Nautronix Commissions Largest NASDive Digital Diver Communications System
Leading provider of through water communication and positioning technology to the offshore industry, Nautronix, has commissioned the largest NASDive digital diver communications system for GDA, who was working on an upgrade of the communication system on-board Submarine Rescue Vessel, the MV Belos for the Swedish Navy. The vessel provides support for the Swedish Navy, and is fitted with hyperbaric chambers to facilitate rescue of submariners in the event of an incident. It was recently on an exercise with the NATO Submarine Rescue system. Following that exercise, the chamber system upgrade took place, and included a full upgrade of the chamber communications system to NASDive. This involved communications to 8 individual locations in each of 4 chambers, 2 further locations in each of 5 locks and transfer chambers plus an additional 9 external communications locations, making an impressive total of 51 individual locations. NASDive is unique in digitising all speech at source, as a result of which the many problems associated with signal losses in cabling and connectors are eliminated, resulting in clear communications at all times, and along with improved unscramble algorithms and helium speech unscrambling, which are available for each communications location. System cabling is also simplified by the use of CAT5 cabling to each location, or if unavailable VDSL on screen twisted pairs would be used, both of which allow standard telecoms hardware to be utilised topside. Ethernet hubs are used to marshal the signals, and control of the system is provided via a touch screen Display and Control Unit (DCU). The dive supervisor has full control over all communication locations, and can manage the system by configuring any location into one or a number of groups, each of which the supervisor can select whether they are talking and/or listening to. Wireless supervisor headsets free up the supervisors movements to facilitate the other tasks they are responsible for, while each communication location has local control over microphone and headset volumes, and sideband levels, thus minimising the supervisors ‘housekeeping’ activities. The system was delivered 18 weeks from order following a full client witnessed FAT at Nautronix premises, and installed by the client, with final commissioning by 2 Nautronix engineers over a 4 day period 2 weeks later. The Belos installation has shown the power and flexibility of NASDive to facilitate high quality communications with a large number of locations, and be easily retrofitted to existing chamber systems. Mark Patterson, CEO for Nautronix, says “We are delighted to have supplied NASDive to GDA for the Swedish Navy and it is a significant order for Nautronix. We have recently been focusing on the development of NASDive and invested £1 million to refresh our diver communications product line which shows our commitment to the product and for the Swedish Navy to be using the system on one of their vessels is a testament to the advantages it offers to divers.”
Bulk Carriers to Adopt Wärtsilä Dual-Fuel Engine Technology The increasing use of LNG as a marine fuel is further emphasised with the latest order for Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel engine technology. A new cement carrier being built at the Scheepswerf Ferus Smit yard in the Netherlands will feature a 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF main engine, making it the first bulk carrier to adopt Wärtsilä’s multi fuel capability. The ship has been ordered by JT Cement, a joint venture between Erik Thun AB of Sweden and KG Jebsen Cement of Norway. In addition to the main engine, Wärtsilä will also supply an enclosed Gas Valve Unit (GVU) for easier installation and additional engine room safety. The order with Wärtsilä was placed in August. By opting for Wärtsilä’s proven dual-fuel (DF) technology, the vessel will be able to operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a choice of other fuels, including marine diesel fuel, bio fuel and heavy fuel oil. In gas mode, the engine fulfils the IMO’s Tier III requirements without need of any after treatment systems. This is especially important since the ship will operate in Northern European waters, meaning that it will spend time in Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA). “The arguments in favour of gas fuel are so strong that it is no surprise that more and more vessel types are adopting its use. LNG is no longer a ‘niche’ fuel for a few specific types of ship; nowadays virtually all merchant vessels can take advantage of the environmental and cost saving benefits that LNG fuel offers. Wärtsilä is proud to be a technology leader in making this possible,” says Lars Anderson, Vice President, 4-Stroke Sales, Wärtsilä Ship Power. “Wärtsilä has a well established and proven track record in dual-fuel engine technology. The selected Wärtsilä 34DF engine is a proven and flexible engine, which should ensure lower emissions and competitive energy and operation cost,” says Anders Källsson, Managing Director, Erik Thun AB. Wärtsilä has long standing relationships with both the shipyard and Erik Thun AB, having supplied a number of engines to these customers in the past. The current vessel is scheduled for delivery before the end of 2015. There is a possibility that a second cement carrier will be built as part of this particular series. The Wärtsilä 34DF engine The Wärtsilä 34DF engine is available in 6, 8, 9, 12 and 16 cylinder configurations. It can be operated on natural gas (LNG), MDF, Bio Fuel and HFO. The switch from gas to diesel can be made instantly and without loss of power. The engine has no operating restrictions and features 0 to 100% MCR (maximum continuous rating) in gas mode. The Wärtsilä 34DF engine has the lowest fuel and lube oil consumption in its class, in both gas and diesel modes.