The Marinestar Maneuvering System (Marinestar MS) designed by Fugro in Norway has been approved by the BSH marine test house in Germany as both a Speed and Distance Measuring Equipment (SDME) and Transmitting Heading Device (THD). This means that Marinestar MS can be installed as an alternative to a doppler speed log in order to meet the requirements of SOLAS for ships over 50,000 gross tons to have the ability to measure speed over the ground in both the forward and athwartships direction. The system can equally act as an alternative to one of the gyro compasses. In fact Marinestar is more accurate than most gyro compasses and is therefore not only a low maintenance gyro alternative but a more accurate source of heading information.
The system is based upon high performance dual system (GPS & GLONASS) differential position receivers and the Fugro navigation satellite augmentation broadcast. In addition to its approved navigation functions Marinestar MS acts as a berthing system providing quay distance and approach speed fore and aft.
Strengthening the arguments for installing the system is the Marinestar ability to measure and display vessel trim dynamically whilst at sea. When used in conjunction with optimum trim calculations this leads to significant savings in bunker fuel costs.
Managing Director Arne Norum comments: “it has taken us four years since original concept to reach system type approval. Considering that Marinestar MS is an innovative alternative to a range of conventional navigation equipment this is a result that I am very pleased with. We have been fortunate to work with an extremely knowledgeable test house BSH who have conducted rigorous tests both ashore in the laboratory and at sea. Although the system has been in use at sea for two years as a berthing system users can now benefit from installation to meet SOLAS requirements. When these uses are coupled with the trim based fuel efficiencies we expect to see a significant increase in demand.”