Marine Electronics

Retrofit Advances
LNG Fleet Communications

Elcome International has completed a satellite communications retrofit program for a major fleet of LNG tankers providing broadband data and voice services. The company decommissioned the existing VSAT systems and installed new SAILOR 900 antennas and below-deck systems on 40 ships within four months, without disrupting the sailing schedules.

The scope of work included system design, site survey, system integration, hardware and software installation, commissioning, training, project management and airtime for the ships’ VSAT, Fleet Broadband and Inmarsat-C systems. In addition, Elcome is managing worldwide shipboard service for the fleet. To that end, Elcome has established a network operations center at its Dubai headquarters for first-line customer support and will also provide shore-based maintenance under a separate yearly contract.

Elcome has created three independent networks on each ship for corporate traffic, crew welfare voice and Internet connections, and machine-to-machine data transfer of performance data from shipboard sensors.

The retrofit solution was developed with satellite service provider Global Eagle and VSAT antenna manufacturer Cobham SATCOM.

 

LiFT Battery Delivery for
New Dry Combat Submersible

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has delivered the first shipset of Lithium-ion Fault Tolerant (LiFT) batteries for the U.S. Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) new dry combat submersible (DCS), a long-endurance delivery vehicle capable of transporting personnel in a dry environment. GA-EMS is under contract with Lockheed Martin Corp. to provide LiFT batteries to power the DCS propulsion and internal support systems. LiFT’s modular design and single-cell fault tolerance should prevent uncontrolled and catastrophic cascading lithium-ion cell failure, improving the safety of personnel and platforms while keeping power available for high mission assurance. The flexible architecture of the battery system can be configured to meet the most demanding needs of manned and unmanned underwater vehicles.

 

Comms Access Beyond
Cell, Wi-Fi Range

The popular mazu and mSeries system from SkyMate now works in conjunction with Raymarine, enabling boaters to pull up satellite data on their multifunction display (MFD). mazu features such as email and SMS texts, SOS transponding, weather forecasts and more can now be opened directly on a Raymarine MFD. The mSeries system can still be used with the mazu iPad app, which provides users with an enhanced dashboard.

Cruisers and offshore fishermen now have more ways than ever to stay connected when outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. mazu gives boaters access to reliable global satellite connectivity using the Iridium network. mazu is a data-only system that can be linked to using any device with a browser.

 

Furukawa Batteries
Now Certified for Sea

Eco Marine Power (EMP) has formally certified The Furukawa Battery Co. Ltd. of Japan as a supplier of batteries for use on ship and marine structures. The certification covers a range of battery technologies, including the hybrid valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) UltraBattery.

The certification process included obtaining approval from ClassNK for each battery type, an inspection of the Furukawa Battery production center at Imaichi Plant at Nikko, Japan, and a review of the relevant quality standards and certifications, including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. EMP also assessed how Furukawa Battery recycles returned batteries as part of a sustainability review. The batteries covered by the EMP certification are the: FC-38-12, UB-50-12, FCP-500 and FCP-1000.

 

International Distribution
For ROV3D Recon DVR

Seatronics, an Acteon company, and Whitecap Scientific, developers of the ROV3D Recon DVR, announced a global distribution agreement that will see Seatronics invest in ROV3D Recon DVR rental units for its Aberdeen (U.K.), Houston (U.S.), Singapore and Abu Dhabi (U.A.E.) offices. The ROV3D Recon DVR allows any ROV with two cameras to generate measurable 3D point clouds of subsea structures and assets during routine operations.

 

Electronic Certificates
Grow in Popularity

With the introduction of IMO-compliant electronic class and statutory certificates, DNV GL took classification into new territory. Just four months after the launch of this new service, more than 50,000 certificates have been issued. Many owners have opted not to wait for their first scheduled survey to shift vessels to the new certificates and have asked to move their whole fleet onto the new system. Digitally signed electronic certificates now represent nearly 80 percent of all certificates issued by DNV GL. Certificates are published on DNV GL’s customer portal immediately after an onboard survey is completed. All relevant parties can access the latest certificates anywhere in the world. Customers can share access to their certificates with stakeholders (charterers, ports, flag administrations, insurers) by using temporary access codes, reducing the administrative burden on the shipowner.

 

MARCH


Data Comms Tool for
Underwater Observatories

COSTOF2 (Communication and Storage Front-end – second generation), a data communication and backup tool, can power and control submarine observation station sensors and retrieve their data in real time. COSTOF2 allows the reliable and synchronized connection of up to 12 sensors, including hydrophones, sonars and HD (4K) video cameras. The latest version of the tool consumes only 1.5 milliwatts on standby mode.

COSTOF2 is now in use at EMSO-Açores observatory at 1,700-m depth. In the future, COSTOF2 will be deployed in other EMSO-DEV observatories. Two units have been produced by RTsys for this purpose at the end of 2017, and three coastal units are under production.

 

Cryptocurrency Enters
Maritime World

OceanChain Foundation launched a platform using blockchain technology to offer a “one-stop-shop” for maritime trade. The OceanChain platform includes: blockchain-powered currency, Ocash, to simplify settlement of cross-border transactions or transactions in international waters; e-commerce trading to access goods and services, such as fuel; and financial services.

The platform is designed to support transactions across the maritime industry life cycle, from transactions involving fish produce or fisheries services to maritime satellite communications, maritime insurance and supply chain financing, for example.

The new platform is underpinned by a cryptocurrency that can be used to trade services across the OceanChain platform. Ocash will have a total upper limit of 10 billion units in circulation.

 

Expedition to Laser Scan
Titanic Wreck

OceanGate Inc. and 2G Robotics have formed a strategic alliance to capture laser data of the RMS Titanic shipwreck and debris field. 2G Robotics dynamic underwater laser scanner, the ULS-500 PRO, will be installed on OceanGate’s Cyclops 2 manned submersible.

The six-week Titanic Survey Expedition will depart from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, in June with scientists, content experts and mission specialists joining the crew in a series of week-long missions. The 2G Robotics equipment will generate real-time 3D models with millimetric resolution.

Using the laser data, the team will overlay 4K images captured throughout the expedition to create a detailed 3D virtual model of the wreck. This model will serve as an objective baseline to assess the decay of the wreck over time and help to document and preserve its submerged history.

 

Partnership for Digital
Fleet Monitoring

BOURBON and Bureau Veritas have partnered to develop and deploy automation and real-time monitoring fleet applications while mitigating cyber risks. The partnership will deliver advanced automation of dynamic positioning (DP) systems to enable: improvement of DP operational safety through real-time advisory tools for bridge operators and remote support for onshore teams; streamlining of onboard organization leading to potential reduction of manning; and a reduction in fuel and DP maintenance costs. A pilot test has been implemented in Trinidad waters.

 

Simwave Maritime Center
Of Excellence Opens

Simwave B.V. and Kongsberg Digital have successfully completed the site acceptance test for the Simwave Maritime Center of Excellence. The Barendrecht, Rotterdam facility in the Netherlands is now fully operational.

Simwave’s training facility covers more than 5,000 m2 across two floors containing Kongsberg simulators, meeting rooms, offices and welfare facilities. The next step is to develop a hotel facility on the top floor of the building for customers and trainees, enabling training to take place 24/7.

 

FDNY Scuba Squad
Captain Wins SAR-1

At the DEMA (Diving Equipment & Marketing Association) show in Orlando, Florida, JW Fishers Mfg. held a drawing for a chance to win a SAR-1 underwater metal detector, with law enforcement, military, commercial and recreational diving applications. The winner of the drawing was Capt. Steve Forlenza, Special Operations Command, SCUBA Operations of the F.D.N.Y. Scuba Squad. Forlenza is in charge of coordinating team trainings and marine vessel maintenance diving.

 

More Cougar ROVs
For Platform Inspection

Bluestream added two new gravity-based Saab Seaeye Cougar XT Compact Zone II ROV systems to its fleet. The Cougar XT Compact was chosen for its regulatory compliance in the central and northern North Sea Sectors and ideal size for operating in and around platform structures. Bluestream’s Saab Seaeye fleet now totals 22 systems.

 

FEBRUARY


Subsea Power Systems Testing

The first full-scale prototype of a subsea variable speed drive has been successfully tested in a sheltered harbor in Vaasa, Finland, taking the vision of an all-electric subsea processing facility one step closer to reality. A variable speed drive is needed to boost the productivity of oil and gas processes and improve energy efficiency while providing the highest reliability.

The test is the latest in a five-year joint industry project (JIP) between Statoil, Total, Chevron and ABB that aims to develop transmission, distribution and power conversion systems for subsea pumps and gas compressors operating at depths of 3,000 m and over vast distances. By providing the large power needs closer to the reservoir, production improves due to the increased flow and pressure of the stream. The subsea variable speed drive designed for subsea gas compression was operated over three weeks in 2017, in a back-to-back configuration directly with the grid, without motor loads. This “power-in-the loop” test means that only a few hundred kilowatts of losses need to be supplied from the grid.

Following the success of the test, the JIP is now preparing for a 3,000-hour shallow-water test of a subsea power system with two variable speed drives in parallel, combined with subsea switchgear and controls, to start late 2018. The first installation of the new subsea power systems in offshore production sites is expected to begin in 2020.

 

Push to Digitalize Offshore Supply Chain

Kongsberg Digital is purchasing a 34 percent ownership share in NSG Digital, a subsidiary of the supply base and logistics company NorSea Group, which is controlled by Wilhelmsen and is joining forces with Kongsberg Digital to digitalize the supply chain in the oil and gas and offshore wind industries.

Kongsberg Digital and NSG Digital have collaborated since the beginning of 2017 on developing a new logistics system called NSG E2E. NSG E2E (end-to-end) is offered as a part of Kongsberg Digital’s application platform, Kognifai, and is a solution that improves logistics management through increasing information sharing and collaboration in the supply chain.

 

Wireless Diver Body Temp Monitoring System

WFS Technologies Ltd. of Edinburgh, Scotland, has partnered with EERS Global Technologies Inc. of Montreal, Canada, to develop Seatooth, the world’s first underwater wireless ear-based core body temperature monitoring system for divers. Seatooth comprises a custom earpiece with integrated temperature sensor wirelessly enabled by a Seatooth wPAN (wireless personal area network) node.

Diver core body temperature is transmitted wirelessly to Seatooth SWiCOM, a wireless underwater tablet so that diver core body temperature can be monitored. This information can be transmitted securely to a diver buddy using Seatooth wireless communications.

A demonstration was held at a Department of Defense Special Operations Command event in Florida.

 

ROVOP Receives Funds For Bigger ROV Fleet

ROVOP Ltd., an independent operator of ROVs, will immediately increase its fleet by 50 percent to meet ongoing customer demand following a funding boost of £56 million.

Blue Water Energy and BGF have jointly committed to the funding that underpins ROVOP’s ambitious future growth plans. The funding is financing an increase of the fleet to 24 ROVs, with the new assets being acquired from Tidewater in Houston. Tidewater owns and operates one of the largest fleets of offshore support vessels globally.

ROVOP focuses on the provision of ROV services to the oil and gas, offshore wind, telecom and power transmission industries. Along with ROVs, the company provides experienced operators trained in house.

 

Hacking Demo Shows Maritime Vulnerabilities

Naval Dome has demonstrated the maritime industry’s nightmare security scenario with a series of cyber penetration tests on systems in common use aboard tankers, containerships, super yachts and cruiseships. Test results revealed with startling simplicity the ease with which hackers can access and override ship critical systems.

With the permission, and under the supervision, of system manufacturers and owners, Naval Dome’s cyber engineering team hacked into live, in-operation systems used to control a ship’s navigation, radar, engines, pumps and machinery. While the test ships and their systems were not in any danger, Naval Dome was able to shift the vessel’s reported position and mislead the radar display. One attack resulted in machinery being disabled, signals to fuel and ballast pumps being overridden and steering gear controls manipulated. Another was able to alter draught/water depth details in line with the spurious position data displayed on screen.

The test ship’s radar was hit in another attack, with success in eliminating radar targets, simply deleting them from the screen. At the same time, the system display showed that the radar was working perfectly, including detection thresholds.

A separate controlled attack was performed on the machinery control system. In this case, Naval Dome’s team chose to penetrate the system using an infected USB stick placed in an inlet/socket. The virus infecting ship systems can also be unwittingly transferred by the system manufacturer.