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Sperry Marine's Integrated Navigation System Simplifies Bridge Functions

the past two years five major oil companies have installed Sperry Marine Voyage Management System (VMS) integrated navigation and control systems on 30 current and newbuild tankers.

Sperry Marine's VMS integrated navigation system, chosen by these oil companies and others, is a family of related products designed to integrate a vessel's navigation and control systems by distributing, displaying, correlating and logging shipboard data.

By automating most of the routine navigation tasks involved in the conning of a ship and establishing reliable early warning alarms, Sperry's VMS significantlyincreases the watch officers effective conning time, provides timely information and helps to reduce the stress and workload of bridge personnel, resulting in safer navigation.

Design flexibility was a key element in the development of the VMS integrated navigation system, to meet the specific needs of a variety of vessels. Thus the VMS can meet a range of objectives, from the simple installation of a smaller vessel to the most complex requirements.

The functions of a Sperry Marine VMS integrated bridge can be de-lection and information distribution; graphical data display; automatic data logging; voyage planning and monitoring; ship control and grounding avoidance.

Automatically collecting data and distributing timely information from navigational and environmental sensors is the foundation on which all t (VMS) integrated navigation and control system. other integrated bridge capabilities are built: navigational information, geographic position, predicted future track, off track error, hazardous area monitoring, shallow water alarm, weather data, engine room data and other information are all required by the watch officer.

In some Sperry Marine installations this is done by bringing all information to a computer acting as a central collection point.

For larger vessels, the Sperry Marine SeaNET token ring local area network is used to collect and distribute the data and information required for all the equipment using it.

After sensor data has been collected, the primary task of the integrated bridge is to process and display this information to the watch officer in a timely and easily understood manner.

Currently, the best means of doing this is the electronic chart display (ECDIS) and conning information display.

Sperry's integrated bridge displays electronic charts at the conning and voyage planning stations. In the Sperry integrated bridge, position, heading, vessel speed, wind speed and direction, navigation mode and time can all be automatically logged.

Radar targets can also be logged automatically and all data can be logged to magnetic storage or to a printer, or both.

An integrated bridge computer has made voyage planning and monitoring easier.

The track of an electronically recorded voyage plan can be automatically overlaid on an electronic chart to show the planned route.

Lastly, Sperry's VMS allows the navigation computer to pilot the ship, sending commands to the autopilot and to the engine controls to help keep the ship on track and on schedule. If the ship deviates from its course, audible and visual alarms are activated.

Sperry Marine has developed an array of equipment to accomplish the tasks entailed by the integrated bridge, including: A Touchscreen Display console, which can be configured with one or more of three different software functions to meet the specific needs of the vessel: a Command Station Display, a Navigation Display, or a Conning Display.

Sperry's Navstation, which can be configured with either or both of two software functions: a Command Station and a Navigation Workstation, to meet the specific needs of a vessel.

For larger vessels, a Network Interface Unit, a sensor interface for SeaNET, Sperry's token ring local area network, translates sensor signals from a wide assortment of formats into a common digital format for high speed data transmission over SeaNET.

Finally, a Chart Digitizer and Chart Plotter are often included in a VMS. The operator can use the Chart Digitizer to automatically enter data from a chart using the digitizer and to create Navlines directly from a chart for use with the Rascarradar/ARPA. The Chart Plotter can plot time-stamped own ship and radar target position on a paper nautical chart.

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