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Kongsberg improves radar data distribution

Kongsberg Maritime reports that it is to introduce a new solution for the distribution of Radar data on board ships, utilising an Ethernet based LAN (Local Area Network).

The system is currently undergoing Type Approval testing at DNV, with first customer delivery in Autumn 2013.

The LAN topology is based on a newly developed Radar Interface Network (RIN) unit to be located at each antenna, connected to the Multi Functional Display (MFD) units on the K-Bridge integrated bridge system by a Local Area Network (LAN).

The former Radar network topology used analogue cables and an interswitch, which Kongsberg says limits network design, the number of displays data can be sent to and how the data may be handled and presented.

The LAN network architecture uses contemporary networking methodology so Radar data can be shared by an unlimited number of Multi Functional Displays (MFD's) without a dedicated Radar interswitch.

The MFD can be configured as a standard Radar display, or may be configured with additional views combining information from several integrated subsystems. An example of this is the possibility to offer views mixing the Radar image with data from a dynamic positioning system.

Kongsberg says that the new Radar topology provides significant enhancements in how Radar data is presented, made possible because of the digital network, improved signal processing and automatic Radar and picture tuning.

Images from several Radar antennas can be viewed on the same screen, including the possibility to view both X-band and S-band data in the same image.

By presenting a picture compiled in real-time from several Radar antennas, the operator is given a detailed picture that displays seamless tracking of up to 1,000 targets in a full 360 degree view.

Because the Radar LAN is based on standard Ethernet data cables instead of the analogue cables traditionally used for Radar, longer distances between the display and antenna can also be achieved, which enables more flexible network design with lower installation and maintenance costs.

“The new Radar topology introduces digital networking to Radar, so is a significant step-forward in navigation and safety technology,” said Gudbrand Strømmen, navigation development department manager, Kongsberg Maritime.

“The possibilities this introduces can transform how Radar is used on board. At the same time, we are able to offer such a wide range of new functionality that will improve navigation safety and efficiency whilst reducing installation costs and providing a highly redundant and easy to maintain Radar system.”

In related news, Kongsberg also reports that its next generation of AutoChief propulsion control systems is now officially available.

The new AutoChief 600 (AC 600) is suitable for all 2 and 4 stroke engines, for both fixed and controllable pitch propeller. It offers touch screen operation based on the Kongsberg Maritime standardised Human Machine Interface (HMI).

Users have access to all system functions via the touch screen, with variables available including RPM, pitch, start air and scavenging air pressure, engine state etc. Several levels of control are available to distinguish between user groups.

The AC 600 touch screen interface also meets the NAUT OS/OSV requirements for handling Command Control when adapted as a multi plant engine and Thruster control system. This means control can be handed to other systems in the network at the touch of a button.

The AC 600 supports integration with Kongsberg Maritime’s K-Thrust 600, Azimuth control and Rudder Control system making the system suitable for a wide range of vessels including OSVs, PSVs, oil tankers and container vessels.

The main components of AC 600 are: Touch screen Control Panel, Engine Telegraph Unit, Engine Safety System, Digital Governor System, Manoeuvring Recorder and Distributed Processing Units.

All interfaces are on CAN-bus; instrumentation, levers, displays etc, while all hardware components in the AC 600 system have a built-in-self-test feature (BIST).

“This is the sixth AutoChief since the series started in 1967 and with the inclusion of touch screen operation it represents a significant technical milestone,” said Hans Otto Schjerven, general manager – product, merchant marine, Kongsberg Maritime.

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