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SPECIAL REPORT

Innovations in Integrated Navigation Systems for Vessel Bridge Operations Marine Technologies Offers Innovative Integrated Navigation Solutions The Big Picture Ships That Serve Control and Stability A Commanding Position

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Complete Solutions for Vessel Control and Communications

Meet the Challenges of Today and Tomorrow with Marine Technologies . Dynamic Positioning (DP) Class 1, 2 and 3 systems . Bridge Mate™ Integrated Bridge System (IBS) . Thruster Control System compatible with most thrusters, main engines and rudders . Fully integrated architecture . Designed for flexibility and redundancy . Meets DnV NAUT-OSV/AW and ABS requirements . Basic and advanced DP certification training in Singapore, Dubai, Svendborg (Denmark), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Louisiana (USA)

. Anatel-, Intelsat- and Eutelsat-approved Ku-band BB100 MKIII, BB125 and BB150 VSAT global broadband antennas . Remote access, monitoring and diagnostics . Worldwide technical support . True END-to-END communication solutions . Network operations center (NOC) available around the clock

Marine Technologies, LLC Marine Technologies, LLC · 1111 Decker Drive · Mandeville, LA 70471 · (985) 951-7771 · sales-us@mtllc.us Marine Technologies, LLC · Hovlandsveien 44 · 4370 Egersund · Norway · (+47) 51 46 18 66 · sales-norway@mtllc.us MT – Marine Technologies Pte, Ltd · 17D Tuas Road · Singapore 637817 · (+65) 3106 4070 · sales-singapore@marine-technologies.sg www.marine-technologies.com


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

SPECIAL REPORT

Innovations in Integrated Navigation Systems for Vessel Bridge Operations Marine Technologies Offers Innovative Integrated Navigation Solutions

Contents

The Big Picture Ships That Serve Control and Stability A Commanding Position

Foreword 2 John Hancock, Editor

Marine Technologies Offers Innovative Integrated Navigation Solutions

3

Marine Technologies LLC Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Editor John Hancock Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Marine Technologies LLC, Application Manager A User-Friendly Navigation Solution ECDIS Integration with Heading and Track Control System A Benefit to Shipyards, Vessel Owners and Users More Cost-Efficient Operations with Remote Diagnostics and Monitoring The Future is Now About Marine Technologies, LLC

The Big Picture

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John Hancock, Editor

Success in Leaner Times Long-Term Global Growth Shows no Sign of Slowing A Challenge can be an Opportunity

Ships That Serve

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Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

The Vessels that Keep it all Running Ubiquitous and Multi-Purpose The Route to Greater Efficiency

Control and Stability

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Francis Slade, Staff Writer

Directional Control Has Evolved Into a System Dynamic Positioning Makes Control More Accurate Keeping the Vessel Stable and Safe Where We Are Now

A Commanding Position

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John Hancock, Editor

Managing Navigation and its Systems Control Means Seeing and Having Access to All Functions The Latest Developments

References 14

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

Foreword

A

T THE time of writing, the carbon energy sector faced difficult challenges. From being a sector able almost to command its price, oil and gas now finds itself in a world where price cannot be guaranteed to cover the more expensive undertakings in their current form; and there are few more expensive undertakings than winning oil and gas from beneath the oceans. And yet, there is still, and is likely to continue to be, high and growing long-term demand for the products – in short, population and expectations from life will continue to grow inexorably. In order to continue to thrive, industry must seek greater efficiency in every part of the process, which will undoubtedly include the vessels linking the supply chain to the users of supplies out on the high seas. One way of achieving that efficiency is for the vessels to each undertake more of the functions currently carried out by multiple classes while another route to efficiency is the more traditional reduction in crewing; adding up to less people undertaking more roles. That is where the subject of this paper comes in, a better designed, more capable, better situated navigation system and workstation will make it possible for less people to control more operations but with less stress supporting greater concentration on the tasks in hand.

The opening article in this Special Report looks at the Integrated Navigation System designed by Marine Technologies (MT), which is deigned to integrate MT’s proprietary applications, including dynamic positioning, thruster control, conning, ECDIS and radar with a host of third party applications such as automation systems, DP reference systems, sonar and trawl systems into a single, simplified control interface. This gives the vessel operator easy access to all applications from anywhere on the bridge and MT’s Integrated Navigation System makes all applications needed for bridge operations available on any MultiFunction Workstation. The second piece looks at the bigger picture alluded to above in the context of the sector’s place in the wider economy before moving on Peter Dunwell’s article about the vessels at the heart of the subject. Francis Slade then considers the imperatives of control for those vessels before we conclude with a look at the workstations from which the whole job is managed. The sector knows that it faces challenges and here are some means by which those challenges can be met.

John Hancock Editor

John Hancock joined as Editor of Offshore Reports in early 2012. A journalist for more than 25 years, John has written and edited articles and papers on a range of engineering, support services and technology topics as well as for key events in the sector. Subjects have included aero-engineering, auto-engineering and electronics, high value manufacturing, testing, aviation IT, materials engineering, weapons research, supply chain, logistics and naval engineering.

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Marine Technologies Offers Innovative Integrated Navigation Solutions Marine Technologies LLC

M

ARINE TECHNOLOGIES (MT) offers a state-of-the-art Integrated Navigation System (INS) designed to integrate MT’s proprietary applications – including dynamic positioning, thruster control, conning, ECDIS and radar – with third party applications – such as automation systems, DP reference systems, sonar and trawl systems – into a single, simplified control interface. This provides the vessel operator with easy access to all applications from anywhere on the bridge. MT’s unique Integrated Navigation System makes all applications needed for bridge operations available on any Multi-Function Workstation (MFW). In order to make multiple applications available on each MFW, MT has developed an Application Manager interface (pictured below). The Application Manager functions like

a computer desktop, displaying all applications needed to operate the vessel safely.

Marine Technologies LLC, Application Manager The MT Application Manager is designed to simplify operations in stressful environments, contributing to overall vessel safety. The software allows up to four different vessel operators to configure as many as five different operating modes – including day or night modes – enabling a quick reconfiguration of applications to accommodate various vessel operations. In addition, a variety of useful commands are built into the MT Application Manager, such as Calibrate Touch Screen, Clean Screen, Remote to Other Operator Station, Print Screen, etc. With this convenient and user-friendly interface, vessel operators are no longer required to go to

AVAILABLE APPLICATIONS ARE SHOWN AS SQUARE BUTTONS POSITIONED AROUND A CIRCLE. EACH BUTTON FUNCTIONS AS A SHORTCUT TO A DIFFERENT APPLICATION. FEWER APPLICATIONS MEAN FEWER BUTTONS. THE APPLICATION MANAGER GIVES THE OPERATOR THE ABILITY TO START, STOP OR OPEN ANY APPLICATION WITH A MOUSE CLICK. THE TEXT IN EACH BUTTON IS COLOR-CODED TO INDICATE THE PRESENT STATE OF ACTIVITY. ORANGE TEXT INDICATES THAT THE APPLICATION IS RUNNING. GREY TEXT SHOWS THAT THE APPLICATION IS TURNED OFF. A RED CROSS BEHIND THE TEXT TELLS THE OPERATOR THAT THE APPLICATION IS NOT AVAILABLE ON THAT OPERATOR STATION.

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

Dynamic Positioning Integrated Bridge Systems ECDIS Autopilot Thruster Control Seismic Tracking Automation Position Keeping System

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

With this convenient and user-friendly interface, vessel operators are no longer required to go to different workstations to access each application, giving them more time to pay attention to their surroundings

different workstations to access each application, giving them more time to pay attention to their surroundings.

A User-Friendly Navigation Solution Bridge navigation solutions should be designed in such a way that essential information is presented in a precise and timely manner, reducing workload and enabling the vessel navigator to correctly assess the situation and direct full attention to the decision at hand. Having all navigation functions available on each MFW enables a more compact and ergonomically-designed bridge with fewer workstations than conventional bridge systems. Navigation functions utilized in conventional workstations can also be integrated into MT’s MFW concept. Functions such as Automation, Power Management, CCTV, Radar and ECDIS can all be accessed from MT’s Multi-Function Workstation. There are a few requirements that have to be met in order for third party software to be implemented into the MT MWF concept. This includes identifying the operating system the software is written for, and determining its compatibility and ability to communicate over Ethernet. MT will NOT accept any third party software using broadcast messaging, as it is impossible to control this method of communicating between different devices.

ECDIS Integration with Heading and Track Control System The Bridge Mate ECDIS is fully integrated with MT Bridge Mate Heading Control System (HCS) and Track Control System (TCS). With the integrated steering mode panel (pictured below) MT’s ECDIS has a new unique interface with the MT HCS autopilot and TCS, making it possible to change the course and enter track control from within the ECDIS.

A Benefit to Shipyards, Vessel Owners and Users The major benefit of the INS for shipyards is less cabling, as all sensors connect to two independent sensor concentrators, providing sensor information via redundant Ethernet for all applications. There is also less cabling required for the thruster interfaces, as each thruster is wired 4 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

to a single thruster card with a redundant Ethernet interface that all applications can read. For the owner, the INS is designed for easy and cost efficient service and maintenance, with standardized hardware components and inherent remote diagnostics modules, allowing for few spare-parts onboard to cover all INS applications and efficient remote diagnostics. For the user, the benefit is a common user interface with all applications available at multiple MFWs. This translates into safer operations, with a recognizable user interface for all applications, and complete vessel control always within easy reach of the vessel operator. More Cost-Efficient Operations with Remote Diagnostics and Monitoring Efficient communication is critical to meeting the demands of competitive shipping operations. By enabling remote monitoring and diagnostics, and often remote maintenance and repair of onboard systems, downtime can be greatly reduced, along with the need for service personnel. The result is a saving in both time and money. The ability to remotely monitor ship positions from ashore enables better ship routing in regard to weather. Automatic transfer and updating of navigational and administrative information can also enhance safety and reduce workload for the crew. In addition, effective communication solutions can provide opportunities for remote training and improved crew supervision. In response to industry demand for superior communications solutions, MT has entered into the realm of global satellite communications with the launch of its new C-Comm™ Anatel-, Intelsat- and Eutelsat-approved Ku band BB100 1m, BB-125 1.25M and BB150 1.5M VSAT global broadband antennas. A total communication solution provider, C-Comm offers true END-to-END communication solutions.

The Future is Now Meeting International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards for e-Navigation, MT’s new Multi-Function Workstation solution is designed to bring more efficient vessel navigation to the maritime and offshore community – both today and tomorrow. The MT Integrated Navigation System is recognized around the world for its simplicity in design and intelligent engineering – leading the way for a safer and more confident vessel operating environment.

About Marine Technologies, LLC Marine Technologies, LLC (MT) is a U.S.-based company dedicated to providing superior vessel control solutions to the international offshore and


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

For more information, visit www.marine-technologies.com

The MT Integrated Navigation System is recognized around the world for its simplicity in design and intelligent engineering – leading the way for a safer and more confident vessel operating environment

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commercial shipping industries. MT’s products include dynamic positioning systems, integrated bridge systems, thruster control systems and advanced VSAT communications. The company is headquartered in Mandeville, Louisiana, with offices in Norway, Singapore and Brazil. MT was established in 2002 with a goal to develop a better dynamic positioning (DP) system. Within sixteen months, the first vessel equipped by MT was awarded a DP-2 classification by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). Today, MT has become a one-stop resource for the shipping and offshore industries, offering a variety of cutting-edge vessel control systems and related services. MT produces and delivers type-approved DP systems representing all International Maritime Organization (IMO) classes, as well as less complex DP and joystick solutions. If it’s sophistication that’s needed, MT’s Bridge Mate Integrated Bridge System (IBS) holds the DNV-type approval of NAUT-OSV/AW – the most comprehensive bridge class notation in the industry today. Completing MT’s range of services is C-Comm, a telephone and satellite communication solution that partners with VSAT antenna providers and Intelsat – the world’s largest satellite communications operator – to offer customers affordable, seamless global coverage at affordable prices.

Global Ku Band VSAT Equipment Network Operations Center VoIP Global Fleet Management System Marine Weather Remote Access and Monitoring Turn-Key Solution

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

The Big Picture John Hancock, Editor As with any component in a process, offshore support vessels are not immune to global trends

In order to remain competitive in whatever economic conditions might prevail in the future, offshore operators will need to find ways of making every part of their business more efficient and that will include the vessels serving the installations on which the offshore process depends

E

VERYTHING AROUND the offshore oil and gas sector today has to at least acknowledge the changed economic circumstances in which the energy industry finds itself. The price of oil has fallen, which has changed significantly the business model for the sector. But it hasn’t altered the fact that the world needs energy; and for the foreseeable future that energy will mainly come from oil and gas. So, how might things change? It might not be that complicated. Guy Chazan, Claer Barrett and David Oakley in the FT1 explained, “Since the price of crude began to slide last year, expectations have been high that the oil sector could see a repetition of the mergers and acquisitions fever that reconfigured the industry in the late 1990s. Some significant deals have already materialized...” But whether it’s through mergers and acquisitions, a leaner process or a combination of ideas, in order to remain competitive in whatever economic conditions might prevail in the future, offshore operators will need to find ways of making every part of their business more efficient and that will include the vessels serving the installations on which the offshore process depends. Mark Latham, writing in The Herald Scotland2 takes an optimistic view. “…the future for one of Scotland’s most important industries is far from as bleak as has been painted [and] the prospects for 2015 are looking decidedly better… Sir Ian Wood… predicted that conditions would begin to recover next year [2015]. A look at the price of benchmark Brent crude over the last three decades shows that prices have, from a historical perspective, been unusually high and stable in the last four years. So talks of a crash in prices are only relative. It could equally well be said that the oil price has corrected to somewhere closer to its historic average.” Also, the ‘Green’ lobby need take no comfort from the current hiatus in offshore oil and gas. Writing in Our Finite World3, Gail Tverberg explained; “Many people believe that renewables can eventually take over the

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role of fossil fuels. For those with this view, low oil prices are a problem, because they discourage the hoped-for transition to renewables. Despite all of the statements made about renewables, they don’t really substitute for oil.” That view is borne out by the UK Government’s4 Industrial Strategy for UK Oil & Gas which says, “As the UK pursues a long-term process to decarbonize our society, we will need substantial amounts of oil and gas. Gas will assist, for example, the transition away from coal powered generation. Low-carbon transport is unlikely to replace all petrol and diesel vehicles for two or more decades. Britain’s energy security and long-term economic performance will benefit hugely from maintaining the health of this key industrial sector.”

Long-Term Global Growth Shows no Sign of Slowing Looking beyond these industrial reasons why offshore oil and gas is not in as bad shape as some pundits might believe, there is also the global economy. The simple fact of population growth underpins future demand growth and therefore long-term price stability at higher than current levels; and the population just continues to rise. Most predictions suggest that the world’s population will grow by more than 1.1 billion people between 2010 and 2025 of which 1 billion will be added to the urban consumer class as growing populations also migrate from rural, low energy consumption areas to cities, where their consumption of energy will rise exponentially. While growing efficiency might well drive falling demand in developed economies, for developing and emerging economies, efficiency gains are likely to do little more than offset some of the demands of economic growth and burgeoning populations. In the paper ‘Global Trends in Oil & Gas Markets to 2025’5 LUKOIL predicts; “…a number of trends will support oil prices in the medium term.” continuing to list some of those growth factors as… • Population growth, urbanization; • Motorization in Asia;


• Growing costs of exploration and production; • OPEC policy; • Dollar depreciation.

A Challenge can be an Opportunity But the price today is what it is and sensible operators will use the current situation as an opportunity to drive costs out and efficiency in to the process. Even when prices rise, there should still be an imperative for efficiency. The introduction notes to 2014 PILOT Share Fair, Oil & Gas UK6 stated that, “The UK oil and gas industry’s urgent need to improve its efficiency and reduce costs will provide a key focus…” There is a clear choice for offshore oil and gas operators. They can either abandon assets and investments which have cost them huge expenditure (capital and current) or find ways to improve the costs of what remains a very expensive business in order to find a break-

even point at which the operation will be sustainable at lower prices (albeit that they will rise from the present level). In this, the link to the technologies that are the subject of this paper is clear. If ways can be found to reduce the costs and efficiency of the supply and support vessels on which everybody depends, with no loss of but an enhancement to safety and functionality, then the potential for savings will be tremendous. As exploration and production move to ever more distant and hostile parts of the oceans, so the vessels that provide vital links to and from the platforms and that provide the safety and operational back-up to make offshore operations as safe and comfortable as can be achieved in the circumstances become increasingly important. Most of the rest of this paper will be about those vessels but it is important to remember that, like everything else, they operate in a wider economic context.

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

Dynamic Positioning Integrated Bridge Systems ECDIS Autopilot Thruster Control Seismic Tracking Automation Position Keeping System

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

Ships That Serve Peter Dunwell, Correspondent Offshore ships undertake many roles and there are many different types of vessel to fit the bill

Having multiple functions to manage means that the bridge has to incorporate increasing numbers of systems and this is further added to by the incorporation of Dynamic Positioning Systems

The Vessels that Keep it all Running How can you operate an industrial installation tens or hundreds of miles away from shore? Drilling Info7 has the answer: “Supply boats... These vessels make regularly scheduled trips to and from the rigs, bringing necessary equipment, food and other supplies”. They are the workhorses of the offshore oil and gas sector but they are far from unsophisticated machines: the various vessels that supply and support offshore installations are among the highest level technologies in use in the sector. From transporting men, materials, tools and supplies to the offshore place of work, to transporting products away to the refineries and markets onshore; from providing stable platforms from which construction and repairs can be carried out on site (saving an expensive return to the shipyard) to moving platforms when necessary and offering the ability to fight fires or provide a safe place for workers… the tasks undertaken by these ubiquitous vessels are numerous. Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) range from 50 to 100 meters in length and are equipped to deliver and load their cargoes without the support of outside infrastructure. While their primary function is to transport people and goods to and remove waste from platforms, they are, to an increasing degree becoming multi-functional. Having multiple functions to manage means that the bridge has to incorporate increasing numbers of systems and this is further added to by the incorporation of Dynamic Positioning Systems (DPS) in recent generations of vessels. People with the skills to handle these vessels and their systems are expensive. Therefore, whatever can be done to reduce crew numbers without compromising effectiveness or safety will be a welcome development for an operator.

Ubiquitous and Multi-Purpose The variety of cargoes carried on PSVs would be too long for this paper but, to give an idea, in addition to the usual cargoes of liquids, bulk materials and solid items carried to platforms, 8 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

some vessels are also able to transport containers with anything from food to equipment to fuel. And they will also be able to carry away the platforms waste products. Offshore Support Vessels (OSVs) are often stationed near to an installation as a long term component in the system to offer accommodation to workers on platforms where accommodation is limited or where a work program requires a temporary increase in accommodation or storage capacity. However, to a growing extent, the distinctions between PSVs and OSVs are blurring as operators seek the greater efficiency of one vessel that can do everything… or, at least, several things. Maritime Connector8 has ‘catalogued’ offshore ships to include… • Drillships; •F  PSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading) vessels; •O  ffshore Barges – often used in construction programs; • Offshore Utility Vessels – often multi-purpose; • Platform supply vessels; and • Various speciality vessels. The list is by no means complete, but a majority of vessels will fall into one of those categories. In describing their own vessels, Ulstein ship design, ship building and system solutions summarize the class9; “These vessels are specialized for efficient supply and support operations worldwide. For excellent operability, even under harsh weather conditions, these highly versatile ship designs give optimum cargo capacity, low noise levels, low fuel consumption, high transit speed and optimum sea-keeping capabilities.” As well as the roles cited above, vessels can be used to prevent and fight fires, move equipment around within a field or to and from the shore and support the installation of a new or replacement structure. In fact, vessels are now being developed to undertake ever more of the tasks required to get energy to market. Traditionally, product has been transported to land for refining (oil) or liquefying (gas). But, the


world’s largest vessel is an offshore support vessel which will be used to liquefy gas. As the BBC’s Science Editor, David Shukman put it when he visited the vessel under construction in 201410, “To exploit the Prelude gas field more than 100 miles off the northwest coast of Australia, Shell has opted to bypass the step of bringing the gas ashore, instead developing a system which will do the job of liquefaction at sea. Hence Prelude will become the world’s first floating LNG plant – or FLNG ...”

The Route to Greater Efficiency In its Industrial Strategy paper for the offshore oil and gas sector11, the UK Government recognizes the need to “maximize the economic production of the UK’s offshore oil and gas resources.” While, of course, this includes the production processes and equipment used to extract the product from the fields, it also refers to the whole supply chain without which the sector could not function. As part of that supply chain the various offshore ships referred to above have a pivotal part to play in driving greater efficiency into

the sector and, with that efficiency, helping to increase productivity and profitability throughout the process. As is the case in many processes these days, it is the development of better systems that will create the greater efficiency that everyone is seeking and, again as with many processes, that usually means employing the latest technologies and software to enable more jobs to be done faster and by less people. McKinsey & Company in its publication Digitizing oil and gas production12 explains the application of digital technology across the sector. “The rapid progress of technology such as big data and analytics, sensors, and control systems offers oil and gas companies the chance to automate high-cost, dangerous, or error-prone tasks. Most oil and gas operators are starting to capture these opportunities and would do well to accelerate their efforts. Companies that successfully employ automation can significantly improve their bottom line.” (author’s emphasis). Our next article will look at this in relation to Bridge Systems for offshore ships.

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

Global Ku Band VSAT Equipment Network Operations Center VoIP Global Fleet Management System Marine Weather Remote Access and Monitoring Turn-Key Solution

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

Control and Stability Francis Slade, Staff Writer

When PSVs and OSVs are ‘at work’ they are on their own, so managing their navigation and positioning becomes a very important matter

The use of Multi-Function Workstations connected to the ISMS network with all data available, gives the operator a great deal of flexibility and simplicity in handling and monitoring onboard systems and processes

I

N THEIR paper ‘Trends in Ship Management Systems’13 Kos, Hess and Hess at the University of Rijeka explained, “Because of [the] ever expanding complexity of ship structure and machinery, also new safety regulations and class requirements, onboard decision making process becomes more delicate and complex. Consequently, ship management systems should become more extensive and flexible… there is [also] a significant demand for reduction in existing numbers of crew members. Modern marine technologies and improved ship management systems should solve these problems [without] compromising safety of the ship.” The challenge of ever more sophisticated and extensive engineering capabilities is the need to control them and their growing complexity. Kos, Hess and Hess concluded that the complexity could actually compromise safety and operability but that integrated ship management systems hold out the promise of solving that problem. They went on to state, “The use of Multi-Function Workstations connected to the ISMS network with all data available, gives the operator a great deal of flexibility and simplicity in handling and monitoring onboard systems and processes.” Perhaps the most important role of ship management for OSVs, PSVs and other vessels likely to come near to an offshore platform, is stability and that isn’t so easy to achieve on an ocean, even in calm conditions, leave alone less than calm. But, whereas once, a ship’s master really had only the propulsion and rudder to direct a vessel, these days ships employ a number of systems to support good conning and aid stability. Conning, the determination of speed and direction, may accept some leeway when out at sea but when maneuvering near an offshore platform, there is no leeway if a potentially disastrous collision is to be avoided. Two principal systems support the conning officer; thrusters and dynamic positioning.

Directional Control Has Evolved Into a System As we briefly mentioned above, there was a time 10 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

when the only means to control a ship’s direction were propulsion and rudder. A screw propeller is a simple thruster operating on a fixed shaft pushing the ship forward and needing a rudder to steer. However, a rudder can only determine the direction of forward movement. Using thrusters that can deliver propulsion from different or even varying angles allows a ship to maneuver in confined spaces or places where movement in constrained by proximity of a structure (offshore platform). Some thrusters use traditional looking propellers while others use water jets to apply directional pressure. Also, some are fixed in their direction while Azimuth thrusters are positioned in maneuverable pods so that their direction of steering pressure can be rotated in any horizontal direction. Bow and stern thrusters are, as the name suggests, placed at the bow or stern of a vessel, to improve maneuverability. Bow thrusters help with docking because they allow the vessel to be turned to port or starboard without forward motion. A stern thruster does a similar job at the stern. But any such system with, often, multiple propulsion deliveries, has to be controlled if it is to be effective.

Dynamic Positioning Makes Control More Accurate Offshore support vessels use thrusters to achieve and maintain position relative to an offshore structure using their Dynamic Positioning (DP) systems along with the skills of the ship’s officer. In its feature, ‘Dynamic Positioning an amenity becomes compulsory’14, MarineLink.com explains that, “The inclusion of dynamic positioning systems has become a standard and necessary system on supply boats and many crew/supply vessels. In their simplest form, dynamic positioning systems allow an offshore vessel to ‘moor’ adjacent to a rig or platform without the traditional mooring lines being attached to the structure or the use of anchors. Instead thrusters both in the bow and the stern keep the vessel on station.” Technologically, dynamic positioning systems are hydrodynamic systems that manage the position and heading of a vessel. They can either be


controlled manually or by a system that responds automatically to variations in the position of the vessel and local environment, such as wind, current and waves, within defined limits. Dynamic positioning systems and their use on supply vessels have evolved in response to safety and economic imperatives. With billions of dollars invested in their drilling and production equipment, oil and gas operators are understandably reluctant to risk either their safety or damage to the possibility of a collision with a support vessel of any sort. Therefore, they do not want offshore vessel operators tying up to their rigs to transfer materials to the platform. Given those imperatives, the only practical solution is to use dynamic positioning systems that can render vessel stability and positioning relative to the structures that they serve as entirely independent of those structures. But having untethered and heavy vessels maneuvering and conducting loading and offloading operations around an offshore platform brings its own potential for hazard so there are regulations around the operation of thrusters, their control and the safety aspects of their design. Typical would be the IMCA (International Marine Contractors Association) ‘Guidelines for The Design and Operation of Dynamically Positioned Vessels’15.

Keeping the Vessel Stable and Safe Broadly speaking, a ship can move in any of six axes. Three of these involve translation: • Surge (forward/astern); • Sway (starboard/port); • Heave (up/down). The other three are concerned with rotation: • Roll (rotation about surge axis);

• Pitch (rotation about sway axis); • Yaw (rotation about heave axis). Dynamic positioning is mainly about controlling the ship in the horizontal plane represented by the three axes: surge, sway and yaw: it controls the thrusters to maneuver and stabilize OSVs and PSVs when they are close to offshore installations. As such, control of the system is a very important part in the safe running of these vessels. So the place from where that control is exercised is also a very important component in the operations and safety of the vessel. Dynamic Positioning was first considered when offshore operations moved to depths where fixing to the seabed and anchoring were either impractical or ineffective. In 1961 the drillship Cuss 1 was fitted with four steerable propellers, in an attempt to drill the first Moho well. It was possible to keep the ship in position above the well, off La Jolla, California, at a depth of 948 meters. Whereas the Cuss 1 was kept in position manually, later in the same year Shell launched the drilling ship Eureka that had an analogue control system interfaced with a taut wire, making it the first true DP ship.

Where We Are Now Dynamic positioning systems today employ a range of technologies to maintain a vessel’s position and heading using just its own propellers and thrusters. Position reference sensors, combined with wind sensors, motion sensors and gyro compasses, provide information about the vessel’s position and the force and direction of environmental influences affecting its position, to a computer. But it all needs to be controlled and so is a significant component in today’s multifunction workstation with which the ship’s bridge has become a high tech control center.

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

Dynamic Positioning Integrated Bridge Systems ECDIS Autopilot Thruster Control Seismic Tracking Automation Position Keeping System

USA • Norway Singapore

www.marine-technologies.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

A Commanding Position John Hancock, Editor To be able to properly manage a ship, the bridge commander must be able to know what is happening with all of the functions being controlled

If today’s bridge resembles a computer control room, that’s because it is a computer control room. If it’s a more calm place than Hollywood might portray that’s because, in times of stressful operations, the last thing an officer needs is for the immediate environment to be stressful

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N HIS article, Francis Slade dealt with the critical matter of safely and stably positioning vessels adjacent to the structures that they serve. But it is just as important to get the vessels to, from and between those structures in the first place, especially when working in a crowded sea area such as the North Sea, where there are many structures to be avoided between leaving harbor and reaching a destination. Navigation has always been the most important part of seamanship.

Managing Navigation and its Systems These days, navigation makes use of an array of technology assistance including radar, sonar and satellite guidance systems but one thing remains true – navigation is conducted from the bridge. However, the bridge today is a very different place from the bridge of only a few decades ago. If today’s bridge resembles a computer control room, that’s because it is a computer control room. If it’s a more calm place than Hollywood might portray that’s because, in times of stressful operations, the last thing an officer needs is for the immediate environment to be stressful. With so much data being fed into the system, there needs also to be a strategy to manage that data in the navigation of the ship. The International Marine Organisation or IMO (a UN agency focused on the safe operation of commercial shipping) has worked with a number of organizations to develop a strategy called e-Navigation. Essentially, the strategy seeks to minimize the risk of human error in the production and presentation of data but support the intelligence of human decision making using the data presented.

Control Means Seeing and Having Access to All Functions With the proliferation of systems to be controlled it has been necessary to find a way to bring those controls all together in a single workstation. In its ‘Nautical Safety – Offshore Service Vessels’ (section 2, Bridge design and configuration)16 12 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

DNV states that, “The design and location of the workstations shall enable the ship to be navigated and maneuvered safely and efficiently by one navigator in ocean areas and coastal waters under normal operating conditions, as well as by two navigators in close co-operation when the workload exceeds the capacity of one person, and when under pilotage.” Integrated bridge systems bring together a number of technologies to enhance the navigation, positioning and general management of the ship. One such system is ECDIS (electronic chart display and information system), a navigation information that uses a computer and complies with IMO regulations to be used as an alternative to paper charts. Also radar and, especially where depth or underwater hazards are a problem, sonar can contribute to the information used to manage the ship and will be better able to do that if their information is presented through a single workstation rather than on different stations around the bridge. Inevitably, today, the whole system relies on IT. Good IT doesn’t emphasize the complexity and sophistication of a system that harnesses the power of millions of on-off switches to process massive amounts of data. Rather good software and design make IT a user-friendly support for good decision making and to minutely and second-by-second control specific systems such as dynamic positioning controlling thrusters. The multi-function workstation allows the officer from their working position on the bridge to see and control key functions in any operation and key applications to manage that operation. Modern bridge technology is designed around the officer’s seat so that he has an unrestricted view of information on the screens for each system. It’s also important that the seat position affords the officer an unrestricted view of the working areas of the ship; facing forward for navigation and course management and facing rearward over the working deck to manage supply and work operations. Going back to the DNV rules (see above), “The design and location of the workstations shall enable safe and efficient


positioning/ maneuvering of the ship and safe and efficient operation/monitoring of all deck equipment needed for carrying out the different operations relevant for the ship.”

The Latest Developments In fact, so good have the systems become that the latest vessels employ very sophisticated dynamic positioning and motion compensation systems to create stability sufficient to allow workers to walk on and off the vessel to and from the platform. The first ‘Walk to Work’ vessel has just entered service and others will no doubt follow. But with systems this complex, a workstation that enhances and supports the human-machine interface is essential. It will also help the officer in charge to focus on the tasks rather than on the system. The whole thing is known as an integrated ship management system (ISMS). These days, a good ISMS will enable one officer to control many functions (see above) as well as communications. The types of communications from and to a ship have not changed much with ship-to-shore and shipto-ship being very important. However, the means by which those communications are transmitted and what they carry has changed considerably. Radio is still there but satellite communications and even mobile telephone systems have revolutionized the quality and reliability of marine communications. They also allow the transmission of small packets of information that can be transmitted in even challenging conditions. Support vessels are continually linked in to the Internet and more of the communications traffic is data than voice. For most offshore tasks, satellite based networks are now the communications infrastructure of choice with advances in antennae, the means to optimize bandwidth and to share bandwidth making them able to handle most requirements of offshore oil and gas and its support services. And with all of the functions covered in this article, automation has made the operator’s task much better and more effective.

Modern bridge technology is designed around the officer’s seat so that he has an unrestricted view of information on the screens for each system

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

Global Ku Band VSAT Equipment Network Operations Center VoIP Global Fleet Management System Marine Weather Remote Access and Monitoring Turn-Key Solution

USA • Norway Singapore

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN INTEGRATED NAVIGATION SYSTEMS FOR VESSEL BRIDGE OPERATIONS

References: 1

FT http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/140c4f2e-ddb7-11e4-8d14-00144feab7de.html#ixzz3X616hYdY

2

Herald Scotland

http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/markets-economy/how-downturn-in-oil-price-could-benefit-scotlands-offshore-sector.26155579 3

Our Finite World, ‘Ten Reasons Why a Severe Drop in Oil Prices is a Problem’

http://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/12/07/ten-reasons-why-a-severe-drop-in-oil-prices-is-a-problem/ 4

UK Oil & Gas https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/175480/bis-13-748-uk-oil-and-gas-industrial-strategy.pdf

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LUKOIL ‘Global Trends in Oil & Gas Markets to 2025’ http://www.lukoil.com/materials/doc/documents/Global_trends_to_2025.pdf

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Oil & Gas UK http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/news/news.cfm/newsid/1088

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Drilling Info, ‘Oil and Gas Offshore Rigs: a Primer on Offshore Drilling’ http://info.drillinginfo.com/offshore-rigs-primer-offshore-drilling/

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Maritime Connector http://maritime-connector.com/wiki/offshore-ships/

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Ulstein Platform Supply Vessels

http://www.ulstein.com/Kunder/ulstein/cms66.nsf/%28$All%29/9B8A09BB5AAA9354C12576A90040C633?OpenDocument 10

BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30394137

11

UK Oil & Gas

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/175480/bis-13-748-uk-oil-and-gas-industrial-strategy.pdf 12

McKinsey & Company ‘Digitizing oil and gas production’

http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/energy_resources_materials/digitizing_oil_and_gas_production 13

Kos S., Hess M., Hess S. University of Rijeka ‘Trends in Ship Management Systems’

https://bib.irb.hr/datoteka/310399.Trends_in_ship_management_system.doc 14

Marine Link http://www.marinelink.com/maritime/dynamic-positioning

15

IMCA ‘Guidelines for The Design and Operation of Dynamically Positioned Vessels’ 1.6.1 http://www.imca-int.com/media/73055/imcam103.pdf

16

DNV https://exchange.dnv.com/publishing/rulesship/2012-01/ts620.pdf

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