Marine Electronics 2018



A Brief History of Sonar

One of JW Fishers Mfg.’s first sonar-like devices was invented by naval architect Lewis Nixon in 1906. His vision was to design a system that would allow naval captains to detect underwater icebergs and other threats. This detection system became more important after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Then, after WWI broke out in 1914, there was an immediate need for submarine detection. The first active sonar was developed in 1915 through a collaboration between Russian engineers and French physicists.

Sonar systems were first developed for military applications and have since become very helpful in underwater exploration. Scientists use sonar to map the seafloor, scan reefs and measure water depths. Police and dive rescue teams use sonar to find missing persons and evidence. Treasure hunters use it to locate shipwrecks and other valuable objects. Among the users of JW Fisher’s sonar tech today are the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and W.J. Castle of The Castle Group, comprising marine structural engineers and contractors.

AUV Prototype Progress

Autonomous Robotics Ltd. (ARL) has reported successful autonomous sea trials of a prototype “flying node” AUV at a location offshore Plymouth Harbour. The trial demonstrated the AUV autonomous navigation and seabed landing and take-off operation. The AUV demonstrated exceptionally stable flight and accurate navigation during the trial. This is a major milestone in the development of the flying node concept.

ARL is a U.K. marine robotics company that aims to offer a swarm of novel AUVs carrying industry-proven sensor packages that are autonomously deployed, positioned on the seabed and recovered, creating a new drone market.

Grant to Help Fund
Innovative Propulsion System

Whiskerstay Ltd. is planning a new development in electric marine vessels, with the help of a Rapid Innovation Grant from Marine-i.

There is much interest in the marine sector for electric and hybrid propulsion systems that can deliver good performance while being quiet and environmentally friendly. However, to date, the pace of development has been relatively slow.

Whiskerstay has devised a new propulsion solution for commercial and leisure marine vehicles. The Rapid Innovation Grant will be used to purchase the computer equipment needed to carry out vital system design and simulation work.

CSIRO Training for Falcon

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has begun training students to operate its new Saab Seaeye Falcon underwater robotic vehicle. This follows Falcon training for CSIRO staff at the organization’s facility in Hobart, Tasmania, by BlueZone, Saab Seaeye’s distributor in the region.

The course was adapted to give hands-on practical training for CSIRO staff in a week-long training program that includes theory and practical sessions.

The CSIRO Falcon includes high-intensity dimmable LED lighting, Tritech Super SeaPrince sonar and a Kongsberg OE14-502 HD zoom camera.

Satcom Chosen for
Ocean Cleanup

Iridium Communications Inc. has been selected as the preferred provider of satellite communications services for The Ocean Cleanup, the nonprofit organization deploying advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. The Ocean Cleanup’s work will start with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Iridium L-band satellite broadband services will be delivered in partnership with Iridium service provider The AST Group.

By creating a system of 600-m-long floating plastic collectors with a 3-m-deep skirt, The Ocean Cleanup collects plastic pollution through a combination of wind, waves, currents and floating screens that capture trash. Each system is equipped with two Iridium broadband terminals. Upon full deployment of a fleet of 60 floating screens, there will be 120 Iridium broadband terminals relaying critical systems data, including compartment flood detection, position and location information, pictures, video and system performance data.

Kongsberg Upgrades
Stena Drillship Systems

Stena Drilling contracted Kongsberg Maritime to deliver a complete upgrade of its systems aboard the Stena Carron DP Class 3 drillship. The vessel was due to dock in November for scheduled 10-year maintenance, during which new K-Pos Dynamic Positioning, K-Chief Automation, K-Thrust Thruster Control and a Kongsberg riser management system were to be installed. Kongsberg’s Kognifai digital platform will securely host the Kongsberg information management system (K-IMS), a decision support tool.

The Future of Seafarers

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has released a study on the potential effects of autonomous ships on the role of seafarers and the global shipping industry. With more than 1.6 million seafarers estimated to serve on merchant ships, the impact of autonomous ships requires thorough consideration.

The study indicates there will be no shortage of jobs for seafarers, especially officers, in the next two decades. The role of personnel on board and ashore will need redefinition.


More Falcons for
Salmon Farming

Huon Aquaculture has doubled its fleet of Saab Seaeye Falcons to four vehicles. The two new Falcons will join the fleet to inspect nets, rigging and moorings at Huon’s aquaculture pens. The pens are positioned in areas of strong current and rough water favored for salmon farming because it mimics the salmons’ natural habitat.

Huon produces more than 24,000 tonnes of farmed salmon a year.

Collaboration to Provide
Satellite Service

Singtel and KVH Industries Inc. have partnered to provide shipping companies a seamless broadband satellite service with KVH’s mini-VSAT broadband satellite connectivity across Asia-Pacific.

This satellite service will facilitate the use of digital solutions to improve operational efficiency, crew welfare and onboard safety. Vessels can harness real-time data on engine performance gleaned from onboard sensors to facilitate preventive maintenance and reduce maintenance costs; obtain information on weather patterns and sea currents to determine the ship’s most fuel-efficient route; and provide onshore operations staff regular updates on cargo status.

Singtel will provide its maritime customers with KVH’s product and service offerings, including AgilePlans, a subscription-based connectivity solution for commercial fleets.

New Digital Ship Notation for
Efficient Use of Digital Tech

RINA has launched the Digital Ship Notation, the first additional class notation available for shipowners willing to demonstrate the added value of their ship or fleet through the efficient use of digital technology. GNV is the first company to receive the new notation, certifying 11 ships of its fleet, all equipped with a data collection system.

RINA invested in the development of its own RINACube platform, launched in December 2017. It is cloud-based and can gather and integrate data and digital assets from various sources, interacting seamlessly with most common technologies on board.

Students Developing AUV
To Target Invasive Lionfish

Undergraduate students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are building an autonomous underwater robot that could help reduce the threat posed by an invasive species of fish that, unchecked by natural predators, threatens the well-being of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems in the coastal U.S., including commercially and recreationally important native fish.

In a multiyear effort launched last fall, WPI student teams are developing an untethered robot designed to autonomously hunt and harvest lionfish. The project’s goal is to reduce the invasive species’ impact on marine ecosystems from the Caribbean up to the coasts of Florida and Georgia. Since the fish is a pricey delicacy, the robot also could provide a new source of income for local fishermen.

Autonomous Navigation
Without GNSS

Sonardyne International Ltd. and Guidance Marine Ltd. are working together on a project that will help unmanned autonomous vessels navigate, even when they lose access to global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). The project will combine Sonardyne’s underwater positioning systems and Guidance Marine’s relative surface positioning systems to enable vessels to maintain safe passage in GNSS-denied environments, or for dynamic positioning systems to maintain their position if they lose GNSS access or other sensors fail.

The Innovate UK-backed AutoMINDER (Autonomous MarIne Navigation in Denied EnviRonments) project will also create a common interface structure to allow the different sensors to be fed into one platform and develop an industry standard.

Digitalization Research
To Aid Oil, Gas Industry

The Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) is supporting three new research projects centered on how digitalization can improve efficiency and cost savings for the oil and gas industry. Three companies have teamed up with Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) School of Computing Science and Digital Media to carry out research into the digital transformation of the oilfield.

DNV GL is developing an interactive program extracting and processing information from images of piping and instrumentation diagrams and other types of engineering drawings. This will speed up the collection of data for use in technical applications. ComplyAnts is developing an automated system to manage the compliance process, aiming to deliver a fully functional prototype within 12 months. IDS is developing a data-driven tool to predict task durations, associated risk and NPT.

Space Project to Refine
Ocean Color Measurements

Led by the European Space Agency with support from the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, the FRM4SOC (Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour) project aims to catalog the quality and uncertainty of various commercial radiometers to increase confidence in satellite measurements of ocean color.

Sea-Bird Scientific participated with 13 organizations from eight countries. For stage one, Sea-Bird sent OCR-200s to several calibration labs for comparison data. Stage two involved sending HyperOCRs and members of Sea-Bird’s science team to the Estonian Space Research Centre for field measurements and analysis of sensor uncertainty. Among the participating scientists, researchers from Sea-Bird Scientific were the sole ones from an instrument manufacturer.


New Pressure Test Facility
For Marine Tech Development

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s (WHOI) Center for Marine Robotics kicked off its fourth annual Entrepreneur Showcase and Leadership Forum with the official opening of a new pressure test facility that will help researchers and companies better develop innovative marine technologies. The new facility will allow WHOI to replicate the pressure of the deep ocean in an onshore facility, which will more than triple the project capacity of its existing manually operated system, allow for unattended 24/7 operations, and expand the ability of researchers and private firms to test their marine robotics and sensor systems.

The pressure test facility is the second piece of infrastructure constructed under a $5 million dollar award to WHOI’s Center for Marine Robotics from the Commonwealth’s Collaborative Research and Development Matching Grant Program, an effort managed by the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech).
The launch of this new R&D test facility will help accelerate WHOI’s ability to support entrepreneurs, small and medium-size businesses and established marine robotics technologies, fueling innovation and growth in the sector and in Massachusetts’s economy.

The new facility replaces an aging 50-year-old pressure test vessel, incorporating increased precision, programmable, computer-aided controls and safety.

According to “The Massachusetts Robotics Cluster” report sponsored by MassTech and published by ABI Research, global revenue for unmanned underwater vehicles was $2.2 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow to $4.6 billion by 2020.

Smartrak on Sabertooth
For Underwater Survey

A new way to hunt down and survey buried submarine pipelines, energy cables and communication cables comes as Innovatum teams up its Smartrak magnetic sensor system to a Saab Seaeye Sabertooth autonomous robotic vehicle. Smartrak is a small survey system that enables high-quality data at a much lower cost.

Skimming just 2 m off the seabed in shallow turbulent waters typical of installation sites, Sabertooth can handle the outrigged Smartrak with its iCON intelligent control system. Sabertooth with Smartrak navigates autonomously to the target pipeline or cable, follows it, measures its position and records its depth of burial.

Such data are essential for installation contractors, owners and regulatory authorities to ensure that pipelines and cables are properly buried and not in danger of being exposed to damage.

In the future, Innovatum plans to fit its Smartsearch UXO system to the Sabertooth for hunting down unexploded ordnance. The company already operates Smartrak on three of Saab Seaeye’s ROV models.


Slow-Speed Engines
Better for Long Term

The Swedish Club warns that vessel operators should always look to the long term when specifying the type of engines to be installed across the fleet. Latest statistics from the club show that vessels propelled by medium/high-speed engines have a claims frequency 2.5 times higher than slow-speed engines, with an average claims cost close to $650,000.

“Main Engine Damage,” the latest loss prevention report from The Swedish Club, sheds light on an expensive category of damage that is all too frequent. Statistically, a vessel will suffer one to two incidences of main engine damage during its lifetime.

The report shows that bulkers and tankers are the best performers for claims cost. Most of these vessels have slow-speed engines. Conversely, passenger vessels/ferries have the highest frequency of main engine claims. Often, these vessels have multiple medium-speed engine installations. The same is also true for Ro-Ro vessels.

Lubrication failure is still the most expensive and frequent cause of damage, followed by incorrect maintenance and/or repairs.
The publication includes loss prevention advice from the major engine manufacturers MAN Engines and Wärtsilä.

Emission-Free Fuel Cell
Power Plant for Ships

ABB and Ballard Power Systems have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a next-generation fuel cell power system for sustainable marine e-mobility.

The fuel cell power system, to be jointly designed, developed and validated, will help accelerate the industry-wide adoption of sustainable solutions for marine e-mobility and help shipowners meet the increasing demands for clean operations.

ABB and Ballard Power Systems will leverage the existing kilowatt-scale fuel cell technologies and optimize them to create a pioneering megawatt-scale solution suitable for powering larger ships. With an electrical generating capacity of 3 MW (4,000 hp), the new system will fit in a single module no bigger in size than a traditional marine engine running on fossil fuels.

The proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEM) convert the chemical energy from hydrogen into electricity through an electrochemical reaction. They involve no combustion, converting fuel directly to electricity, heat and clean water.

With the use of renewables to produce the hydrogen, the entire energy chain can be clean.

Foss Looks to Software
To Tighten Operations

Foss Maritime has begun to centralize its fleet management and operations with Helm CONNECT, a marine software platform.

Foss intends to better organize and streamline operations across core business units and wholly owned subsidiaries along the U.S. West Coast and in Hawaii and Alaska.

Foss will centralize its vessel dispatching, billing, maintenance, compliance and personnel management in the Helm CONNECT software platform.

Seattle-based Foss Maritime has one of the largest tug and barge fleets in the United States.

Smaller REMUS Enables
More Applications

Hydroid has collaborated with Nortek to create a compact, portable AUV capable of single-person operation that would open up new possibilities for deployment.

The REMUS M3V is an AUV of A-size form factor (0.91 by 0.12 m).

The compact size of the M3V makes it ideal for many applications, including marine life research, underwater assessment of oil and gas installations and offshore wind turbines, oil spill response, and military applications. The A-size form factor means the REMUS M3V can be launched from the air, on the surface and even submerged below the sea.

The REMUS M3V has Nortek small-form Doppler velocity log (DVL) sensors and related equipment to help accurately measure the AUV’s velocity and altitude relative to the seafloor down to 300-m depth.

Joint Subsea-Surface
Survey Operations Demo

The ability for multiple unmanned subsea and surface systems to work together on joint survey missions, controlled from shore, has taken a step closer to operational reality following a two-week trial in Scotland’s Loch Ness.

Sonardyne International Ltd.’s USBL acoustic positioning and AvTrak telemetry systems enabled a USV to locate, track and command and control a UUV. Position and mission status updates were transmitted to shore via surface communications. The mission also included through-water transfer of data collected by a Sonardyne Solstice multi-aperture sonar on the UUV to the USV using Sonardyne’s BlueComm optical modem.

The demonstrations, involving the National Oceanography Centre’s (NOC) Autosub Long Range (ALR) and ASV Global’s C-Worker 5, were the culmination of the three-year Autonomous Surface and Sub-surface Survey System (ASSSS) project, led by ASV Global, with partners Sonardyne, NOC and SeeByte Ltd., supported with funding from Innovate UK and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

The need to collect more data from the marine environment means that marine autonomous systems need to be at sea for longer. Pairing a UUV or AUV with a USV means that positioning accuracy can be optimized on missions lasting weeks, if not months, without the need for manned surface vessel support. By using optical and acoustic communications systems, the survey data can also be accessed more economically and missions can be updated on the fly, according to what is found, without the UUV having to surface or needing to be recovered.

Joint Subsea-Surface
Survey Operations Demo

The ability for multiple unmanned subsea and surface systems to work together on joint survey missions, controlled from shore, has taken a step closer to operational reality following a two-week trial in Scotland’s Loch Ness.

Sonardyne International Ltd.’s USBL acoustic positioning and AvTrak telemetry systems enabled a USV to locate, track and command and control a UUV. Position and mission status updates were transmitted to shore via surface communications. The mission also included through-water transfer of data collected by a Sonardyne Solstice multi-aperture sonar on the UUV to the USV using Sonardyne’s BlueComm optical modem.

The demonstrations, involving the National Oceanography Centre’s (NOC) Autosub Long Range (ALR) and ASV Global’s C-Worker 5, were the culmination of the three-year Autonomous Surface and Sub-surface Survey System (ASSSS) project, led by ASV Global, with partners Sonardyne, NOC and SeeByte Ltd., supported with funding from Innovate UK and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

The need to collect more data from the marine environment means that marine autonomous systems need to be at sea for longer. Pairing a UUV or AUV with a USV means that positioning accuracy can be optimized on missions lasting weeks, if not months, without the need for manned surface vessel support. By using optical and acoustic communications systems, the survey data can also be accessed more economically and missions can be updated on the fly, according to what is found, without the UUV having to surface or needing to be recovered.


Rock Seven’s RockFLEET global tracking and messaging system, has been selected as one of four approved devices in a mandated scheme to install a vessel monitoring system (VMS) to all commercial fishing boats in Queensland, Australia. All commercial fishing and charter boats will require a vessel tracking device to be fitted and operational by 2020. Net, crab and line boats, meanwhile, will need to have a VMS in place from January 1, 2019. Rock Seven’s partner Option Audio will manage the installation and ongoing management of the units in-country.

RockFLEET is the only Iridium-based solution available for Queensland’s fishing vessels.


A Brief History of
Underground, Undersea Piping

What do modern day people and ancient Egyptians have in common? Underground piping. The very first metal piping can be traced back to copper pipes buried and used by ancient Egyptians to carry wastewater. The first manufacturers of modern metal pipes appeared well over a century ago in Great Britain.

Keeping track of buried or undersea pipelines is a challenge. The Global Positioning System constellation of satellites revolutionized efforts to address this tracking issue.

For undersea pipes, regulations require they be buried from several feet to several meters under the bottom to prevent snagging by anchors and fishing. Additional and increasingly strict rules exist for piping in heavily polluted areas. This depth of burial makes it difficult to locate pipelines with conventional metal detectors as they are often beyond the device’s detection range.

JW Fishers Mfg. has developed a solution: the PT-1 Pipe Tracker, a magnetometer that detects variations in pipeline (couple or ends) to help in tracking and location. The geological survey company Lighthouse has successfully used the PT-1 Pipe tracker on a project in the Caspian region of Eurasia.

KVH Rolls Out
Cybersecurity Protection

KVH Industries Inc. has announced “6-Level Cybersecurity,” a group of initiatives to provide proactive cybersecurity protection for the KVH hardware and maritime VSAT satellite network. KVH’s cybersecurity strategy addresses seafarer training, as many incidents can begin unknowingly with the crew. All vessels subscribing to KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadbandsm connectivity service will be able to receive the KVH Videotel “Cybersecurity at Sea” training program at no cost.

Other levels of KVH’s cybersecurity strategy involve: satellite network security; terrestrial network security; hardware and network configuration; protected internet egress; and response to threats and incidents.

Satellite Link Enhances
Remote Vehicle Control

Saab Seaeye has enhanced global remote control of its electric underwater robotic vehicles via satellite link and 4G networks. Remote control of the Leopard electric robotic work vehicle has been upgraded to include control of the TMS. Such remote operations will bring considerable savings to the oil and gas industry by reducing the need for offshore piloting personnel and advancing the potential for long-distance control of remote resident systems. Other robotic work and inspection vehicles can be controlled in this way, including the Sabertooth, a hybrid system that can operate as a roaming AUV and an ROV that can perform light work tasks.

Grant for Inshore Survey USV

Marine-i, the EU-funded program to boost the marine technology sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, has made a grant award to Ultrabeam Hydrographic for the Ultra-USV, a 3-m catamaran designed to gather fast, accurate and highly detailed survey data in challenging locations. The Ultra-USV can hold its position accurately even in river currents and can achieve much closer inspection of features than conventional craft.

The grant will enable a fully engineered prototype for extensive sea trials, with a view to bringing the USV to market by the end of 2018.

Pilot Project for Vessel
Maintenance, Innovation

Tufton Oceanic’s asset management company Oceanic Marine Management (OMM) and Lloyd’s Register (LR) will collaborate on a project for maintenance optimization and digital innovation that will cover two vessels in the OMM fleet and provide the strategy to implement condition-based monitoring.

The initial stages will use a reliability centered maintenance approach utilizing LR’s RTAMO software.

Cloud Data Centers in Norway

Equinor and Microsoft have entered a strategic partnership agreement to shape and accelerate the development of fit-for-purpose IT services for the energy industry and secure a faster transition to the cloud.

Cloud services from Microsoft’s new data center locations in Norway are planned to come into operations late 2019.

Search Engine for Certified
Suppliers, Manufacturers

Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore launched the Approval Explorer, a free web application at https://approvalexplorer.bureau
. The tool uses a powerful search engine that allows all maritime stakeholders to identify, locate and contact Bureau Veritas-approved service suppliers or manufacturers, as well as search for certified products and materials, all around the world.

Testing of JANUS
Protocol Capabilities

Teledyne Benthos took part in a JANUS Interoperability Fest hosted by the NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), based in La Spezia, Italy. The Teledyne Benthos UTS-9400 deck box and ATM-900 Series modems proved their ability to provide an interoperable real-time implementation of the JANUS protocol utilizing commercial-off-the-shelf acoustic communication hardware.

JANUS is the new NATO underwater acoustic communications standard.


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.