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1st Quarter 2018

“Over the next few years, we will move from smart ships, to smart fleets and to smart shipping� Rupert Pearce, chief executive officer, Inmarsat, see page 4



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Special report: Asian shipmanagers 11 Thome reveals the future of fleet management 12 Swire Pacific upgrades its Singapore training centre with new simulators

Satcoms 15 Intelsat delivers additional high-throughput maritime coverage 16 Thuraya plans its future satellite constellation for ship communications 18 An overview of the latest satellite communications developments

1st Quarter 2018 volume 12 issue 1 Editor: Martyn Wingrove t: +44 20 8370 1736 e: Sales Manager: Paul Dowling t: +44 20 8370 7014 e: Sales: Jo Lewis t: +44 20 8370 7793 e:

Remote control

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21 Suppliers and owners tackle the vessel remote control challenges 22 Testing of the shore-based bridge concept 23 Anti-collision studies will help shipping develop autonomous ships

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Technical analysis 24 Autonomous shipping and remote control technology

Cyber security 27 First cyber security platform built for shipping stops its first attack 28 Tanker group overcomes cyber attacks 29 Survey highlights lack of security training; Minerva invests in secure platform

Passenger shipping 30 Technology pushes ship connectivity to record levels 31 MOL tests intelligent awareness; New e-navigation project begins

Conference review 32 Tanker owners weight up risks and rewards from digitalisation 33 Distance learning and technical awards

Subscriptions: Sally Church t: +44 20 8370 7018 e: Chairman: John Labdon Managing Director: Steve Labdon Finance Director: Cathy Labdon Operations Director: Graham Harman Head of Content: Edwin Lampert Executive Editor: Paul Gunton Head of Production: Hamish Dickie Business Development Manager: Steve Edwards Published by: Riviera Maritime Media Ltd Mitre House 66 Abbey Road Enfield EN1 2QN UK

Bridge Systems 35 DP system faults put subsea divers at risk 36 New bridge systems will enable advanced e-navigation 37 Manufacturers develop new navigation aids

Training systems 38 Technology takes simulators beyond training 39 A visionary approach to training

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Main features include: Special report: Greek shipowners; Automation & control; E-navigation & ECDIS; Remote monitoring & diagnostics; Cyber security Ship type: Tankers & gas carriers Supplement: Complete Guide to VSAT

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Bridge technology should improve navigation safety


Martyn Wingrove, Editor


his year should be a time when shipping improves navigational safety but, as I write this in mid-January, we have already had our first fatal vessel collisions and maritime disaster. Something needs to be done to prevent more fatal accidents. Up to 46 seafarers died in the first two weeks of 2018 as ships have smashed into other ships and fishing vessels. Although not confirmed as this issue went to press, 32 mariners were feared lost when Hong Kong-registered freighter CF Crystal collided with Iranian tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea. Another 10 died when cargo ship Chang Ping sank after it collided with freighter Xinwang 138 near the Yangtze estuary off Shanghai, China. In another accident, four fishermen were missing after their vessel was struck by a cargo ship off Thailand. There were at least 10 other ship collisions reported in the first two weeks of January that were fortunately non-fatal, including accidents involving the container ship Maersk Karachi and 1985-built cargo ship Oguz Sofuoglu in the Black Sea and container ship Orca 2 colliding with Russian naval ship Yamal. Our website,, will continue reporting on the main accidents and ship groundings throughout 2018 and shed light on the reasons for them. What can be done to stop ships from colliding into one another, or grounding on reefs? Human error is regularly named as a major factor in ship accidents and it is right that investigators highlight the errors that seafarers make that lead to accidents, so that they can be avoided in future. But I believe seafarers need better assistance from the equipment they use. Bridge technology manufacturers can change this by producing workstations that are more intuitive and easier to operate. Human-machine interfaces must be made simpler and easier to use. Displays need to be clearer and enable officers to see navigation hazards quicker in all weather and sea conditions.

In many cases, I believe bridge equipment can be too complicated and reducing the functionality would enable bridge teams to understand the navigation aids easier and operate the core functions better. It would also give them more time to look out of the bridge window to avoid hazards. Manufacturers and shipping companies should also consider developing augmented reality (AR) to provide more information in effective ways to bridge teams. I saw this in action while visiting a remote control room in Svitzer’s offices in Copenhagen, Denmark, in November 2017 (see page 21). Rolls-Royce introduced elements of AR into the display that a captain can use to safely operate a harbour tug remotely. This included information on the tug’s heading and location of nearby navigation hazards. In another project, Mitsui OSK Lines is working with Furuno Electric Co to develop AR technology to support ship operations during voyages. In this project, MOL is looking to overlay different types of information, such as nearby vessels and landmarks from automatic identification system (AIS) data with images of landscapes taken from the bridge. This can be augmented with information that supports crew in their watchkeeping during voyages by highlighting hazards earlier and more clearly. MOL is studying methods to overlap displays of hazards taken by radar with obstacle zone information, which is generated by algorithms and from image recognition technologies. Furuno will develop these technologies and incorporate them into its bridge systems. MOL expects this type of AR information will prevent collisions between vessels and groundings. I welcome this initiative by a major shipping company investing in AR technology to enhance navigational safety information available to seafarers. But this must be just a start. If January’s tragic casualties are to have a memorial this year, then let it be seen in a greater focus on developing technology to help other seafarers avoid accidents and lost lives. MEC

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


Marine broadband will bring ‘technological revolution’ “It is only through satellite communications that the era of smart shipping can realised”

Rupert Pearce: “Digital business models can create inter-fleet, intra-fleet and new maritime-related communities”

Connected ships can act as catalysts of digital change towards smarter shipping and intelligent fleet management, believes Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce


nmarsat chief executive Rupert Pearce believes unprecedented change is coming to the global maritime industry from a worldwide technological revolution that is driven by broadband communications. He expects this will bring digital disruption and enable owners to develop smarter ships and experience intelligent fleet management. “The changes we are seeing are extraordinary and are being experienced across virtually every sector and every region,” he said in November, while opening a new Inmarsat service centre in Ålesund, Norway.

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

He highlighted three technology trends that are driving these developments: the proliferation of smart devices, an explosion of cloud-based applications that serve these devices and the next generation of communications networks. “These forces are shifting the tectonic plates of our world,” said Mr Pearce, adding that connectivity is helping to shape a digital society in which the maritime sector is intertwined. “Just ahead of us lies a fourth industrial revolution as these three forces enable the internet of things and an increasingly automated and autonomous world,” he said. He expects machines that are augmented by artificial intelligence and data analytics to have an increasing role to play in maritime to “deliver a further step change in productivity, safety and security, reliability and effectiveness.” Vessel operators and managers will benefit from these changes, made possible by improvements in maritime broadband connectivity, such as Inmarsat’s Ka-band Global Xpress. This is provided by four geostationary satellites in Inmarsat’s fifth generation constellation. A sixth generation of satellites is planned for launch from 2020. “All of this extraordinary disruption,


Global Xpress covers most of the world’s oceans 90˚ 80˚ 70˚


60˚ 50˚


40˚ 30˚ 20˚ 10˚ 0˚ 10˚ 20˚ 30˚ 40˚ 50˚ 60˚ 70˚ 80˚ 90˚ 180˚ 160˚ 140˚ 120˚ 100˚ 80˚ 60˚ 40˚ 20˚ 0˚ 20˚ 40˚ 60˚ 80˚ 100˚ 120˚ 140˚ 160˚ 180˚

1-5 Atlantic Ocean Region

1-5 Indian Ocean Region

Global Xpress network available over at least 99% of this area

challenge and opportunity is poised to come to the global maritime industry,” said Mr Pearce. He expects shipowners will be able to grasp its new commercial opportunities “to adopt new methods of working and even new business models.” He therefore described global mobile satellite communications as a critical enabler of change. “It is only through satellite communications that the era of smart shipping can realised.” Mr Pearce explained that there were numerous opportunities and applications that are enabled on a broadbandconnected ship. “It offers a greater degree of visibility of vessel and cargo position and performance,” he said. This produces valuable data that could be used by shipowners and managers and shared with charterers, cargo owners and other stakeholders. “Digital business models can create inter-fleet, intra-fleet and new maritimerelated communities,” he predicted. Some of the benefits of these will come from analysing the continuous flow of data transmitted between ships and shore. For example, there is value from monitoring engines and associated systems on ships, or receiving real-time vessel performance data. Mr Pearce expects applications on ships, such as passage planning and weather routeing to achieve optimal sailing, to contribute to more profitable voyages. “Bandwidth also plays a vital role in bridge procedures, whether for navigation and situational awareness or

1-5 Pacific Ocean Region

1-4 and Alphasat coverage

Extendable Global Xpress coverage via steerable beams

security of physical and cyber assets,” he said, predicting that “in the next few years, we will move from smart ships, to smart fleets and to smart shipping.” Inmarsat has evolved from a supplier of broadband connectivity and safety communications. “We see ourselves now as enablers of digital outcomes for our end-users,” said Mr Pearce. He wants shipowners to embrace the new opportunities that come from highthroughput connectivity “to deliver enhanced reporting, compliance and crew benefits”. If they fully embrace “all that the emerging digital society can bring them, owners will be best placed to take advantage of what the world of the connected ship brings,” he concluded.

Rupert Pearce has been chief executive of Inmarsat since January 2012. In that time he has overseen the launch of Global Xpress from the I-5 satellite constellation and expansion in maritime broadband and safety services. He has been with Inmarsat since January 2005, first as its group general counsel and then as senior vice president for Inmarsat Enterprises and in July 2011 he was promoted to executive director. Previously, Mr Pearce worked for Atlas Venture, a venture capital company, where he was a partner working with the firm’s European and US investment teams. Before that, he was a partner at law firm Linklaters, where he spent 13 years specialising in corporate finance, mergers and private equity transactions. He studied modern history at Oxford University and securities law at the Georgetown Law Center, in the US. Mr Pearce is chairman of the satellite industry trade body, the EMEA Satellite Operators Association, commissioner on the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development Board and a member of the board of the Smart Africa Alliance.

Maersk Line saves US$20M a year Leading players in the shipping industry are already adjusting to what they perceive as changed trading conditions and have recognised the need for a more differentiated and less commoditised approach to their operations. Inmarsat chief executive Rupert Pearce provided Maersk Line as an example of a shipowner using broadband communications to reduce operating costs. He explained that its Triple E container ships each have 3,000 sensors hardwired to their main control systems and more than 7,000 channels are monitored continuously for situational awareness and alarms. This generates more than 2 GB of data from the main control system that is stored every day for analysis. “Fleet-wide more than 30 TB of data is transferred to Maersk’s headquarters every month,” he said. Using this data, Maersk has reduced its fuel costs alone for this fleet by more than US$20M a year, he said. MEC

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


Technology will drive 40% cost savings and remote operations Top executives from the digital, IT, e-navigation and satellite communications sectors predict a future of maritime digitalisation, augmented reality and smart fleet management


hipping is in the midst of a digital transformation that will ultimately lead to autonomous ships, major improvements in fleet management and condition-based maintenance programmes. But a two-tier market in terms of adoption of digitalisation, data analytics and smart ship operations is developing, according to top executives from the Marine Electronics & Communications community.

Kongsberg Digital president Hege Skryseth

Shipowners can gain huge benefits from digitalisation, but only if major players are prepared to take a technological lead, according to Kongsberg Digital president Hege Skryseth. She thinks that up to 40% cost reductions can be realised from adopting digitalisation. This would include predictive and planned maintenance, ship monitoring and data analytics. “As more vessels are connected it is possible to reduce costs across an entire fleet,” said Ms Skryseth. “If 40% reductions in operating expenditure can be achieved then it is important to look into this.” Reductions in operating costs can be achieved by cutting fuel consumption, optimising trim and improving route planning. “This can all come from an overall monitoring solution,” she explained. Going from periodic maintenance to condition-based maintenance can reduce downtime and the risk of equipment failures. “This is the future of maintenance,”

said Ms Skryseth, adding that a wide range of parameters, such as vibration, pressure and temperature can be monitored on rotating machinery and engines. “A key component to this is analytics for providing customers with information – and we are cracking that code,” she said. Kongsberg has developed the Kognifai platform as a host for digital solutions. This is available for application providers and ship operators to host their fleet management. “Kognifai is a cloud-based platform and has a translation layer so data can be moved around ships and to

Hege Skryseth (Kongsberg): “40% cost savings can be achieved“

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

shore,” she explained. It is in discussions with suppliers of fleet management and operational cost cutting applications. “Many shipowners are discussing when to start their digital transformation. There is value in being the first mover,” she said. One of the values is the development of remote real-time monitoring and control of vessels. Kongsberg is taking a lead in developing remote control and autonomous ship technology. It is supplying systems to a new container ship, Yara Birkeland, which is being built for autonomous operations on a shortsea route along the Norwegian coast. It will be tested later this year with a small crew and is scheduled to enter service in 2019, when it will be operated remotely. It will be operated in an autonomous mode starting in 2020 and Kongsberg is preparing for this. “We are using a digital twin on a simulator to test the autonomous operations,” said Ms Skryseth. However, she thinks other projects may not be fully autonomous but can gain from technical advances in vessel automation. “It does not need to be unmanned,” she added. “There could be some semi-autonomous ships, plus autonomous or remote control in harbour operations – there is significant interest in this area.” Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will be important enabling technologies for remote control of vessels, said Ms Skryseth. “AR could be incorporated in maritime remote control

Augmented reality can be used for viewing vessel details

rooms and we see VR is coming in training and designing control rooms,” she explained, adding that these technologies will enable more simulation training on board ships to enable crew to practice operations before conducting them.

Napa group president Ilmo Kuutti

There will be a two-tier market in digitalisation in 2018. Some shipping companies are adopting data analytics and smart fleet operations, while others are still adjusting to using electronic logbooks, according to Napa group president Ilmo Kuutti. Mindsets are changing throughout the shipping industry, but it is a slow process that means there will be a two-tier digitalisation market. Mr Kuutti thinks the gap between shipping companies that have adopted digitalisation practices and those that have not will widen in the coming years. “We [will] see more data-led solutions being developed and major data centres being created,” he predicted. These will be developed by class societies such as DNV GL and ClassNK he said, “but, other parts of the industry are still only beginning to embrace simple digital solutions, like electronic logbooks.” For data-led businesses and those that provide data solutions, the future is increasingly exciting. “We have never moved as fast as we can now and we will never move this slowly again,” he said. This describes what he termed the two-tier market, where some shipping companies are using the lower costs and increasing

availability of onboard connectivity to invest in advanced digital solutions, while others are still using paper reports. “Much of our industry is still working on paper noon reports, while at the same time, others have access to a new world of planning, routeing and efficiency insights,” he explained, adding that a key challenge for shipping in 2018 will be to turn increasing amounts of operational, vessel tracking and environmental data into useful information. While he expects more data to become available, he warned that “there is no value in data without meaning”. He added “To be anything other than a cost, data must be analysed and transformed into useful information.” Napa has developed

Ilmo Kuutti (Napa): “There is a two-tier market in digitalisation“

platforms that collect and analyse data from various sources. “In the coming year, we see big data analytics solutions increasing in complexity and gaining more data sources, as well as becoming easier to use and delivering more actionable outputs,” said Mr Kuutti. He expects new data sources will include the EU’s monitoring, reporting and verification programme, where ship operators will be driven to record fuel and emissions for public records that will be verified by independent third parties.

Nautisk head of product development Kristian Gøbel

Artificial intelligence (AI) will enable ship designers and builders to remove bridges and crew from ships, according to Nautisk head of product development Kristian Gøbel. It is already used to change daily lives of seafarers, in their use of mobile devices for example. AI is applied in the latest navigation applications, such as NaviPlotter, that use intelligence, AR and maritime data to display automatic identification system (AIS) objects and chart data on a handheld device. “We could not have imagined this would be possible 10 years ago,” said Mr Gøbel. This is also true of the internet of things, which has demonstrated how commercial technology can send and receive data to automate tasks or communicate with people. “The way our NaviUpdate hardware downloads electronic navigational charts and updates a ship’s ECDIS is no different,” he said. There is a vast amount of data and,

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


Kristian Gøbel (Nautisk): “Oceans are already dotted with gliding autonomous drones“

when it is good quality, reliable and available, it opens a door to all sorts of possibilities. As Mr Gøbel considers the future trends in digital navigation, he thinks developments will eventually lead to autonomous ships. “How long I wonder before the ship’s bridge disappears completely and vessels are capable of using digital navigation data to sail themselves?” Shipping could be closer to an autonomous vessel world than many still think as the “oceans are already dotted with gliding autonomous drones being remotely controlled to collect scientific data” he said. “Imagine combining our digital navigation tools with existing technologies such as light detection and ranging (Lidar) and remote control such as that demonstrated by Rolls-Royce,” he said. This could ultimately lead to ships being built without bridges or crew areas. “The potential is closer than you think.”

Hanseaticsoft chief executive Alexander Buchmann

Shipping will benefit from AR as this technology is poised to change the way the world interacts with technology. Its impact on the shipping industry is going to be revolutionary, said Hanseaticsoft chief executive Alexander Buchmann. Shipping is already embracing technology to optimise fleet management, automate processes and improve communication between crew on ships and staff ashore. Mr Buchmann believes that AR will be the next step on the

digitalisation journey. “AR will help companies accelerate and simplify processes, providing them with new tools to execute tasks faster and more intelligently,” he said. It should improve worker performance as it has in other industries, such as aviation where the use of an AR headset has improved performance by 34%. “AR enhances our actual surroundings by adding holograms into our field of vision to interact with. AR makes it possible to merge the real and the digital world by creating a mixed reality,” said Mr Buchmann. As the technology progresses, more possible applications will appear. For example, workers could view an entire ship plan in 3D on a table in front of them using AR devices. “The possibility to interact with holograms, virtually highlight areas and walk around the 3D model of, for example, an engine, and look at it from all angles will make it feel more natural instead of looking at a screen,” Mr Buchmann explained. “It will also improve communication as interacting with remote users will become as natural as face-to-face communication. Using AR devices means screens and monitors could also become obsolete and employees could access cloud-based data wherever they are.” Hanseaticsoft has been working with Microsoft HoloLens to make this a reality for the shipping industry. “We are already implementing ways to visualise data from our software using this device,” said Mr Buchmann. “We are still two to five years away from AR being rolled out across the industry, but we believe AR has the potential to transform the shipping business.”

LEO satellites, but in Ku-band. These will compete with existing constellations of satellites in geostationary orbits that provide today’s VSAT services in C, Ku and Ka-bands. Mr Veldkamp said pre-megabyte broadband costs are already falling because there is greater satellite capacity and more options for shipowners. However, this is needed as vessels are transmitting and receiving greater volumes of data for business requirements and crew welfare. Mr Veldkamp said the next step is providing the means for real-time ship supervision from shore. “All the companies we speak to want remote monitoring and smarter ships,” but “it is still expensive” for remote observations in real-time for most customers. This has led to VSAT providers now developing services to manage IT systems on ships and giving “ship operators tools to manage fleet connectivity and the right applications” said Mr Veldkamp. Another potential cost-saving tool for vessel operators could come from developments in commercial flat panel VSAT antennas, he added. Castor Marine is working with Kymeta Corp on the commercial development of flat panel antennas. The technology is ready for trials, but according to Mr Veldkamp “equipment costs need to come down significantly and efficiency needs to be improved” before they can be commercially viable for large scale deployment. “Flat panel antennas need to be evolved in the future,” he said, adding that they would be ideal for “superyachts or small vessels that cannot have 60 cm [diameter] stabilised antennas”. MEC

Castor Marine chief executive Ivo Veldkamp

Mini satellites will drive improvements in remote ship monitoring, while future launches of geostationary and low Earth orbit (LEO) K-band satellites will reduce broadband connectivity prices. All types of vessel will be able to access VSAT for remote monitoring and smart shipping, according to Castor Marine chief executive Ivo Veldkamp. He is looking ahead to the planned launches of smaller LEO satellites that will operate over Ka-band and Ku-band to reduce costs for vessel operators. He explained that Telesat was planning to launch mini-satellites that deliver Ka-band services in a LEO constellation that will include polar orbits. Intelsat-backed OneWeb is also considering building a constellation of

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

Ivo Veldkamp (Castor): “Flat panel antenna costs need to come down significantly“


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Asian shipmanagers SPECIAL REPORT | 11

Thome reveals the future of fleet management

Thome shipmanagers in Singapore monitor fleet operations on a video wall made from 55-in displays


home Group has adopted digitalisation with a new operations hub at its offices in Singapore to ensure that it embraces the latest technologies in ship and fleet management. It includes technical systems to support remote tracking of individual ships in the fleet, passage planning, security risk assessment and weather routeing and is intended to improve situational awareness for Thome’s management teams. According to Thome Group president and chief commercial officer Claes Eek Thorstensen it also enables video conferencing with seafarers on the ships, integrated vessel management and onboard security remote monitoring. “We now have an even closer control of our managed fleet, offering our clients up-to-date information and even greater improvements in our shipmanagement services,” he told Marine Electronics & Communications. He expects the monitoring capabilities will save time and improve operational efficiencies. It also has safety implications. “In times of emergency we can react much more quickly and get faster and more accurate information about the situation in real time,” said Mr Thorstensen.

Thome opened an operations hub in Singapore and computer-based training facilities in the Philippines in 2017 to improve ship and fleet management services

“This allows our crisis teams to make informed decisions on how to resolve any issues.” Thome designed this operations hub to ensure its staff remain alert and are able to react quickly to situations while monitoring specific operational aspects of the fleet. There are height-adjustable ergonomic tables and chairs, air-conditioning that is independent from the rest of the building, anti-glare screens and dimmable lighting. Operation teams use 10 anti-glare 55-in screens that are combined to form a video wall of 6.1m in length and 1.3m in height to monitor fleet operations. The room provides various systems to track Thome’s managed ships around the globe, monitoring such things as the weather and onboard warnings and making security zone assessments. There are devices for contacting masters to obtain more accurate and updated information and video conferences can be held with crew. The tracked information of each vessel can be updated to the control room every 30 minutes or in a few hours, depending on the location of the vessel or if it needs to be under closer monitoring. Thome chief executive Olav Nortun expects the group will invest to increase the operations hub’s capacity as demand for data analytics increases. “The close monitoring of our managed fleet is essential for us to help optimise our operational efficiencies and further improve our shipmanagement,” he said. Thome has also invested in training seafarers on board the ships that it manages. In 2017, it opened a modern training facility in Makati City, in the Philippines, for training seafarers and cadets on equipment and machinery that they would encounter once on board. Mr Nortun said Thome invested in these training systems as it reduces the risk of onboard accidents, motivates seafarers and improves teamwork. The Makati City facility can accommodate up to 50 seafarers and cadets. It has 10 standalone training computers and workshops for teaching seafarers how to operate engineroom and auxiliary equipment, supplied by companies such as Framo, Yanmar, Scanjet and Alfa Laval. Mr Thorstensen explained that Thome has adopted digitalisation practices to improve shipmanagement, including automating processes to reduce manual work and improve access to operational information. It introduced ECDIS to improve navigation and reduce administration tasks on board, but Mr Thorstensen confirmed it had also increased safety and reduced the risk of groundings, thanks to its continuous position monitoring and user-specific alarms and settings. MEC

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

12 | SPECIAL REPORT Asian shipmanagers

Swire Pacific upgrades Singapore training centre New simulators are being built at the Swire Marine Training Centre to ensure crews are trained on the latest operational technology, writes Hong Liang Lee from Singapore


wire Pacific Offshore (SPO) is investing in its own training centre in Singapore to ensure its vessel crews can use the latest technology, including augmented reality (AR) and full mission simulators. It is upgrading facilities at its Swire Marine Training Centre (SMTC) as it seeks to keep abreast of new technologies and to ensure courses remain relevant to new vessel types entering the market. SPO operates a fleet of 77 offshore support vessels (OSVs), including anchor handlers, platform supply vessels (PSVs), seismic survey ships, windfarm installation vessels, accommodation and multipurpose offshore vessels. This means SMTC bridge and engineroom simulators need to accurately represent what operating systems and scenarios seafarers will encounter on these vessels.

SMTC houses two hardware-specific full-mission bridge simulators fitted with actual-size consoles and equipment common throughout the SPO fleet. There is a full-sized engine control room, a virtual engineroom that simulates noise from actual vessels and 10 desktop engineroom simulators fitted with real propulsion controls. The facility’s training manager Noel Leith told Marine Electronics & Communications that the core areas of teaching at SMTC are dynamic positioning (DP), safety management, electrical and control systems engineering, engineroom operations, anchor handling and manual ship handling for OSVs. He explained that a near-term development would be to incorporate AR and virtual reality as part of its broader simulator training programme. “We will be

Seafarers are trained on the latest bridge operating systems in a full mission simulator at SMTC

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

Asian shipmanagers SPECIAL REPORT | 13

able to improve the training experience, as AR can tie in with our desktop simulators for the trainees to be immersed in a 3D environment,” he said. Another development in the future at SMTC is the possibility of building a diesel-electric engineroom simulator. Capt Leith observed that many new vessels entering the market run on diesel-electric and a lot of them have variable frequency drives. “Most of our training here is hardware-specific and our fleet has a lot of standardisation, so that makes it easy for us to build our simulators to emulate what we have out in our fleet,” he said. “We strive to keep up with new technologies, so we will need to introduce new simulation facilities,” he added. At present there are 23 vessels out of SPO’s 77, or approximately 30%, running on diesel-electric power, particularly its PSVs and windfarm installation vessels. “Another step change would be to introduce LED projection systems, which consume less energy and produce more brilliance,” Capt Leith said. On the technology side, SMTC has been undergoing an extensive upgrade of its operating system over the past 18 months. The new operating system will bring a higher degree of realism especially on anchor handling and towage training, said Capt Leith. One recent development has been the introduction of jet cone propulsion simulation. It produces a 3D force-field and is reactive, “so if you thrust up against something, it impacts back on the vessel. That level of detail is actually quite difficult to simulate properly,” he explained. On the subject of fleet digitalisation, Capt Leith said that this technology trend was more suited to deepsea operations and for ships on liner trades, rather than contract-based, job-specific OSVs. “But that is not to say that we would not look to fleet digitalisation, especially on larger assets,” he explained. “Otherwise I do not see ourselves proceeding down that road in the near future.” During 2017, the SMTC has conducted

Capt Noel Leith (SMTC): “Another step change would be to introduce LED projection systems”

training courses for around 1,000 officers, a figure that is expected to remain largely unchanged for 2018. The centre has six full-time staff offering 19 different courses and is open for training 45 weeks a year with an average of 20 to 30 trainees on-site each week. Even during the present severe offshore vessel market downturn, SPO has continued to support its crew training. “Hopefully this will pay dividends on a [market] upswing,” Captain Leith said. He drew a distinction between SMTC’s role and traditional marine colleges, saying that the centre does not provide Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) training for seafarers. He also believes it has a distinct role for the wider industry, beyond SPO’s requirements, saying that the centre is looking to attract more trainees from third parties, who currently constitute only 5% of total students. SMTC was first opened for training in June 2007 and the simulator facilities were commissioned in January 2008. “We have spent a considerable amount of money on research and development


every year.” This is to expand and extend this simulator facility and open new ones in the future. Beyond Singapore, SPO has a longstanding collaboration with two training centres in the Philippines and will be opening a new DP training centre in Accra, Ghana in January 2018 as it operates vessels in west Africa. That centre will start by offering DP awareness training and other internal courses. MEC

What are augmented and virtual realities? Augmented reality is considered an emerging technology for the maritime and offshore sector as it incorporates additional information on screens that augments what operators can already visualise. Virtual reality is considered for training as it enables trainees to learn skills in a computer-based environment. Users put on a set of goggles to enter a virtual world to simulate scenarios such as conducting repairs and maintenance on equipment via an interactive interface.

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018






24/01/2018 22:08


Intelsat delivers more highthroughput maritime coverage


ntelsat is preparing to bring its next EpicNG satellite into operation, which will provide new broadband VSAT coverage in the southern Atlantic Ocean. This will include an extension of broadband to seas that are increasingly visited by expedition cruise ships. According to Intelsat director of mobility in Europe Andrew Faiola, its IS-37e satellite will be commissioned in Q1 2018 with Ku-band widebeam coverage that is augmented with spot beams in both C-band and Ku-band. Some of this coverage will be over the Falkland Islands where there will be offshore projects in the future. There will also be connectivity from Argentina and Chile to Antarctica, specifically for research vessels and cruise ships to use. “Expedition cruise shipping is a fast-growth sector and it is important to connect these vessels,” said Mr Faiola. “It is something we have been thinking about for some time.” Intelsat’s 37e was successfully positioned in orbit on 29 September by Arianespace’s Ariane 5 launch vehicle. The Boeing-built satellite will support companies such as Omni-Access, which was acquired by Marlink in November, and Speedcast for satellite communications to maritime and offshore sectors. Intelsat then brought the IS-35e EpicNG satellite into operation in October after it was launched in July on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. IS-35e brings C-band spot beam capacity to the Atlantic Ocean to complement the C-band spots in the Indian Ocean on IS-33e. Mr Faiola predicts that operations with all types

Intelsat is set to extend Ku-band VSAT to southern hemisphere seas and increase its high-throughput capacity through new satellites

Intelsat-35e was brought into operation in October after it was launched in July on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

of maritime C-band “will see performance improvements”. “There are many legacy C-band systems and there is a lot of interest in C-band from cruise ships because of its high availability,” he explained. Satellite IS-35e also includes Ku-band widebeams with coverage over the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Europe and Africa. Speedcast, Marlink and Orange have gained access to some of the capacity on this satellite. These two are part of Intelsat’s growing EpicNG constellation of high throughput satellites. Another, IS-29e, provides spot beams of Ku-band over South America, North Atlantic and the Caribbean, IS-32e over the Atlantic and Caribbean and IS-33e gives coverage over Europe and the Indian Ocean.

The final part of this constellation, Horizons 3e, is expected to be launched in Q4 2018 or Q1 2019 to provide spot beam coverage over the Pacific, East China Sea, South China Sea and Malacca Strait. In the meantime, Intelsat will continue to invest in non-EpicNG satellites to replace its ageing units. IS-38 is scheduled to be launched between April and June 2018 to provide Ku-band coverage over Europe, to be followed by IS-39, which is due to be launched in 2019 to provide more coverage over southern Asia and the Indian Ocean Mr Faiola said this extends VSAT coverage to the southern areas of the Indian Ocean for the first time. “This will cover shipping routes between South Africa and Singapore,” he explained, “and provide coverage for fishing vessels and

yachts where there is increasing demand for connectivity.”

Future technologies

Intelsat is considering future satellite technologies, such as changing the shape of satellite beams or using laser instead of radio frequencies, said Mr Faiola. Intelsat is also a partner in OneWeb, which intends to deploy hundreds of mini-satelites in low Earth orbit (LEO) over the next three years. “OneWeb will bring poleto-pole high throughput coverage with lower latency, and some applications will benefit from these LEO satellites,” said Mr Faiola, adding that the first 10 of these satellites, which are under construction in Toulouse, France, are due to be launched by the end of 2018 to test the technology. In November, OneWeb contracted Echostar subsidiary Hughes Network Services to manufacture the ground network to support a constellation of up to 900 mini satellites. Since 2016, OneWeb has raised around US$1.5Bn from its partners, which include Virgin Group, SoftBank, Bharti Group, Qualcomm and Airbus. It is building a satellite manufacturing factory in Florida that is scheduled to open in 2020. Intelsat plans to integrate OneWeb with its own constellation. “We are developing interoperable terminals for the LEO and our geostationary satellites,” said Mr Faiola and, if all these investments are successful, vessels will be able to use either LEO and geostationary satellites for Ku-band VSAT for the first time globally. MEC

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


Thuraya makes plans for future satellites and ship communications Jassem Salman Nasser (Thuraya)

Thuraya chief strategy officer Jassem Salman Nasser told Marine Electronics & Communications about his plans for future growth in maritime communications, writes Martyn Wingrove

Jassem Salman Nasser is responsible for strategic planning, business development and relationships with regulators, such as representation at IMO and International Mobile Satellite Organization. He has more than 19 years of experience in the satellite industry, including roles of providing strategic direction and overseeing spectrum and frequency management. Mr Nasser graduated with first class honours from Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE with a bachelor’s degree in communications engineering in 1996. Since then, his engineering background has been applied to a business environment specialising in satellite communications and other radio communication systems. His first position at Thuraya, in 1998, was executive manager for corporate development and innovation. Then in 2010, he was promoted to vice president of that department. Within a year he became vice president of strategy and business development and took on his current role as chief strategy officer in July 2014.

ubai-headquartered Thuraya is in the middle of a new stage of growth in maritime communications by setting up the infrastructure for a next generation of services. This includes future investment in more powerful satellites, partnerships in higher broadband solutions and using its expertise in mobile phone networks. This strategy is being driven by Thuraya’s chief strategy officer Jassem Salman Nasser, who spoke exclusively to Marine Electronics & Communications from the company’s headquarters in the UAE in September 2017. By far the largest capital investment in this growth strategy will be the replacement of Thuraya’s existing two satellites. Thuraya 2 was launched in 2003 and Thuraya 3 in 2008. They both provide L-band broadband and narrowband services to maritime industries, including commercial shipping, fishing, passenger shipping and offshore oil and renewables.


Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

They both have many more years of service life that, according to Mr Nasser, offers Thuraya opportunities to enhance and extend existing services with new satellite technology over the next decade. “We are looking to augment the constellation with new satellites, to increase coverage and add more capacity,” he said, adding that this is likely to involve at least two more satellite launches. Thuraya started planning for its next generation of satellites in 2016 and continued this in 2017 with satellite supply contracts expected to be awarded this year. Mr Nasser told MEC that Thuraya was working with satellite vendors and “working through tender process proposals”. Thuraya will also need new ground station systems to support these satellites. It currently has a ground station for its existing satellites in Dhaid, Sharjah, UAE, as the primary gateway and control centre. Mr Nasser expects the next

generation of satellites will be more powerful than existing ones and provide greater L-band capacity, particularly for maritime industries. “Since 2008, so much has changed in satellite technology – it has been revolutionary,” he said. “We have been innovative in mobility networks and we want to take this into the next satellites,” he explained. Thuraya also intends to add safety alerts and machine-tomachine communication, but continues to see L-band as its core business. Thuraya provides machineto-machine services using its own constellation footprint and partners with another satellite operator, Viasat, to provide these services in North America as it does not currently have coverage over the Americas. Mr Nasser sees growth opportunities in L-band with more fishing vessels, workboats, towage vessels and offshore service boats installing satellite communication terminals.


However, commercial shipping is transitioning into VSAT for faster connectivity and higher bandwidth applications. Yet Thuraya is not expecting to invest in satellites to deliver C-band, Ku or Ka-band VSAT solutions, instead relying on a method of indirectly joining this market. “We have been working to provide VSAT in maritime by partnering with other providers,” he said, adding that VSAT needs L-band as a backup, which Thuraya can deliver. “We want to become a onestop shop, which is something we have been working on – to offer a full suite of services,” Mr Nasser said. He explained that the applications that higher bandwidth enables includes: • Electronic chart distribution and updating. • Weather information. • Ship system health monitoring. • Fuel optimisation. • Crew social media access. • Digital entertainment. All this should not detract from a central function of satellite communications – improving safety at sea, which Thuraya sees as a key area of opportunity. Its satellites already provide safety communications through its phones, such as Thuraya XT Pro Dual, which has an SOS button specifically for maritime safety. A user can set this SOS function to contact any coastguard and send co-ordinates to that organisation in an emergency, even if there is no credit. Thuraya plans to

“Since 2008, so much has changed in satellite technology – it has been revolutionary”

become involved in the global maritime distress and safety service (GMDSS), which is an IMO mandatory requirement on SOLAS ships. “We are looking at being involved in its modernisation,” said Mr Nasser. Future services will also include tracking and monitoring in the maritime environment. “We are working on gaining certification on long range information and tracking (LRIT) services,” he added. Future plans also include providing connectivity for autonomous vessels and smart ship solutions. “Vessel operators are looking at remote control and

sharing more information between vessels, such as for e-navigation,” Mr Nasser explained. For all these new services, Thuraya will need satellites that will be in service well beyond 2030, which is why it intends to invest in a new constellation and ground infrastructure soon.

Maritime terminals

Thuraya provides a range of terminals for maritime markets with narrowband and broadband connectivity. These include Orion IP, Atlas IP, Seagull 5000i and SeaStar, with the fastest available bandwidth speeds at 444 kbps. Orion IP can achieve this using an above-deck antenna that weighs 3.2 kg, is 39.1 cm in diameter and 27.7 cm high. It has four ports for powerover-Ethernet compliant devices, each of them supplying 15 W of power with an input voltage between 10-16 V direct current. It also has a built-in wifi transceiver enabling crew to link their own devices to the

satellite network. Atlas IP is for vessel operators that want more IP connections but do not need high bandwidth. It has a multiuser or a single-user router mode, with a dynamic host configuration protocol server that automatically provides a host with its IP address and other related configuration information. Atlas IP also has a built in wifi and firewall. Seagull 5000i is a voice, data and fax terminal with a 21 cm diameter active antenna, 24.5 cm x 15.5 cm base terminal, phone handset and cradle. It also has a builtin GPS receiver and is able to transmit ship information, such as identity and position, automatically with the date and time stamp that is necessary for tracking services. This is suitable for workboats, patrol boats and yachts. SeaStar is suitable for fishing vessels. It has a 1.1 kg antenna that is 17 cm high and 16.4 cm diameter and 1.2 kg base unit with phone. MEC

TOP: Thuraya satellites provide L-band connectivity to ships LEFT: Atlas IP has a dynamic host configuration protocol server, wifi and a firewall

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


Cost saving communications unveiled New communications services were revealed at the Europort exhibition in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in November 2017. These products offer cost savings for owners and communications alternatives for crew. Speedcast International revealed its CrewReach service that enables seafarers to use their own mobile devices to communicate worldwide with one SIM card. It operates on 3G and 4G mobile phone networks in around 190 countries, said Speedcast director for commercial maritime products Dan Rooney. He told Marine Electronics & Communications that Speedcast worked with Canadian telecommunications company Knowroaming on CrewReach. Seafarers can insert the SIM card into their own phones, scan a code, download an application to register the card, and then use it for free chat and calls on WhatsApp and WeChat. Thuraya Telecommunications launched a voice over IP service for seafarers that use the company’s satellite network. Thuraya Talk enables crew to stay connected and opens up communication capabilities for both personal and professional use. Dan Rooney (Speedcast): CrewReach enables seafarers to use their own mobile devices

Opinion: Consolidation cuts satcoms choice for owners Consolidation in the maritime satellite communications sector has accelerated in 2017. Mergers and acquisitions mean there are fewer providers of VSAT than there were just two years ago. This restricts owners’ options for broadband communications at a time when the number of maritime VSAT units are rapidly increasing. But, it provides opportunities for the smaller players to gain market share.

Intellian wins SM Line VSAT contract Container ship operator SM Line is upgrading communications on its fleet of up to 30 liners by installing new VSAT hardware. South Korea-headquartered Intellian is providing its V100 satellite communications antennas for these container ships. SM Line decided to enhance its container vessels for operational communications and data transmissions. It also wants to adopt the internet of things and freight monitoring systems in its organisation. This will mean SM Line will be able to monitor containers along its key Asia-US shipping routes to what it calls “illuminate the supply chain’s blind spots” while improving productivity and efficiency of processes.

Inmarsat signs Fleet Xpress deal with Eros

Mini satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) will bring a new dimension to vessel communications and monitoring. While a high proportion of communications between ships and shore currently go through geostationary satellites, more will be going through LEO satellites that fly around closer to our planet in the next decade. Adoption of VSAT in maritime is driving more of these services through geostationary C, or K-band pipes, and a few medium Earth orbit satellites. But, this could also be eroded by the emergence of LEO K-band satellites after 2020.

Tampnet has been awarded a long-term contract to operate the shared telecommunications infrastructure for offshore oil and gas companies operating on the Dutch continental shelf. The scope of the contract is to operate, upgrade, develop and maintain the telecoms infrastructure over the next six years. Tampnet will tie the existing telecoms network into its subsea fibrebased infrastructure in the North Sea.

Norwegian fishing vessel operator Eros is upgrading its communications for catch reporting and crew welfare. Eros is installing Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress hybrid satellite communications on three of its vessels that operate in the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea. Inmarsat and Eros signed the contract in November as Inmarsat opened its new offices at the Norwegian Maritime Competence Centre, in Ålesund, Norway. Fleet Xpress includes the Ka-band VSAT connectivity that comes with the Global Xpress constellation of satellites and an L-band backup through the FleetBroadband service. Eros chief executive Per Magne Eggesbo said this deal will “quadruple the connectivity speeds” for its vessels. Along with the integrated backup, Fleet Xpress “provides a huge advantage when operating in these regions” said Mr Eggesbo.

Mini satellites will enable unmanned ships

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

Tampnet covers Dutch continental shelf

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KEY FEATURES Latest Generation Intel® CPU’s

Superior Optical Bonding Option

LED Backlight Technology

ECDIS & Radar Compliant

Full Dimming 100%

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Harbour tug Svitzer Hermod was manoeuvred around Copenhagen harbour in November 2017

echnology providers plan to work closely with shipowners during 2018 to tackle some of the challenges emerging as remote control and autonomous ships are developed. These include providing greater and more accurate information to vessel operators, developing better anti-collision programs and producing physical feedback to controllers. In 2017, Rolls-Royce collaborated with Danish tug owner Svitzer and class society Lloyd’s Register to develop a method of controlling a harbour tug from a remote control room. Marine Electronics & Communications saw this in action in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 16 November when a tug master successfully controlled the 2016-built harbour tug Svitzer Hermod from a shore-based operations centre in Svitzer’s offices. He was able to manoeuvre the Sanmarbuilt tug using a Rolls-Royce dynamic positioning system on the vessel and could visualise the environment around the tug through 120˚ of screens that displayed live camera footage that was augmented with a range of navigational and situation awareness information. All of the tug handling and display controls were accessible from the controller’s chair. One significant difference from controlling the vessel from the bridge was that the tug operator was not able to feel any of the sensations of being in control. However, according to Svitzer group technical and innovation manager Thomas Bangslund, this will be added in a second phase of testing for the remote control technology. “We will be introducing sensory

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


Navtor tests remote vessel control bridge Navtor has tested the concept of a shore-based bridge, which it thinks is a vital step on the path to autonomous shipping. It is working with CyberPhysical Systems Engineering (CPSE) Labs, which is an EU-funded consortium of partners that are researching cloud-based technologies across different sectors. With the help of eMIR, a Germanbacked initiative for improving safety and efficiency in maritime transportation, Navtor has tested remote control of a vessel from a shorebased bridge. In November, 2017, it successfully tested route planning, voyage monitoring and transferring safety-critical navigation functions from vessel to shore. Navtor set up a desktop of three e-navigation displays – ECDIS, a conning station and its own NavStation – along with a wall of displays showing an overview of surrounding vessels and camera views of outside the vessel. All of the information between the vessel and the shore was communicated through mobile phone 3G or 4G networks. A first step during this test was a safety check on ECDIS before the navigator on board the test vessel sailed it out of port. Once in open water, he handed control of the vessel to the shore-based bridge. This operator was able to monitor the voyage using the camera feed and control the vessel using the NavStation. During the test, the vessel was heading towards a collision with a buoy. In these potentially dangerous situations the shore-based operator can control the vessel using a touchscreen workstation. Project manager Bjørn Age Hjøllo said a shore-based bridge could be used as part of a vessel or fleet management system, adding that it is “an important step towards the autonomous vessel”. It may allow an operator to “take over control of the vessel, reducing costs as only work crew would be required on board as a failsafe back-up,” he explained.

elements, such as noise and vibration into the remote operating centre,” he told MEC, by “adding more augmented reality to provide more information to the operator.” Svitzer and Rolls-Royce added sensors on Svitzer Hermod to deliver navigation and situation awareness information to the controller. This included adding Lidar laser scanning, multiple cameras, night-vision thermal cameras, DP radar-scan, multiple mobile phone network transceivers and satellite communications. This was on top of the existing Furuno radar and ECDIS feeds that are transmitted directly from the tug over various 3G and 4G cellular connections to the control room. Svitzer Hermod also has two Global Xpress Ka-band antennas, supplied by Cobham Satcom, for communications when the tug is outside the mobile phone networks. There are also motion reference units and GPS for the DP system. Mr Bangslund expects there will be further technology demonstrations in 2018 as Svitzer uses its experience to enhance operations across the fleet. He explained that technology could be used for resting crews while a tug is sailing between different countries and ports, adding “we can have a rested crew when the tug arrives on site.” The augmented reality developed for the remote control room could also be used on vessel bridges to deliver more information to masters. The camera technology could be adapted for bridge uses to assist in navigation and towing, while thermal cameras enhance firefighting capabilities. Mr Bangslund explained that data from tug operations could be used to improve the

performance of captains – using data from the motion reference unit in the engineroom combined with towage operating data to provide advice to masters. Other operational data can also be used to help captains improve the performance of tugs. Remote control and autonomous technology is likely to be adopted to other vessel types before 2020. RollsRoyce Marine senior vice president for concepts, innovation and digital systems, Oskar Levander expects these technologies to make possible the first commercial autonomous vessel in the next two years. This might be a passenger vessel operating between islands, or a coastal cargo ship, or an autonomous surface vessel used to deploy underwater remotely operated vehicles. The remote control technology could also enable ship designers to transfer the bridge inside a vessel’s infrastructure. He considered this could be achieved on a 1,000 TEU feeder container ship where “there would be more room for cargo by moving the bridge below deck”, Mr Levander said. There are also applications outside commercial shipping. For example, Rolls-Royce has developed the Crystal Blue superyacht concept which includes a bridge below deck, which is similar to the remote operating centre demonstrated in Copenhagen. The Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU) has conducted research into developing autonomous ferries that can transport passengers and vehicles across channels. NTNU Oceans director Ingrid Schjølberg, said such ferries would need minimal on-deck structures.

A tug master uses the remote operating station to control Svitzer Hermod

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


GulfMark Offshore’s Highland Chieftain in the North Sea was controlled from a workstation in California in August

“The opportunities offered through smart technology will foster a new era of collaboration” These vessels could be barges that would have electric propulsion plus autonomous navigation and anticollision software. For ferries completing longer distances, there would be extra requirements for remote monitoring and control. Technology developed for remote controlled and autonomous ships can be used to design and operate partiallyautonomous vessels, said Prof Schjølberg. These would include lower-cost sensors, higher computer processing power, e-navigation and decision support tools.

Offshore and beyond

A platform supply vessel in the North Sea was the focus of a demonstration by Wärtsilä Marine Solutions in August 2017 of its involvement in smart marine ecosystems. GulfMark Offshore’s Highland Chieftain, which had a Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum package for navigation, automation and DP, was controlled from a centre in San Diego, California, USA. Additional software was temporarily added to the vessel’s DP system to route data over its satellite link to the remote workstation. From there, the controller was able to sail the vessel through a sequence of manoeuvres during the four-hour test using a combination of DP and manual joystick control. Communications between the control room and vessel involved satellite broadband connectivity. Since then, in November, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions president Roger Holm unveiled its Smart Marine Ecosystem vision, through which it is developing technology that will enable remote control of passenger ships, offshore support and other types of vessel. As part of this, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions intends to develop e-navigation, ship optimisation, industry digitalisation and vessel remote control. “The opportunities offered through smart technology will foster a new era of

collaboration and knowledge sharing between shipowners, suppliers and partners,” Mr Holm said. Wärtsilä opened its first digital acceleration centre in Helsinki, Finland in October and another in Singapore in December. Mr Holm described three primary forces that he said will re-shape passenger shipping: big data analytics,

which will optimise both operations and energy management; intelligent vessels, which will enable automated and optimised processes; and smart ports, which will result in smoother and faster port operations. Mr Holm said Wärtsilä was committed to developing this technology further, hinting that there would be further tests in 2018.

BMT starts US$1.6M anti-collision study A group of UK-based companies has started a new £1.2M (US$1.6M) research project to investigate how autonomous vessels could co-exist with manned ships. BMT has teamed up with ASV Global and Deimos Space UK for the Shared Waterspace Autonomous Navigation by Satellite (SWANS) project. With funding from the government-funded organisation Innovate UK, these companies will investigate how autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) can use existing and future satellite capabilities for collision avoidance and communications. This is particularly focused on autonomous vessels operating beyond the horizon from shore and in congested maritime traffic, BMT managing director Phil Thompson explained, adding that the few autonomous vessels already developed use the global automatic identification system (AIS) for collision avoidance. “But they remain at risk of colliding with vessels or objects not using AIS,” he said in a statement. Others rely upon waterspace management and the actions of other water users to avoid collisions, “neither of which go far enough in reducing the risk of a collision occurring,” Mr Thompson added. He said the project would be “critical in helping us to overcome this barrier by developing the first-ever commercially ready, safe over-the-horizon operating system for congested waterspaces.” BMT’s Rembrandt ship manoeuvring simulator will be used in the project and ASV Global will bring its experience in conducting operations with unmanned vessels out of sight of land using an advanced autonomous navigation system. ASV Global sales and marketing director Vince Dobbin said the project “has the potential to open up a multitude of applications for the operation of ASVs in busy waterspaces.” During the SWANS project, the team will combine ASV Global’s autonomous vessel control simulator and BMT’s Rembrandt simulator to visualise different datasets in 3D and to evaluate new multi-vessel conflict scenarios. MEC

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


Autonomous and remote control shipping Autonomy levels (AL) adapted from Lloyds Register

AL 0


As shipping develops more autonomous vessel technology Lloyd's Register produced a method to classify the level at which machines and humans interact in controlling ships

Operator on board

AL 1 Decisionsupport on board

AL 2

Onboard or shore-based decision support

AL 3

Execution with human being who monitors and approves

AL 6


Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

AL 4

Execution with human being who monitors and can intervene

AL 5

Monitored autonomy – decisions by system

Source: Rolls-Royce, Lloyd’s Register Graphics: Mark Lukmanji

Next steps... Unmanned ships will most likely start with local applications





Remotely operated local vessel: reduced crew with remote support and operation of certain functions

Remote controlled unmanned coastal vessel

Remote controlled unmanned oceangoing ship

Autonomous unmanned oceangoing ship

23% Onboard sensors



capex saving

Radar, Lidar, cameras, GPS, AIS DP to control vessel


More reliable Fuel efficient

Remote Operating Centre

Less risk

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

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First cyber security platform built for shipping has stopped its first attack Developers of the first cyber security service designed and tested specifically for maritime use has prevented its first cyber security attack on a shipping target, writes Jamey Bergman


cyber security platform developed by the Greek communications company Navarino has stopped its first maritime cyber security attack. The system, called Angel, was formally launched at the end of October, when Navarino’s solutions architect Stratos Margaritis told Marine Electronics and Communications about the new system and the attack it prevented. “It was a denial of service attack that was immediately caught and blocked. The attack was isolated from the network,” he said. Mr Margaritis was unwilling to specify which company had been targeted in the attack, explaining that cyber attacks and security breaches of

Navarino introduced the Angel cyber security solution to a packed room of its resellers and clients

shipping systems are often kept secret and cited other unreported cyber incidents he is aware of within the shipping industry. “I do know of two or three unreported cyber attacks. The [shipping companies] have been compromised from inside … but I do not know if they want to go public with it,” he said. Mr Margaritis said that crew posed a particular threat to cyber security in shipping and described an incident where a crew member infected a vessel’s ECDIS system. He had put his phone to charge on the ECDIS device “and the ECDIS was compromised”, he said. “Things like that can happen, and the crew is not exactly aware of the mass damage they can do.” A fear of reputational damage is driving companies affected by cyber attacks to keep quiet, according to Mr Margaritis. But he cited the June cyber attack on container shipping giant Maersk as evidence that reporting a cyber attack can, contrary to that worry, actually enhance a company’s reputation. “In the Maersk case, it did not do them any harm to come forward. Because they were forward with this, it actually promoted their reputation.” This view was echoed in a seminar in November organised

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


by the International Maritime Industries Forum in which Hill Dickinson’s global head of shipping told a Maersk vice president that shipping owed his company a debt of gratitude for its transparency during the biggest cyber attack the shipping sector has faced to date. Mr Margaritis said Navarino is working to convince shipping companies to report cyber attacks when they happen. Transparent reporting brings a net benefit to the industry by allowing companies to take measures that will protect their systems from attack. Even if more open reporting practices are agreed, Mr Margaritis was sure there was a likelihood of more cyber attacks. Following on from the Maersk incident, in which a so-called ‘zero-day’ virus known as NotPetya took out the container shipping giant’s systems, Mr Margaritis said the Angel service addresses zeroday attacks. The term ‘zeroday’ describes a virus that is written to exploit a previously unknown vulnerability for which no antivirus software

signatures have been developed. This level of protection does not necessarily require VSAT, but it helps, he said, because the amount of data to be transmitted onto the vessel is about 300-500 MB per month. Working with Angel is another system, called Infinity, which he described as a gateway that supports all types of communication: 3G, 4G, wifi, satellite Ku-band, Ka-band, “whatever you can imagine. That means all the traffic goes to Infinity and is passed over to Angel for inspection.” Infinity acts as a firewall with Angel providing unified threat management (UTM) behind it, he explained. “It is interconnected with the firewall, which means that once an attack has been identified the UTM is able to send direct commands to Infinity to drop the service right where it comes from, instead of allowing it to pass through the firewall and into the UTM.” Mr Margaritis said all signatures and databases are updated in realtime and responses are pushed to the vessels.

Tanker group overcame cyber attack

BW Group operates a fleet of floating storage and regasification ships

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

Angel monitors traffic and learns the behaviour of computer applications


How it works

Angel is built to monitor traffic and learn the behaviour of computer applications on the systems it protects. After being in place for a period of time, Angel learns to recognise the typical patterns and types of use that occur on each of the individual PCs on board a ship, for example. Requests for behaviour that contravenes what Angel sees as normal use are isolated and flagged to Navarino’s Athens-based team, which mans a Security Operations Centre (SOC) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The SOC team investigates the issues flagged by Angel and notifies crew on board with what they find. Navarino Angel is compatible with all satellite networks and IP-based networks and is paired with Navarino’s Infinity traffic gateway, which includes both bandwidth optimisation and a firewall.

Tanker owner BW Group was hit by a cyber security breach that allowed hackers to gain access to the company’s computer systems. The company told Marine Electronics & Communications that the attack happened in July 2017, making it the first shippingrelated cyber security breach reported since the NotPetya ransomware virus took down the operations of container shipping giant Maersk in late June. BW took action to deal with the problem and neither its own internal communications nor external communications with customers and stakeholders were affected, according to company spokesperson Lisa Lim. “It was business as usual with some inconveniences,” she said. “We worked around planned system downtimes as our IT department, with assistance of external consultants, reinforced our cyber security infrastructure.” According to market intelligence analyst S&P Global, BW Group brought in KPMG’s cyber security consultancy to perform a forensic audit of its systems and the company worked with UK telecommunications giant BT and others to implement new cyber security products. BW Group has confirmed that the breach of its company’s computer systems did not involve ransomware. BW Group did not divulge any information regarding any loss of data or financial assets due to the unauthorised access to its computers.


SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS LACK OF CYBER SECURITY TRAINING A survey conducted by satellite communications provider NSSLGlobal has pointed to a widespread lack of cyber security training in the shipping industry. The online survey showed that more than two-thirds of crew may not have received any cyber security training from their employers. A total of 84% of respondents said they had limited or no training in cyber security despite well over half of respondents acknowledging that they had some responsibility for maintaining the security of IT systems on board the vessels where they work. The survey was conducted on Twitter and responses came from 571 accounts linked to individuals who identified themselves as crew members on seagoing vessels. NSSLGlobal said the results made it clear that maritime employers were not doing enough to educate crew about the risks of cyber attacks or how to avoid them.

Lack of industry concern cited at cyber security training launch At the launch event for a new cyber security training programme in October, a panel of experts cited a general lack of concern across the shipping industry as a key obstacle to improving cyber security. Moore Stephens cyber security partner Steve Williams said “It is the same with every industry. Nobody cares until there is a problem. It is not a criticism of the [shipping] industry, it is just a fact.” Mr Williams said cyber attacks were pervasive across all business, government and non-government sectors. About “50%-90% of organisations will get hit by a cyber attack. Why should [shipping] think that we are any different?” He was speaking in support of a training programme offered by KVH Videotel, Cyber Security at Sea, which covers various cyber security threats, risk assessment for ship systems, risk reduction practices for individuals and ship systems and best practice for responding in the event of a cyber security breach

or attack. The programme consists of an in-depth video and a manual. It took two years to develop. KVH Videotel producer James Cleave said that his group created the programme as a practical guide to help seafarers better recognise the threats they can pose to onboard systems and be better prepared to respond to cyber security attacks. The company’s senior vice president Mark Woodhead said a cyber attack can severely impact and impair vessel performance. “Many cyber incidents on board are triggered accidentally by seafarers opening phishing email attachments or hyperlinks, or using infected removable media, so this training programme explores how to minimise these risks by making personnel more aware of the types of malware.” Mr Williams praised IMO for moving quickly to enact cyber security regulations by setting a deadline for shipowners and managers to incorporate cyber risk management into the ISM Code by 2021.

Speaking at the IMCA OCIMF cyber security seminar at London International Shipping week in September, Technip FMC senior manager Ian Hindmarsh said crew members represent both a strength and a vulnerability and require constant training. Shipowners, he said, need to become more intelligent customers, security needs to be built into the supply chain and a cultural change is required across the industry. It is widely agreed in the industry that individuals are prime targets for those intent on initiating cyber attacks. According to Mike Hawthorne, former Royal Navy submarine commander and OBE for cyber security, weak passwords, the reuse of passwords and providing administrator rights to employees without cyber security training all represent types of poor cyber hygiene that can be exploited by cyber criminals wishing to break into vessel control systems.

Minerva Marine implements cyber security

Greek-owned ship management company Minerva Marine has implemented a cyber security platform to aid the company in managing its cyber risk. The tanker group added the HACyberLogix software, which developer HudsonAnalytix describes as a self-assessment, decision-support platform. HudsonAnalytix said the implementation process took several days of IT work and intensive training for Minerva Marine employees. The software platform is based on cyber security standards from the ISO/IEC 27001 guidelines and aligns with IMO’s International Safety Management and International Ship and Port Facility Security codes. It also incorporates US National Institute of Standards & Technology standards and the Centre for Internet Security’s critical controls. Minerva said the program will give recommendations to “drive cyber security capability improvements” across its fleet and its operations centres. Minerva Marine IT manager Eftihia Benaki said that a workshop with HudsonAnalytix consultants helped it assess its current cyber security readiness across the entire organisation and helped it identify the existence of cyber risks within its safety and security management system. MEC

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

MSC Seaside broke the maritime VSAT record in December 2017

Technology pushes ship connectivity to record levels Satellite and VSAT antenna technology is helping cruise ship operators to ramp up throughput to meet passenger and crew demands for onboard internet connectivity


evelopments in high throughput satellites and VSAT hardware are increasing broadband communications capacity for passengers on cruise ships. Guests and crew can use onboard wifi to connect their mobile devices to the internet for social media and other online services over a new generation of satellites. Internet connectivity is delivered via wide beams of C-band and Ku-band on geostationary satellites or Ka-band from Inmarsat’s Global Xpress constellation, which was introduced in 2016. In the tropics, cruise ships can access Ka-band beams from O3B satellites, which are operated by SES. In January, the operator made another high throughput satellite service available to passenger shipping. SES now provides Ku-band high-throughput spot beams on the SES-15 satellite, which was launched in May 2017. Since then, it has been tested and is now ready to provide coverage around the coasts of North America. According to SES Networks’ leader for the global maritime segment Stephen Conley, two other high-throughput satellites will be launched and commissioned this year. SES-12 will provide spot beams of Ku-band over Asia and the Middle East and SES-14 will deliver broadband over the Atlantic Ocean, Mr Conley told Marine Electronics & Communications. These satellites will be integrated into SES’ existing constellation of geostationary satellites, which have wide beams of C-band and Ku-band. The three new satellites will provide additional throughput in regions of high demand. “We are building a manageable and robust platform for our channel partners to use with their value-added services,” said Mr Conley.

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

SES is also investing in the O3B constellation over the next five years under its mPower global plan. This will involve investing billions of dollars in a new satellites to “significantly improve connectivity in Ka-band” said Mr Conley. Boeing Satellite Systems will build at least seven satellites that could be launched in 2021 and held in medium Earth orbit (MEO). The O3B constellation will have 30,000 shapeable and steerable beams that can be shifted and switched in real-time to align with areas of high demand. O3B mPower will provide coverage to an area of nearly 400M km², which represents about 80% of the Earth’s surface. SES already operates 12 MEO O3B satellites. It is launching eight more MEO satellites over the next two years to increase the existing constellation to 20. During 2017, satellite operator Intelsat also expanded its services to passenger ships by commissioning its EpicNG satellites – a constellation with high throughput spot beams in Ku-band and C-band. This has allowed cruise shipowners to increase connectivity to levels never previously thought possible. For example, MSC Cruises has used EpicNG satellites to provide record-breaking VSAT connectivity on its new cruise ships. It has achieved more than 500 Mbps on its newbuild MSC Seaside over Marlink's Sealink VSAT. This bandwidth was provided to passengers, crew and media during the vessel’s launch service in Monfalcone, Italy, on 30 November and during its maiden voyage to the naming ceremony in Miami, Florida, on 21 December. During normal operations VSAT bandwidth for the whole ship will not be as high as this, but will still be around the 100 Mbps level. MSC Cruises will require more VSAT systems as it is investing in more Seaside-series ships: Fincantieri is building a third one of these for delivery in 2021 and another to come into service in 2023 under a €1.8Bn (US$2.1Bn) investment campaign.

“We are building a manageable and robust platform for our channel partners to use with their value-added services”



To achieve high bandwidths, cruise shipowners need to install the latest VSAT maritime stabilised antennas and associated hardware, such as modems and wifi routers. For connectivity efficiency, passenger ship operators should install antennas that can switch between frequency bands. Cobham Satcom has developed a high power integrated maritime antenna (IMA) that can automatically switch between C-band and Ku-band. It is a switchable version of the 2.4 m Sea Tel 9711 IMA series antennas and Cobham Satcom business manager for large VSAT, Kirby Nell, said cruise ships use C-band for reliable global connectivity and Ku-band connectivity for the higher throughput applications. A switchable sub reflector on the antenna meets these requirements. This allows the modem to use the ship’s location to dictate the band to be used and therefore the connection speed available, Mr Nell told Marine Electronics & Communications. He explained that further development was needed because of the emergence of high-throughput satellites with spot beams of C, Ku and Ka-band from services such as Inmarsat’s Global Xpress, SES’s O3B and Telenor’s Thor 7 satellites. Part of this development included producing higher power amplifiers on antennas to match the use of more powerful radio frequencies. “We have seen the base system move from a 40 W for C-band with a 16 W Ku-band amplifier to 250 W for C-band with a 125 W Ku-band amplifier as the standard solution,” Mr Nell explained. This is because customers use larger portions of satellite bandwidth to increase their throughput on the satellite communications links, he added. Cobham Satcom has developed a method of upgrading existing Sea Tel 9711 IMA antennas with high power radio frequency amplifiers that form part of customising kits. Future developments for Cobham Satcom will depend on the

MOL TESTS INTELLIGENT AWARENESS ON FERRY Japanese shipping group Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) is testing an intelligent awareness system on a ferry that operates in congested waters. Intelligent awareness provides information to crew to enhance their understanding of a ship’s surroundings. It combines data from a network of onboard sensors with information from bridge equipment such as ECDIS, automatic identification system (AIS), radar and environmental data. MOL is testing Rolls-Royce’s intelligent awareness solution on passenger ferry Sunflower, which operates on a 222-nautical mile route between Kobe and Oita in Japan. This takes it through the Akashi Kaikyo, Bisan Seto and Kurushima Straits, which MOL director Kenta Arai said were some of the most congested waters in the world. “We expect the intelligent awareness system to provide our crew with a more informed view of a vessel’s surroundings, as an enhanced decision support tool, increasing their safety and that of our vessels,” said Mr Arai.

launch of higher-power low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that can provide Ku-band connectivity. OneWeb is the closest to building a constellation of these satellites for all maritime users. In response to this, Cobham Satcom will need to develop new antennas and custom kits for existing units, said Mr Nell. He said these would need to be flexible solutions that can make use of multiple bands at multiple different frequencies. Custom kits include radio frequency feeds, amplifiers and supporting software to adjust Sea Tel antennas. MEC

The SES-15 satellite has a Ku-band high-throughput spot beam pay load

NEW E-NAVIGATION PROJECT FOR SCANDINAVIAN FERRIES AND PORTS Scandinavian ferries will take e-navigation to the next stage under a €4.5M (US$5.3M) sea traffic management (STM) project. The EfficientFlow project, which will be co-ordinated by the Swedish Maritime Administration, covers many aspects of STM on ferries that sail through the archipelago between Sweden and Finland. EfficientFlow should provide better traffic management in the ports of Rauma, Finland, and Gävle, Sweden. It is being brought into service between now and 2020. Project partners, which include Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and the Finnish Transport Agency, expect EfficientFlow to reduce the need for manual information exchange and improve processes and practical application of new ICT tools. They anticipate that this should lead to better situational awareness among operators of the ports and ships sailing in the lanes between them.

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018




Mark O’Neil (Columbia Marlow): “Digitalisation is of existential importance to the shipping industry“

igitalisation, cyber security, ship connectivity and onboard e-learning were identified as main areas for development or concern in the tanker and gas shipping sectors. These were key subjects discussed by industry leaders at Riviera Maritime Media’s Tanker Shipping and Trade (TST) and LNG ShipShore Interface conferences in London, in November 2017. Tanker owners and managers could improve operational efficiencies and reduce the risk of ship detentions through digitalisation, the TST conference was told. Counsellor (Maritime Affairs) and alternate permanent representative of the Republic of Cyprus to IMO, George Demetriades said that digitalising certain processes could result in a reduction of detentions, in particular because it would help vessels keep accurate oil record books. However, he said an unexpected downside of digitalisation was the potential loss of profit for tanker operators as ports increased their efficiencies with digital logistics solutions. Nonetheless, Columbia Marlow president Mark O’Neil explained how important it was for owners to adopt this key technology. “Digitalisation is of existential importance to the shipping

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

industry and the industry’s businesses,” he said. He warned conference delegates that if they were “not at the digital table” in five years’ time, they would be left behind. Columbia Marlow is helping to build this digital table and was awarded the TST Operational Excellence Award, sponsored by Winterthur Gas & Diesel, for its joint venture with software group Lufthansa Industry Solutions to produce software programs for a host of ship-wide operational applications. Despite the benefits of digitalisation and ship connectivity, they place vessels and companies at risk from cyber threats. “Today’s most fast-moving security concern is the cyber challenge,” BP Shipping’s chief financial officer Guy Mason told the TST conference. “In 2016, we intercepted 614M phishing emails – 1.7M a day, 70,000 per hour, 1,200 a minute,” he revealed. Under heavy fire from would-be cyber criminals, BP was taking the threat very seriously, he said. “We are responding by investing in systems and their advances and in people and their awareness to threats.” Mr Mason said the concern his company felt was most worrying for shipping was that of a navigation system being compromised by ill-meaning attackers. “Being just a little bit paranoid in this space feels the right approach, to us. Adopting the attitude that there is always someone out there trying to get you.” Euronav chief executive Paddy Rodgers said his organisation faced 50,000 attempts to breach its cyber security every day. He believes this figure is fairly common and urged other companies to take cyber


security seriously if they did not want to be breached. “If it is not at the top of the risk matrix for every board of directors, it should be,” he said. Dania Ship Management chief executive Carsten Ostenfeldt concurred, saying “I think there is a high risk that there will be a vessel going somewhere it should not” as a result of a cyber security breach.


At the LNG Ship-Shore interface conference, GTT Training general manager Ray Gillett said ship connectivity opened new opportunities for owners to introduce learner-centred training at sea. He explained that increased automation and satellite communications enable shipbased distance-learning and increasing uptake of software-based training programmes. He added that this would tackle a culture with a relatively low take-up of software- and simulator-based training, compared to industries such as the airline sector, which is much more heavily regulated. “Shipping does not have that regulatory drive,” Mr Gillett explained. “On top of that, simulators are costly and are therefore still not used as much as they could be.” He criticised shipping’s attitude to training, claiming that trainees think “I have attended such-and-such a course” when they should be asking “what have I learned?” Other barriers to investment in training in shipping include its fluid employment structure, in which employers see little

return in spending money training crew and officers who will move on. Training also needs to be revalidated, which takes money away from new training drives, and courses also almost always take seafarers away from work, so they can learn in a shore-based environment. For crew, barriers to attending simulator-based training include difficulties in getting to shore for these courses, increasing levels of regulation and auditing and a lack of trust in their employers, Mr Gillett said. However, seafarers can conduct training through e-learning courses in their own time and on ships, reducing some of these difficulties. “Connectivity will change training methods, opening the opportunity to offer real-time training on board ship,” Mr Gillett said. “It will widen the scope of the available materials. Once ships have an IP address, universities will get interested. There is then scope to use applications, such as Messenger, for onboard communications and training.”

Growth in the number of gasfuelled commercial ships will increase the need for specialised LNG handling and equipment maintenance, which will generate more training requirements. Mr Gillett said that GTT Training was developing a specialist simulator as part of an LNG-fuel service package for commercial ships. GTT is to build the LNG-fuel tanks for 20,000 TEU LNG-fuelled container ships that CMA CGM has ordered in China. These ships will be similar to standard container ships and the chief engineer will manage the systems on board. Mr Gillett said shipowners that have opted for LNG “will train their crew properly as these companies are investing in both systems and crew.” They will be learning new skills but “my real concern is in 10-15 years’ time, when LNG as marine fuel becomes mainstream,” he said. “Will we be taking the same amount of care then? My guess is that things will then revert to the minimum STCW requirements.” MEC

TECHNICAL AWARDS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR DIGITAL PROCESSES AND REMOTE CONTROL The Tanker Shipping & Trade Technical Innovation Award, sponsored by DNV GL, went to the Liberian International Shipping & Corporate Registry and Prevention at Sea for its development of the e-ORB, electronic oil record book. The e-ORB was created to combat the many challenges that are associated with using the traditional oil record book and to save shipowners and operators from facing fines, detentions and revenue loss associated with inaccurate or falsified oil records. Liberian Registry vice president Christian Mollitor said “When we started this programme, it was almost four years ago, to develop the electronic oil record book, myself and the chief executive ... we did not ever realise that we would have so much success as we have so far.” The electronic oil record book is being used onboard vessels operated by more than 130 companies and has been approved by 12 flag states, including Liberia. The Environmental Award, sponsored by the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF), went to GAC EnvironHull for its remoteoperated vehicle, HullWiper. This cleans ship hulls which, the developer claims, significantly reduces fuel consumption and enhances the long-term operating efficiency for vessels. It also eliminates the necessity for expensive downtime for cleaning operations. HullWiper collects marine fouling removed from hulls, rather than polluting port water and risking the spread of harmful invasive species. Captured residues are pumped into a filter unit and deposited into dedicated drums onshore, which are collected by a locally-approved environmental waste disposal company.

Ray Gillett (GTT Training): “Connectivity will change training methods“

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

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DP system faults put divers at risk

DP manufacturers should ensure that operators cannot inadvertently deactivate their systems’ auto-position modes


ynamic positioning (DP) systems are susceptible to faults that can lead to serious, and potentially fatal, consequences to subsea operations. Some of these faults have been highlighted in a report published by Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA). An article in the Q4 2017 issue of its magazine the Regulator reported that NOPSEMA is aware of 16 such incidents around the world. It described three of them in which a DP auto-position fault led to a loss-of-position incident that could have led to a major accident, such as the loss of a remotely operated vehicle or of a diver working subsea or a well blowout. These faults might be described as human error but NOPSEMA believes that DP operating systems should be more robust. One of the incidents the article highlighted occurred in Australia in 2016. On a diving support vessel, a DP operator accidently placed a notepad on the console which pressed down on the ‘surge’ button twice, unintentionally deactivating the auto-position mode. This led to the vessel drifting off-location while a diver was working on the seabed. Vessel personnel had to be alerted by the diver who followed his umbilical and walked with the drifting vessel. If this umbilical had snagged on subsea infrastructure he could have died, but fortunately he survived unharmed and was able to help NOPSEMA in its investigation. The authority concluded that this incident was the result of human error made possible by a weakness in the design of the DP system. If an accidental loss of positioning occurs on an offshore drilling rig or drill ship it could lead to a well blowout and a potentially explosive hydrocarbons emission, and NOPSEMA highlighted two incidents of a loss of positioning on drilling units in the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico. In the North Sea example, a semi-submersible drilling rig lost control of its position for several minutes due to an accidental disengagement of the DP system while drilling. It took rig personnel six minutes to realise that the auto-positioning system had been disengaged. As a consequence, the drill pipe was sheared and the lower marine riser package was disconnected. The UK Health and Safety Executive attributed both the loss of position and inadequate crew response to the “poor ergonomic design of the control system”. In the US Gulf of Mexico, a drill ship unintentionally drifted off position while dealing with a well kick. The US Coast Guard said the DP operator inadvertently deactivated the auto-position mode by accidentally double-pressing the manual button while reaching across the console. On realising the mistake, the operator re-engaged the auto-positioning to bring this vessel back into position. The US Coast Guard stated the incident was the result of “human error with a mix of ergonomics”. NOPSEMA recommended that DP system manufacturers

NOPSEMA said it would like to see industry and suppliers work closely together on DP system design, such as this typical example

should consider designing centralised controls that are more resilient against human error, so that a single, inadvertent act by an operator will not lead to an emergency with a high probability of fatalities. “Control systems should also provide adequate feedback to operators to allow them to promptly identify the issue and take appropriate action,” said NOPSEMA. It also recommended that offshore vessel and rig operators check their systems to ensure they are not susceptible to this type of design-induced human error. “They should also ensure that suitable controls are in place to prevent, identify and adequately recover from the error.” Robust controls could have tactile differentiation for error prevention and action confirmation dialogue boxes. DP systems should have high-visibility displays for error identification and recovery and audible alarms or warnings. DP manufacturers should include built-in safeguards of their systems to ensure they provide sufficient protection, feedback and recovery against this type of design-induced operator error, said NOPSEMA. It is apparent from past incidents that systems – even with a double-press requirement for deactivating the auto-position mode – are still susceptible to human error. MEC • These issues will be discussed at Riviera Maritime Media’s European Dynamic Positioning Conference, to be held in London on 6 February 2018. For more details visit • Read the NOPSEMA article on pages 12-13 of the Regulator via

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


New bridge systems enable advanced e-navigation

New bridge products from JRC subsidiary Alphatron, Praxis, Navico and Sperry Marine were unveiled during Q4 2017

Alphatron unveiled its latest version of AlphaBridge at the Europort exhibition, Rotterdam, in November 2017


anufacturers are developing bridge systems with greater levels of integration that can be used for future e-navigation applications. This latest generation of bridge electronics has simpler network architecture and more flexibility with integrated workstations that can be used for more advanced navigation and alarm monitoring applications than has been possible before. For example, Japan Radio Co (JRC) subsidiary Alphatron Marine introduced an integrated bridge system for workboats and commercial ships in October 2017 that was designed to be simple to use. This latest version of its AlphaBridge is designed and integrated by Alphatron using JRC bridge equipment. Alphatron divisional manager Rogier van Roon told Marine Electronics & Communications in November 2017 that AlphaBridge’s design should enable optimised views from the wheelhouse and full control of displays and equipment – including autopilot, VHF and propulsion

controls – from the master chair. AlphaBridge has three 26-in navigational displays in the front consoles. It is also fitted with JRC’s latest JMR-5400 marine radar and a new conning system and can also come with a new adaptive autopilot and a new VHF radio that has a 5-in touchscreen. For inland operations, this updated version of AlphaBridge can come with a JRC river radar, such as JMA610 and Alphatron’s new track monitoring and control unit. One of the most recent installations of AlphaBridge equipment was on Damen Shipyards-built yacht support vessel, New Frontiers. Alphatron supplied the navigation and communications package that included a dynamic positioning (DP) module and VSAT. The DP automatically controls the heading and position of this YS 5009-design vessel, based on data received from position reference sensors, gyrocompasses, wind sensors and motion reference units. The auto track mode

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

allows New Frontiers to move along a predefined track at low speed. In 2017, Alphatron also developed, in association with Argonics, a track and control system for inland shipping. AlphaRiverTrack, as it is called, is an autopilot that enables ship masters to set routes on electronic charts for vessels using inland waterways. It calculates rudder output for steering a vessel while compensating for drift. Vessel masters can overrule the automation to make adjustments during navigation by using a compact joystick control panel on the bridge. Three steering modes from existing Alphatron river pilot devices – automatic, follow-up and track – can be chosen by the vessel’s captain. AlphaRiverTrack will automatically optimise a route by adjusting it to account for water levels and vessel load conditions. It analyses progress of the planned route using prediction lines and reduces fuel consumption by decreasing rudder movements. For open sea operations, JRC has developed a JMR-5400 radar with 19-in or 26-in displays, greater processing power and an updated human-machine interface. For commercial ships, Alphatron has introduced the NeCST route planning station. This is an interactive chart unit that enables operators to plan voyages on a 46-in touchscreen. The planning station would be connected to other bridge systems enabling officers to transfer a route to an onboard ECDIS.


Navigation aids unveiled Praxis’ Mega-Guard workstations can be configured for ECDIS, radar and conning (credit: Riviera Maritime Media)

Like Alphatron’s ECDIS capabilities, new graphical interfaces from Praxis Automation Technology can also link bridge systems into a ship’s ECDIS. Its Mega-Guard integrated navigation system can be supplied with between three and 10 integrated operator workstations. These can display and control X-band and S-band radar with automatic plotting capabilities, ECDIS with radar overlay, autopilot and conning. Mega-Guard integrated bridges also include a centralised alarm monitoring system and controls for vessel systems, such as main propulsion, thrusters, ventilation and emergency response systems. There can also be an integrated manoeuvring system with propulsion and steering controls and heading controls that automatically manages a vessel’s direction of motion using rudder or azimuthing thrusters. This can be extended with DP in classes DP1, DP2 and DP3. Each Mega-Guard operator workstation is equipped with a marine computer, a 22-in to 26-in thin-film-transistor colour display and a trackball. These are interconnected with the radar antenna via a redundant Ethernet link, said Praxis software engineer Lars van Ruiten, who explained that workstations display alarm information and feedback on what is causing the alarm and advice on what action to take. Instead of analogue control panels, Praxis has developed configurable digital panels with touchscreens that can serve different purposes. “It was just a matter of changing the software,” he told Marine Electronics & Communications. Praxis has also developed controls for its new Mega-Guard Green hybrid propulsion suite. The controls include a

manual mode selection, motor start-stop function, emergency mode selection, control position, dimming and parameter mode selections and load trim settings. The hybrid propulsion package includes battery packs, electric motors, generators, thrusters, controls and a power management system. The first system is set to be tested on a vessel in Q1 2018. Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine’s new networked bridge solution, VisionMaster Net, also connects to multiple ECDIS units. This is a network of integrated workstations that enables bridge builders to connect any combination of equipment over an Ethernet ring by using standard cables. VisionMaster Net has a modular design that enables easy integration of workstations for ECDIS, radar, conning, chart radar, alarm monitoring and control, engine and thruster controls, radio communications and other navigational aids. There is flexibility in the way panel PC displays can be configured for any vessel type. Sperry Marine managing director James Collett said VisionMaster Net’s architecture will enable future navigation and communications applications. “It enables e-navigation and ship-toshore solutions, helping shipowners and shipyards remain competitive,” he said, adding that the intuitive interfaces minimise the need for re-training while “increased software functionality enables more efficient maintenance and upgrades”. VisionMaster Net needs fewer point-to-point connections than existing Sperry Marine bridge systems without compromising redundancy in the network. It has a central alert management module and links to a ship’s satellite communications and voyage data recorder equipment. MEC

“It was just a matter of changing the software”

Navico has introduced two new bridge products for workboats that improve navigation and monitoring: an echosounder and a speed log. Its IMO type-approved S3009 echosounder for commercial vessels and workboats is based on the non IMOapproved S2009 sounder that is used in mainly leisure and fishing vessels. It comes within a package that includes transducer options for both shallow and deep waters and, like its forebear, is said to be easy to install. Navico sales director for commercial marine sectors Jon Krohn told Marine Electronics & Communications that the company’s new speed logs form a portfolio of simple-to-install Simrad IMOapproved speed logs. Their “easy tankmounting technology means installing the transducer is very simple without the need for costly or customised gate valves and transducer tanks,” he said. Navicom Dynamics has introduced an updated version of its GyroPilot portable pilot unit (PPU) to help improve safety during vessel manoeuvres. GyroPilot V3 has applications that pilots can use for precise navigation, monitoring ship handling in ports, coastal pilotage and ship manoeuvring in congested harbours. It is intended for pilots wanting to use the ship’s pilot plug on the bridge who also need independent navigation information while being wirelessly connected to the charting software on the display unit. It has sensors that are interfaced with a display unit, such as a laptop or tablet, which is loaded with navigation software and charts. The sensor measures important data points of the vessel, such as its position, heading and rate of turn, along with velocities and the relative positions of other vessels and of fixed port infrastructure. This data is then fed into the software to create a synchronised and real-time image of the vessel and its surroundings.

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


Technology takes simulators beyond training Simulation technology can incorporate augmented reality to go beyond the training requirements and enable vessel operators to test out complex operating scenarios


imulation technology has gone beyond what is needed for training seafarers. By using new programs and technical concepts, vessel operators are able to test out scenarios, remotely assist complex operations and predict vessels’ future positions. Augmented reality (AR) and ‘digital twin’ technology can be incorporated into simulation programs to enable oil companies and ship operators to practice advanced operations before attempting them in real life. AR tools can also be used for providing real-time analysis to offshore operations and advice to vessel operators. Offshore Simulator Centre (OSC) has developed software, AR and predictive programs for its simulators, including one that is used in the Norwegian Maritime Competence (NMK)* centre in Ålesund, Norway, which Marine Electronics & Communications visited in November. According to OSC chief executive Joel Mills, augmented simulation takes this technology beyond what is needed for training. “We now have the ability to do real physics calculations in real-time,” he explained. “It opens the boundaries between the real world and simulation as we can overlay data that is not otherwise available.”

This means simulators can be used for monitoring live operations remotely, allowing those using the onshore facilities to provide advice to vessel officers. They could also run simulations on complicated operations before the offshore team attempts them. Another of the benefits of merging simulation with actual offshore vessel operations is the ability to remove the ocean on a simulator program to visualise the subsea facilities and seabed. “We have a realm of augmented tools that take us in new directions and open more doors to give operators advantages over real life,” said Mr Mills. One of these tools can indicate stresses on lifting lines to a crane operator during

“A realm of augmented tools that take us in new directions and open more doors to give operators advantages over real life”

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

simulations of subsea system installations or cargo transfers. Associated with this, OSC completed a study for an offshore support vessel operator this year on the use of an A-frame for subsea construction projects. For that study, OSC simulated an A-frame on the stern of an anchor handler and tested various lifting scenarios. This showed that “modifications to existing vessels mean they could be used in subsea installations, allowing smaller vessels to be used in these operations,” said Mr Mills. By using these augmented simulation tools, OSC also conducted studies for Norwegian state energy group Statoil into the installation of the subsea compression facilities on the Åsgard gas project in the Norwegian Sea. “We simulated everything from the engineering to the installation,” he said, adding that Statoil modified the project’s design and development procedures thanks to gaining a better understanding of the work. “Statoil discovered unexpected risks in simulation instead of at sea, and that reduced time and costs,” Mr Mills said. Another of NMK’s tenants, Aker Solutions, was able to reduce costs in an offshore project through studies conducted by OSC. It needed to modify a production platform with a new balcony that would fit between gas pipes. Installing this would usually require a complete platform shutdown, but “we showed Aker Solutions that they could put the balcony in without the shutdown,” said Mr Mills. OSC is also able to produce a digital twin – an electronic model of a ship – in simulation and use that to predict the ship’s future position. Mr Mills said that the simulator can position what he called a ‘digital ghost’ of a ship up to two minutes


NTNU has built simulators to test remote control operations on offshore vessels (credit: Riviera Maritime Media)

in the future enabling operators to predict its motion and avoid an accident, such as a collision.

NTNU simulators

Also at the NMK centre, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has built a suite of bridge and dynamic positioning (DP) simulators. Kongsberg Digital is the main supplier of key aspects of the new training facilities by supplying five K-Sim Navigation full mission bridge simulators to the new NTNU Ålesund campus. These have 240˚ of visual displays and include multifunction workstations for shiphandling and propulsion control, ECDIS, radar and interfaces to a vessel’s communications, energy management and automation systems. As of the end of November, four of these five systems were in operation and one was still under construction, said NTNU head of nautical education Arnt Myrheim-Holm. He said a variety of ship training programs were available for different vessel types and ports around the world. Different weather and sea conditions can also be introduced to training scenarios. NTNU has installed a suite of simulators at NMK to teach DP operations. A Kongsberg K-Sim Offshore simulator with DP2 class is ready for training

students and two desktop DP simulators from Rolls-Royce were being commissioned at the time of MEC’s visit. Marine Technologies has also supplied a DP2 simulator for training on its bridge systems. In another room, NTNU has built simulators for testing vessel remote control and autonomous operations. These are for teaching students the new skills required for remote controlling vessels and for testing these new technologies and operations. Rolls-Royce plans to build a new 360˚

bridge simulator at NMK with virtual reality capabilities that will be used for training and demonstrating different bridge equipment for various ship types. This is due to be opened in August 2018. *NMK was set up as an innovation hub to attract maritime companies and provide seafarer training and research facilities. A second phase of construction, which included new offices for satellite communications provider Inmarsat and new training facilities was opened in November.

MOL DEVELOPS VISIONARY APPROACH TO TRAINING Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) is using virtual reality goggles created by Tsumiki Seisaku Co to enhance mariner safety, writes Hong Liang Lee. When the seafarer puts the goggles on he enters a world of virtual reality. Various training scenarios and work operations are recreated and the seafarer is able to learn how to respond in a safe, albeit realistic, environment. The beauty of the approach is the goggles are portable meaning training can take place almost anywhere, including on board a vessel or in an office or training centre. The first training program using the virtual reality goggles focuses on preventing accidental falls. However the ambition is to expand the range of simulated experiences and broaden the training into other areas. This initiative is part of the Ishin Next-MOL Smart Ship Project launched in November 2016. MEC

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018


Ten IT technologies to shake up maritime Editor Martyn Wingrove predicts the impact on maritime industries from 10 growing IT-related technology trends

AR and VR technologies can be used for smart fleet management


echnologies that could shake the maritime industry can come from all angles. But the biggest hitters this year will be those that change the face of IT and digitalisation in the industry. Here we consider the top 10 technologies that should, bring positive influences and operational benefits to shipping. Deep learning – Computers are getting smarter and IT giants, such as Amazon and Google, are using deeper levels of machine learning to understand their sectors better, including maritime supply chains. These technologies enable these corporations to learn more about their customers and develop advanced data centres. Maritime organisations could use these technologies in the new generation of operations hubs that are beginning to emerge, such as the one opened by Thome Group in Singapore near the end of 2017 and those being developed by classification societies and onboard system suppliers, such as ABB, Wärtsilä and Rolls-Royce. Artificial intelligence – Global IT technology is at a stage where computers and automation systems are becoming more intelligent. This takes machine learning into different directions and applications that will enable autonomous surface vessels to navigate without human interaction. Intelligence is required for vessel computers to understand the environment and maritime conditions that they encounter. There are other applications in maritime security as this intelligence can be used in image, video, and audio recognition. Industrial IoT – Internet of things (IoT) is making inroads into shipping with liner operators particularly interested in using this technology for

Marine Electronics & Communications | 1st Quarter 2018

container tracking and reefer monitoring. Maersk Group is a leader in this, but others such as SM Line are catching up. There are more varied applications of IoT. This technology is increasingly being used for monitoring onboard machinery for performance management and predictive maintenance purposes. Continued development of IoT technology using deep learning computers and high-volume data analytics on shore will deliver greater benefits for shipowners in 2018. Autonomous surface vessels – 2018 will be the year that autonomous surface vessels will be built for testing the boundaries of autonomous operations. They will demonstrate how unmanned commercial craft should be developed. Shipowners will be testing the market to identify which technology to adopt and where to consider building a future generation of unmanned ships. Blockchain – This process technology will revolutionise supply chain logistics and cargo trade over maritime routes. It is enabled by growth in digital currencies as methods of procuring products and trading cargo. This will develop from a fledgling industry process towards a mainstream method of secure computer-tocomputer transacting in maritime and global supply chains. Augmented reality – AR is being developed for maritime applications and has been demonstrated on ship bridges and remote operating centres to deliver different levels of information to end-users. Virtual reality – VR and gamification processes are creeping into training technology and shipping can expect the first commercial program to be available in 2018. VR and AR can also be used for ship design and engineering processes by evaluating ship interiors, piping requirements, electrical networks and personnel movements in emergencies. Drones – Classification societies are developing methods of using flying autonomous craft, or drones, to assist surveyors on ships. Commercial drone-based surveys will be adopted in 2018. Drones can also be used for delivering parcels to ships close to coastlines and measuring emissions from vessels. Robotics – With increasing interest in developing autonomous vessels, there will be greater need for robotics. Taking humans off ships not only leads to navigational issues, but also adds challenges to maintenance and other manual operations, such as line handling. Perhaps robots can be built to perform these operations with remote control assistance. Cyborg crew – Developments in wearable technology has developed methods for people to monitor their own health and performance, such as heart rate, accumulated steps or sugar levels. This technology can be extended to provide this type of information to employers in real-time. MEC

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Marine Electronics and Communications 1st Quarter 2018  

Marine Electronics & Communications is written for the people who design, build, outfit, operate and maintain the electrical, electronics an...

Marine Electronics and Communications 1st Quarter 2018  

Marine Electronics & Communications is written for the people who design, build, outfit, operate and maintain the electrical, electronics an...