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Marine Electronics

2015:  JAN | FEB | MARCH

March 2015 Issue

AWI RV Upgrades to New, Environmentally Friendly Engines
The RV Heincke, one of the ships operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), recently received three new main engines. With the addition of particle filters and downstream exhaust-gas filter systems, the ship is now both more economical and environmentally friendlier.

The 54.5-meter-long Heincke has been in service since 1990, and until recently was still running on its original engines. The engines were essentially worn out and were no longer economical because they burned too much fuel and were starting to produce more and more costs for maintenance and replacement parts.

The ship has now been refitted with three new MAN (Hamburg, Germany) diesel engines rated at 532 kilowatts, essentially matching the output of the original equipment.

Following a number of test cruises, the vessel was scheduled to depart for the North Sea on its first expedition with the new engines in February.

Joining the FS Mya II, which entered service in 2013, the Heincke marks the second AWI research vessel to utilize environmentally friendlier technology.

Edradour Diving Support Vessel Launches for IMR Operations
N-Sea (Zierikzee, Netherlands) has launched its third diving support vessel. The Edradour represents a £1.5 million investment for the company and will be immediately utilized in its inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) operations in the North Sea, as well as in Holland and Germany.

Similar to its sister vessel, the Aberlour, the Edradour features added capability and redundancy, making it ideally suited for restricted area access around offshore vessels, platforms and mobile offshore drilling units where diving support vessels have limited access for maintenance and surveys.

The Edradour will be utilized as a specialist diving and intervention craft for the inspection of subsea structure, light construction works, debris removal, special periodic surveys and inshore harbor survey work.

Testing for Sonar CoPilot Software Improvements
SeeByte (Edinburgh, Scotland) and VideoRay (Pottstown, Pennsylvania) have successfully developed and tested improvements to the Sonar CoPilot system. These software upgrades include improvements to the user interfaces and target tracking features. The system provides a comprehensive tool to allow for one-click automated target inspections using a man-portable ROV. The software allows a target to be identified by the operator, and the computer controls the thrusters to maneuver to within visual range.

The system has undergone successful testing in a variety of environments to ensure its reliability. The VideoRay was flown in the FloWave Ocean tank, a new state-of-the-art facility located at Edinburgh University that aims to simulate ocean conditions. The system was also tested in-water at Dunbar pier off the North Sea and at the Wave Tank at Heriot-Watt University.

M3 Bathy System Now IHO S-44 Compliant
Kongsberg Mesotech’s (Port Coquitlam, Canada) M3 Bathy System, a powerful, entry-level survey system for shallow-water bathymetric applications, is now officially designated compliant with IHO S-44, a reference standard for companies engaged in hydrographic surveying, marine engineering or nautical charting.

The IHO compliance consists of various criteria, including vertical accuracy and target detection standards. In order to assess IHO-S44 compliance, these criteria were tested during an experiment performed by the Ocean Mapping Group at the University of New Brunswick.

During the testing, which took place in February 2014, bathymetry data from the M3 were collected in depths ranging from 15 to 40 meters. The test targets were a series of standard concrete 1-meter cubes laid along 20- and 40-meter contours. The results confirmed that the M3 Bathy is capable of achieving bathymetric survey data that meets two orders of IHO standards, specifically: vertical accuracy compliance over the full +/-60° sector for Order 1 surveys and to at least +/-55° for Special Order, and Special Order target detection (1-meter cube) met to 20 meters and Order 1A target detection (2-meter cube) maintained to 40 meters.

The M3 sonar is the only instrument in its price point that produces high-quality imaging records and 3D profiling point cloud data using the same sonar head. It provides high-resolution and easy-to-interpret images by combining the rapid refresh rate of conventional multibeam sonar with image quality comparable to that from a single-beam sonar system.

ACTUV Prototype Completes Successful Voyage
Leidos’s (Reston, Virginia) prototype maritime autonomy system for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program completed its first self-guided voyage between Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The prototype maritime autonomy system was installed on a 42-foot work boat that served as a surrogate vessel to test sensor, maneuvering and mission functions of the prototype ACTUV vessel. ACTUV seeks to develop an independently deployed, unmanned naval vessel that would operate under sparse remote supervisory control and safely follow the collision avoidance “rules of the sea” known as COLREGS.

Controlled only by the autonomy system, and with only a navigational chart of the area loaded into its memory and inputs from its commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) radars, the surrogate vessel sailed the complicated inshore environment of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. During its voyage of 35 nautical miles, the maritime autonomy system functioned as designed. The boat avoided all obstacles, buoys, land, shoal water, and other vessels in the area without any preplanned waypoints or human intervention.

While Leidos continues to use the surrogate vessel to test ACTUV software and sensors, the company is continuing construction of Sea Hunter, the first ACTUV prototype vessel, in Clackamas, Oregon. Sea Hunter is scheduled to launch in late fall 2015 and begin testing in the Columbia River thereafter.

2015:  JAN | FEB | MARCH

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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.