Marine Electronics





Sonar Refit
For Superyacht

Marel Electronics, FarSounder’s dealer in Greece, commissioned a FarSounder-500 on a refit project of a 120-m superyacht. Marel was contracted to supply, connect, integrate and commission the system. Chalkis Shipyard in Greece mounted the sonar directly on the hull per the drawings provided by the ship’s naval architect with the guidance and assistance of FarSounder.

Bridge officers expect this to increase the ship’s safety when approaching coastal shallow-water areas. Up to now, they had to rely on tenders and divers to check the seabed and waters ahead.


Climbing Robot for
Mooring Chain Inspection

A robot designed to hook onto, and scale up and down, large mooring chains, both subsea and in the air—with a nondestructive testing (NDT), ultrasonic imaging system on board that scans for critical defects—has undergone successful field trials. It will identify issues such as fatigue cracking.

The groundbreaking climbing robot, RIMCAW (Robotic Inspection of Mooring Chains in Air and Water), is the result of a year-long project that secured funding from Innovate UK, the government agency behind finding and driving the innovations that will grow the U.K. economy. It is being delivered by collaborative partners Computerised Information Technology Ltd., Innovative Technology and Science Ltd., London South Bank University and TWI Ltd.


Multibeam Sonar
For Stonehenge

Josh Gates from the Travel Channel series “Expedition Unknown” traveled to Great Britain to explore the origins of Stonehenge. From high in the air to deep under the sea, he found an unexpected network of monuments that could have inspired one of history’s most mystical locations.

Teledyne BlueView’s 3D multibeam scanning sonars were used to find and map what is believed to be the original inspiration for Stonehenge. A video clip is available at


Team Collaboration Software
On the Rise in Shipping

Software company SEDNA Systems (SEDNA) has reported a major uptake in the use of team collaboration and transaction management software by shipping companies. SEDNA predicts 2018 will be a breakthrough year in the wider adoption of these tools. Using cloud-based technology, 4.35 million messages were sent in 2017, and early evidence in 2018 indicates further rapid growth.

According to Bill Dobie, founder & CEO of SEDNA, this trend is set to have a transformative impact on commercial operations in the shipping sector: “When it comes to shipping’s digital transformation, the industry’s attention has been focused on vessel-based technologies, but there are also huge inefficiencies in the shore-based operations of many organizations. Personal email systems like Outlook were never meant for team collaboration or business transactions. For fast-moving environments, such as the offices of shipowners, brokers, charterers and traders, these outmoded tools are productivity killers. By contrast, team collaboration tools such as SEDNA can save users up to two full-time hours per day.”


Kalmar Fully Electric by 2021

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has committed to reduce emissions in cargo and material handling operations by fostering eco-efficient technologies. Kalmar’s full offering will be available as electrically powered versions by 2021, in line with Cargotec’s sustainability roadmap.

More than 50 percent of Kalmar cargo handling equipment is already available with electric power sources. Kalmar has also introduced its future vision for mobile equipment: the Kalmar Future Generation; driverless vehicles will enter logistic operations in industrial and material handling, expanding the benefits of automation to the full logistics chain.


Machine Deep Learning
For Autonomous Navigation

ASV Global is leading a research project in partnership with BMT to enhance the safety and reliability of autonomous navigation using deep-learning machine vision systems trained with simulated and real-world data. Partly funded by Innovate UK, this project will enhance situational awareness for a USV to operate in extreme and congested marine environments.

The Synthetic Imagery training for Machine Vision in Extreme Environments (SIMVEE) project will build on ASV’s existing, COLREG cognisant, autonomous collision avoidance and path planning capability. BMT’s REMBRANDT simulator will train and validate ASV Global’s vision algorithms to detect and classify objects at sea.


‘Honeycomb’ Material
Could Superpower Batteries

Scientists at the University of Missouri have created a material that could extend the life of batteries in electronics by more than 100 times. Semiconductor diodes and amplifiers, often made of silicon or germanium, are key in modern electronic devices. A team has developed a 2D, nanostructured material by depositing a magnetic alloy on the honeycomb structured template of a silicon surface. The new material conducts unidirectional current. The magnetic diode paves the way for new magnetic transistors and amplifiers that dissipate very little power, increasing the efficiency of the power source.


Electric Workboats
Clean Up Suzhou River

The City of Suzhou in eastern China has deployed a fleet of electric workboats powered by Torqeedo motors as part of a program to clean up its canals and waterways.

Suzhou is home to more than 10 million people. The 2,500-year-old city is noted for its many canals, rivers, lakes, ancient stone bridges, pagodas and gardens. Suzhou Creek, which flows through the city to Shanghai, was at one time said to be the most contaminated waterway in China. Over the past decade, the river has undergone a major transformation and is an acclaimed environmental success story.

As part of the cleanup program, the Suzhou River Management Administration commissioned the construction of 177 vessels designed specifically to remove floating debris from the water. The administration specified electric-powered boats for the project because of their environmentally friendly footprint, and after a competitive evaluation the builder selected Torqeedo to supply electric motors.

Torqeedo has now completed outfitting the entire fleet, which includes 18 9-m steel catamarans with twin Cruise 4.0 outboards, 22 7-m steel catamarans with twin Cruise 2.0 outboards and 137 5/6-m wooden boats with Cruise 2.0 outboards. The boats were designed and built by China Ship Scientific Research Center, owned by the Suzhou River Management Administration and operated by private contractors.


Partnership for Advanced
Machine Learning Subsea

Acteon Group and Arundo Analytics announced a partnership to deliver machine learning models for subsea applications on the Arundo Enterprise platform. Using its industry insight and subsea expertise, Acteon, will work with Arundo as one of its preferred partners to develop high-value advanced analytics for its operating companies. This will be used to support its global customer base, using tools including machine learning and artificial intelligence to help reach Acteon’s ambition of reducing the cost of asset ownership by 30 percent.


Ashtead Adds SPRINT-Nav
To Rental Fleet

Ashtead Technology has selected acoustic and inertial navigation technology from Sonardyne International Ltd. to add to its rental fleet. The multiple SPRINT-Nav systems will be made available to support survey and construction projects using ROVs and AUVs in water depths down to 4,000 m.

SPRINT-Nav makes optimal use of acoustic aiding from data sources including USBL, sparse LBL and DVL and pressure sensors to improve the accuracy, precision and reliability of subsea vehicle navigation. Its all-in-one design tightly couples Sonardyne’s SPRINT inertial and Syrinx Doppler technologies to enable marine robotic platforms to remain precisely on course over many kilometers traveled, even if one or two DVL beams become unavailable.


iXblue INS, USBL Chosen
For Titanic Expedition

OceanGate Inc. and iXblue are combining forces to conduct the first manned submersible expedition to the wreck of the RMS Titanic since 2005. iXblue’s Phins 6000 inertial navigation system and Posidonia USBL positioning system will be used for the accurate and reliable navigation and positioning of OceanGate’s Titan, the newest addition to the company’s fleet of deep-sea manned submersibles and the first privately owned manned submersible capable of reaching Titanic depths.

iXblue’s strap-down fiber-optic gyroscope (FOG) technology, Phins 6000 subsea inertial navigation system (INS), provides accurate position, heading, attitude, speed and depth information as the manned submersible captures laser data and the first-ever 4K images of the RMS Titanic shipwreck and debris fields. Its high-accuracy inertial measurement unit is coupled with an embedded digital signal processor that runs an advanced Kalman filter for optimum positioning of the subsea vehicle.

Increased positioning precision of Titan on the shipwreck site will be provided by Posidonia, iXblue’s long-range, high-accuracy USBL system operated from the surface ship and calibrated thanks to a Phins surface INS. Designed to track subsea vehicles to depths of 6,000 m at ranges reaching more than 10,000 m, Posidonia uses advanced acoustic modulation and digital signal processing technology and operates in the low frequency band for deep-sea tracking operations. To communicate with Posidonia, Titan is equipped with iXblue’s MT8 compact low-frequency transponder.


AI Development for
Oil, Gas E&P

Total and Google Cloud have signed an agreement to jointly develop artificial intelligence (AI) solutions applied to subsurface data analysis for oil and gas exploration and production (E&P). The agreement focuses on the development of AI programs that will make it possible to interpret subsurface images, notably from seismic studies (using computer vision technology), and automate the analysis of technical documents (using natural language processing technology). These programs will enable Total’s geologists, geophysicists, reservoir and geoinformation engineers to explore and assess oil and gas fields faster and more effectively.

Total geoscientists will work with Google Cloud’s machine learning experts in the same project team.


First Commercial AIS Payload On Radar Sat

exactEarth Ltd. announced the successful launch of an advanced AIS payload, exactView-8 (EV-8), aboard the Spanish radar satellite Paz. The satellite was launched from the Vandenberg Air Base in California using the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and is owned and operated by Hisdesat Servicios Estrategicos S.A. The hosted AIS payload is owned by exactEarth and is expected to be commissioned in the coming months.

The EV-8 payload is part of exactEarth’s first-generation constellation and is the first commercial AIS payload that has been launched on a radar satellite.

The Paz satellite was launched into the dawn-dusk sun synchronous orbit that is occupied by most of the world’s radar satellites and will be uniquely positioned to provide high-quality AIS vessel data fully time synchronous with the Paz radar and near synchronous with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery from other radar satellites.

The fusion of these two data sets for enhanced vessel identification is expected to be an important element of future maritime surveillance capabilities as authorities can now rapidly correlate two data sources to identify nonreporting or noncooperative vessels.


Globecomm Network Joins Amazon Web Services

Globecomm has joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) as a Standard Technology Partner. This agreement will enable Globecomm to seamlessly interoperate its global satellite and fiber network with AWS’s storage, compute and cloud content delivery services.

With multiple direct connections to AWS, Globecomm can provision customer content, work processes and resilient network connectivity into AWS. Customers already using AWS to support their processes can benefit from seamless access to Globecomm’s teleports, satellite capacity, fiber points of presence and cloud software applications running on AWS.

Globecomm is expanding its existing global points-of-presence with AWS within the North America, Central Europe and Southeast Asia regions.

The company anticipates deploying hybrid cloud-satellite-fiber solutions for customers in media and entertainment, enterprise video and IoT.

These hybrid solutions will reach beyond the edges of the network to remote facilities, ships, offshore platforms and vehicles in motion around the world.


IoT Pushes Forward
In Marine Space

Danelec Marine has teamed up with NAPA to deliver a complete cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) solution for ship performance analysis and optimization.

The new shipping IoT package combines Danelec’s efficient, low-cost shipboard data collection and data transfer platform with NAPA’s advanced analytics and optimization tools.

The integration with DanelecConnect allows NAPA to offer its shipping customers a comprehensive turnkey IoT package encompassing numerous elements from onboard data collection to actionable ship and fleet performance analysis. The DanelecConnect platform makes it easy for NAPA to capture data from shipboard sensors to use in cloud-based applications, thanks to the inclusion of an application programming interface (API) tool.

A recent Gartner report predicts that 5.5 million new IoT devices will come online every day in 2018, with more than 20.8 billion connected items by 2020.

While other industry sectors around the world are embracing IoT solutions as a central part of their business, the maritime market has lagged behind. By bringing together the shipboard and shore-side components in a cost-effective integrated cloud-based package, the shipping industry can now become part of the IoT revolution with far-reaching benefits across all aspects of ships, shipping and the logistics value chain.

The first joint NAPA/Danelec Marine IoT solution has undergone successful sea trials on a vessel, with further installations scheduled in 2018.


Asset Owners Need
Better Digital Strategies

Shipping should prepare for a future where total emphasis will be on the efficient and digitized movement of goods along the supply chain, rather than on the individual components of the chain such as the ships themselves, according to Morten Lind-Olsen, Norwegian entrepreneur and CEO of Dualog.

He said that the drivers for greater innovation and efficiencies are now the asset owners because they know that which ever among them has the better digital strategy will be the one to succeed because companies such as Amazon will demand that the perception of logistics from their point of view is fully understood.

“This means that the value will be derived from the goods themselves benefiting from the whole supply chain being digitized,” Lind-Olsen explained.

“People talk about digitization and the exciting opportunities it poses for shipping, but the real challenge so far has been to have enough IT connectivity between ship and shore. Now shipping has made this ‘big leap’ towards more stable and improved IT connectivity, the ships are able to react more in the same way its terrestrial counterparts have reacted over recent years,” he said.

This raises the question as to whether large IT and logistics powerhouses like Amazon will start to become shipowners. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon owns a shipping company soon, if they don’t already,” Lind-Olsen said.


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.


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.


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.