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STN Atlas Calls For Improved Testing Of IBS Installations

Renewed demands for improved procedures for installation and testing of integrated bridge systems to internationally- approved standards by shipyards and owners have been made by STN Atlas Elektronik. Common practices of fitting subsystems and components from different suppliers without contracting established systems' companies to oversee overall system integration and verification of operation can affect safety and efficiency of use, the company warns. This follows a call by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for a review of integrated bridge systems as a result of the groundingof Majesty Cruise Line'siJoyai Majesty off the Massachusetts coast in June.

The vessel was equipped with an Atlas NACOS 25 navigation command system with proprietary radars, a doppler log, autopilot, and control and monitoring equipment. Other non- Atlas systems included gyro, steering and wind sensor instruments, as well as GPS and Loran- C positioning receivers, and a nautical alarm panel. According to STN Atlas, a total system integration in the case of the Majesty would have ensured authoritative checking and testing of all interface compatibility and fail-safe functions, preventing the grounding, which was later discovered to have been precipitated by a loose wire in the GPS antenna which resulted in the transmission of false position data.

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