015, offering greater capacity, bandwidth and data speeds, as well as backwards compatibility for existing products and services in the market.

In anticipation of IMO recognition, Iridium is working with established maritime communications equipment manufacturers for the production and certification of GMDSS terminals that use the Iridium network, along with Maritime Rescue Coordination Centers and service providers. Expected to be available before the end of 2015, GMDSS terminals using the Iridium network are designed to have an operational longevity of nearly 20 years.

Severn Develops Telemetry, Control System for Oceanus 2
Severn Subsea Technologies (Redruth, England) has developed an integrated telemetry and control system for wave power company Seatricityís (Stromness, Scotland) Oceanus 2 wave device, now moored at the Cornish Wave Hub. The system will enable researchers to correlate wave movement with power generated, and optimize power-generating conditions offshore. Oceanus 2 comprises a float tethered to the seabed via a pump. Wave action pumps water at high pressure back to either the shore or a local hub, where a turbine converts the energy to electricity. The Oceanus 2 development device will use a control valve to simulate the turbine load.

Severn Subsea Technologies (SST) has designed and manufactured the valve gear, control, power and communications systems mounted on the buoy and at shore locations at the St Ives Coast Watch Facility and SSTís Redruth headquarters. Mechanically, the telemetry and control system comprises an electrically actuated control valve that can be modulated to vary the pumped water pressure as the wave height changes.

Power for valve actuation, data acquisition and communications is provided by an array of photovoltaic solar cells and sealed lead-acid batteries, allowing 24-hour telemetry, mounted on the top surface of Oceanus 2. Communication with the shore is via a UHF radio modem link. SST has also equipped the Oceanus 2 with a Wi-Fi interface, allowing some system parameters to be changed from a boat close to the buoy. Control will be carried out using a pair of programmable logic controllers on the Oceanus 2 and ashore.

Gas, Electric and Solar to Power Dutch Ferry
Lloydís Register (London, England) will class Texelstroom, the 1,750-passenger, 350-vehicle, double-ended ferry that will operate between the Dutch islands of Texel and Den Helder. The ferry will be constructed at the LaNaval Shipyard in Spain for delivery at the end of 2015 before four months of final commissioning and training. It will enter service in the spring of 2016.

Texelstroom will have different energy sources to provide reliable, efficient power and vastly reduce environmental impact in comparison with existing ferry technology.

The ferry will have two independent engine rooms: one fitted with two ABC (Ghent, Belgium) diesel engines (2 by 2,000 kilowatts), and the other with two ABC dual-fuel engines (2 by 2,000 kilowatts).

On each ship end, two Rolls Royce (London, England) azimuth propellers will be installed, to achieve a speed of 10 to 15 knots.

The ferry will operate mainly on natural gas stored in two batteries of compressed natural gas (CNG) bottles installed on the top deck. Electric batteries will also form an integral part of the advanced energy management system. In addition, there will be more than 700 square meters of solar panels.

Oyster 800 to Undergo Summer Improvement Program
Aquamarine Power (Edinburgh, Scotland) has successfully removed both cylinder modules from their Oyster 800 wave machine as part of a comprehensive summer refit, with the aim to recommence Oyster power generation in the fall.

The 800-kilowatt test machine, located at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, has already spent three full winters at sea—a world first—and has generated multiple megawatt-hours of electrical power. It has now achieved more than 20,000 hours of operations in all sea conditions, proving survivability through even the worst winter storms. The company is now focused on improving Oyster 800ís reliability through a summer product improvement program, with the goal of sustained power generation later in the year.

The coming months will see the installation of improved cylinder and accumulator modules, as well as upgraded control and instrumentation and onshore works.

International Submarine Races Celebrates Women in Engineering
With more than 100 young people from 11 universities from six countries on three continents that took part in the European International Submarine Races at QinetiQís Ocean Basin at Gosport, England, in July, the organizers celebrated National Women in Engineering Day 2014 by highlighting the strength of involvement of women. Twenty percent of the race participants were women, and the student-led video reporting team was all women.

Women were also represented on the judging panel. Liz Whitrow, a naval architect with BMT (Teddington, England) since 1996 and now a program manager for the Canadian Victoria-class submarines, reprised her role in the five-member panel.


-back to top-

Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.