Transas: The Bridge to Tomorrow
- “With each day that passes, we learn more about the power of simulation technology. We are making significant strides in the areas of visualization and modeling development that go far beyond the use of standard and typical ‘texturing’ and ‘mathematical’ tools. George Toma, President & GM, Transas Americas Inc.
- Photo: Transas
Transas was founded in 1990, by a group of former navigators and engineers, who at that time envisioned ways in which computers could revolutionize maritime safety, communications and security. In the ensuing 25 years Transas has pioneered navigational technology across a wide sector, developing into a true “household name” in the global maritime industry.
In 1995, Transas also entered the highly competitive simulation market, and today there are more than 13,000 vessels sailing with Transas navigation systems, and more than 5,500 simulators installed, globally.
Welcome the “T-Bridge”
A major highlight in 2014 for Transas was the launch of the T-Bridge (pictured below). The concept for the project was to produce an integrated bridge system with a key focus on safety achieved through improved awareness, while providing cutting-edge, professional navigation tools. The result is T-Bridge, a unified and consistent user interface with a flexible layout and configuration, geared to making the decision making process on the bridge more efficient and safe.
The Augmented Reality technology within the T-Bridge provides an enhanced awareness experience; sensor input from the forward looking sonar, chart data as well as position and routing data are integrated with live video of the vessel surroundings. As the navigator views the actual surroundings, combined with all relevant information on one display, the decision making process is designed to be shortened and more efficient, and ultimately safer. In tandem Transas developed an iPad application which is directly linked to the navigation system, allowing for access to the highly accurate navigational information related to the vessel, including, for example, position data, AIS targets, speed, course, water depth and a host of other navigational data.
In the simulation market, Transas strives to bring as much reality to the overall simulation and training process as possible. “With each day that passes, we learn more about the power of simulation technology,” said George Toma, President and General Manager of Transas Americas Inc. “We are making significant strides in the areas of visualization and modeling development that go far beyond the use of standard and typical ‘texturing’ and ‘mathematical’ tools. Our developmental approach is to provide our simulation customers, from training institutions to research and development laboratories, with finished products and application tools, that ultimately allow them to bring as much reality to any scenario. This allows them to create their own unique approach to training or studying, and to better understand any situation that may arise at sea, or alongside.” One of the latest Transas simulation developments is a cloud based application that will deliver simulation solutions as a service (SaaS) via the Internet, to users who can be potentially equipped with a variety of internet ready devices, using standard browsers, without the need for specific Transas software to be loaded on the client device.
Transas Cloud Simulation is designed to be efficient and flexible, as it is able to use the same interfaces and exercises (including e-Tutor integration) as their deployed simulators. Instructors can access the simulator from their personal devices and collaborate with others remotely.
MONA LISA 2.0
Ship owners and operators today – more so than any other period in the history of shipping – are pressed to run cleaner and more efficient ships to survive. Simultaneously, they are faced with a growing mountain of information; data traffic to send, receive, sort and analyze. Total cost of ownership is at the forefront of every ship owner’s mind, from the efficiencies built into route planning, to vessel hull and engine room optimization. To that end Transas reverts to its root mandate of using computing power to make ship operations safer and more efficient, and in kind supports projects such as Mona Lisa and the maritime highway. MONA LISA 2.0 is the EU sponsored project with a vision to shake and sharpen the whole transport chain by making real-time information available to all interested and authorized partners for improved safety and efficiency. It is called Sea Traffic Management (STM) and it will change the maritime world. Recently for the first time ever, different brands of simulators, one in Spain and the other in Sweden, were interconnected. The technical solution was developed as part of the MONA LISA 2.0 project and a precursor to The European Maritime Simulator Network (EMSN) launched on November 5 in Barcelona at the project’s Mid-term Conference, when many more simulator centers were added to the network and demonstrated. EMSN was conceived in order to test the Sea Traffic Management (STM) concept and solutions under development within the MONA LISA 2.0 project.
“Transas primary strength is our ability to remain creative as a developer, but at the same time, remain flexible enough to suit the needs of our customers, our partners,” said Toma. “We do this through regular customer feedback, workshops, and user conferences. In this respect, our customers help us to develop the products they plan to use.”
(As published in the January 2015 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - http://magazines.marinelink.com/Magazines/MaritimeReporter)