Region’s newest maritime center to showcase room-sized simulators, and training and industry docks
As San Jacinto College prepares to break ground to build the region’s newest maritime training facility, some of the industry’s most sought after training technology has arrived and is awaiting its new home.
The college recently received three interactive, full-mission, ship bridge simulators, thanks to a collaborative agreement with the Houston Pilots. They will be moved to the College’s 45,000-square-foot Maritime Technology and Training Center once it opens, projected for mid 2015.
“For our new, waterfront maritime campus, we did our homework and traveled across the country to research exactly what we needed to provide in our new facility in order to be certain that we are offering today’s maritime professionals the best training available anywhere in the country” said Capt. Mitch Schacter, director of the San Jacinto College maritime program.
The simulators are room-sized replicas of ship control bridges, each with a 270-degree view and life-like graphics displayed on fourteen 65-inch monitors. They are equipped with the newest versions Kongsberg’s Polaris 7.2 ship simulation software. They allow trainees to experience different sea conditions from flat calm water to 30-foot high waves, from zero wind to hurricane winds, from clear blue skies to rain, snow, sleet, fog, and sand storms, and include day and night operations.
“This technology allows trainees from almost any type of vessel to experience wind, current and wave action from any direction and at any level of magnitude as well as close quarters interaction with other vessels operating in the same scenario, without ever putting anyone’s life or property in peril,” said Bryan Elliot, maritime instructor and simulator operator. “It provides a very safe and very realistic experience.”
The three simulators are currently operating at the San Jacinto College maritime training center off Highway 225 in Pasadena. Once the new Maritime Technology and Training Center is built along the Port of Houston, the simulators will become a part of a 3,748 square-foot simulation suite with instructor stations, debrief classrooms, and development stations.
In addition, the new facility will house engineering simulators to train maritime engineers for hydraulic, electric, pump control, motor control, heating and air conditioning and refrigeration. Also planned is a full-mission engine room simulator, which will be interactive and interconnected with the bridge simulators to allow vessel management exercises to accommodate deck and engineering officers and crew at the same time, in the same scenario.
Other features will include a 2,000 square-foot multipurpose space for industry conferences and corporate partner meetings along with a fully equipped commercial kitchen to support those functions. The entire building will sit 14 feet above ground and will house 15 classrooms, and administrative support offices. The ground level will showcase a training dock with lifeboats, davits, and fast rescue craft, and a separate industry dock for crew changes. It will also allow vessel specific training for local maritime companies and have an aquatic training facility for sea survival and life raft training, complete with men’s and women’s locker rooms.
“The Center will serve as the premier training facility for regional industry and new maritime technology associate degree program,” said Schacter. “It will house the very latest technology and U.S. Coast Guard-approved curriculum to allow us to continue and to offer much training for captains, mates, deckhands, tankermen and engineers in a safe, professional and productive training environment.”
BMT Consultants India (BMT), an international maritime design, engineering and risk management consultancy, announced a partnership with Bibby Ship Management to deliver training for marine pilots. Based at Bibby’s state of the art training center at St Xavier’s Technical Institute in Mumbai, the new partnership will utilize BMT’s REMBRANDT marine maneuvering simulator.
Operating directly from S57 ENC chart data, REMBRANDT is a highly accurate, capable and flexible alternative to Full Mission Bridge (FMB) marine simulators, allowing the user to load any port. REMBRANDT utilizes high fidelity ship models that include over 750 parameters, ensuring that the user experiences identical ship to ship interaction, ship to bank interaction, squat and shallow water effects as the real ship would in the same conditions. Simulations can be replayed in video format with track plots and data information printed or saved electronically, providing an opportunity to analyze the trainees’ performance.
REMBRANDT has enhanced tidal current and wind settings to accommodate the unique features of a given port. It can also provide Client Server, a multi-user mode which enables multiple vessels to operate in a single operational scenario; each with independent human control, making it a powerful and effective training tool. BMT has deployed REMBRANDT worldwide in over 125 projects working with a number of leading ship and terminal operators.
BMT and Bibby Ship Management will be focusing on the Asia Pacific Region, the Persian Gulf, the Indian subcontinent and Africa.
Agarwal (Managing Director) Bibby Ship Management explains: “Our aims and objectives in this partnership are to provide pilotage training of the highest standard, catering for all levels of proficiency ranging from entry level to senior pilots. We will also provide bridge team and resource management training, as well as “Officer of the Watch” training to nautical officers.”
Suren Vakil, Managing Director of BMT Consultants India comments: “BMT has provided specific training and workshops for Adani and Shell pilots at Hazira and all of the pilots working in Mundra. To our credit, the Mundra pilots recently came to BMT for support when they wanted to bring in the biggest container vessel to have berthed at any Indian port. I look forward to a successful partnership where we make our mark in helping to improve the safety of ports in the Indian sub-continent and elsewhere in the Region.”
Palma de Mallorca: Six months after the initial installation of a classroom of NAUTIS Desktop Trainers, the Aigua Sea School in Mallorca has placed a follow-up order to further expand its simulator training capacity.
The follow-up order for NAUTIS simulators was placed after positive feedback from both students and instructors about the ease of use, realism and advanced training possibilities the NAUTIS Desktop Trainers offered.
With a strong reputation in high quality maritime training, Aigua Sea School experienced a strong growth throughout 2013, cumulating in an increase in student applications and official Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Certification application in January 2014. The MCA application is done using the NAUTIS Desktop Trainers and will give official recognition in the superyachting industry for all Aigua training courses.
NAUTIS Desktop Trainers are high quality simulators that allow training of many competencies, including ECDIS Model Course 1.27, Radar/ARPA Model Course 1.07, VHF Radio Communications, Navigational Instruments (GPS, AIS, Echo Sounder, Speed Log) and advanced ship handling & manoeuvring.
The follow-up order of NAUTIS Desktop Trainers was delivered and installed by VSTEP at the Aigua Sea School headquarters in Palma.
About Aigua Sea School
Aigua Sea School offers the full range of RYA courses in Mallorca and Malta: from learning to sail courses and sea survival, to sailing holidays with tuition and powerboat and jet ski training; from Yachtmaster qualifications and MCA assistance to VHF marine radio communications and navigation theory classes. Its outstanding reputation as a leading RYA Training Centre has been built on recommendation. The positive feedback and a high Yachtmaster success rate, is proof of its commitment to its students.
The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) has signed a contract with Kongsberg Maritime for a complete overhaul of important maritime simulator technology at its Center for Maritime Education campus in Paducah, Ky. Installation begins in August to replace existing wheelhouse architecture with entirely new mechanisms and navigation tools that more closely mirror contemporary equipment and construction of modern vessels.
The new simulators strengthen SCI’s service to American mariners. “We have spent the last year gathering input from professional mariners and researching next-generation simulation technology,” says Captain Stephen Polk, Director of Maritime Education & Training at SCI. “The renovation of SCI’s equipment provides mariners with the tools they’ve requested and sets the stage for SCI to deliver the best possible training for years to come.”
Technology employed in the new simulators provides capacity for nighttime scenes on over 20 newly modeled vessels. All wheelhouses employ traditional steering levers, conventional throttles, and emerging z-drive azimuth thruster systems.
Phase 1 construction is scheduled for completion in November 2014.
BUZZARDS BAY — With a $1 million grant from the sale of obsolete vessels in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Massachusetts Maritime Academy plans to upgrade its simulation system and chip into its training ship’s refueling bill.
The academy, like each of the nation’s five other state maritime schools and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., was awarded the grant Thursday from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Under the National Maritime Heritage Act, the department’s Maritime Administration is required to devote 25 percent of profits from the vessel sales to the academies for “facility and training ship maintenance, repair and modernization, and for the purchase of simulators and fuel.”
The law was passed in 1994, but Adm. Richard Gurnon said the academy never anticipates the funding, which depends upon the federal government culling obsolete ships and selling them to be scrapped and recycled.
The most recent grants have come in two-year increments to the Taylors Point campus, with about $700,000 in funding in 2012 and $500,000 in 2010, Gurnon said.
“We don’t expect any of it, because it is quite random,” said Gurnon, president of the Buzzards Bay academy. “It’s always money from heaven.”
Gurnon plans to spend $250,000 in grant funding to upgrade the academy’s “360 simulator” — a windowless room inside the recently constructed library where 15 projectors create a moving panorama of currents, sea gulls and other ships coming into harbor. But the system, which Gurnon likens to a fancy XBox 360, is not currently equipped to train students in dynamic positioning — an autopilot technology that accounts for waves and currents to keep drilling ships and supply boats perfectly in place.
What does a new year of training look like at SCI? With a new simulator in full operation, SCI helps individual mariners complete assessments previously only available in large class settings or in the real world when exact conditions could be met on the water.
The Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Center for Maritime Education puts mariners in real-life situations using high-tech simulation equipment. Most days, SCI classrooms host groups of six to eight students as part of training sessions sponsored by maritime transportation companies; however, thanks to a new simulator bridge installed at SCI’s Houston Center last fall, mariners do not have to come to SCI as part of a group or business to train or undergo assessments on tasks needed to maintain license certification. The new simulator offers affordable one-on-one assessments to help mariners meet their individualized training goals.
SCI’s new simulator allows mariners to obtain credentials for licenses, including the Towing Officer Assessment Record (TOAR) and radar recertification. It also helps mariners applying for new jobs and assignments, allowing them to demonstrate their skills to the company. Programmable simulations also let candidates demonstrate their ability to handle new challenges and geographic locations.
Recently, SCI helped one such mariner advance his career with the newly installed simulator. The mariner needed to complete a TOAR, an often difficult-to-arrange assessment requiring a skills appraisal in a specific geographic location. In this case, the mariner had worked on the waters for two years and had received good preparation from his captain, but his experience had not yet required him to navigate through a lock system.
SCI’s instructors and a designated examiner (DE) set up an exercise that would teach the mariner the needed skills. Then, they tested his knowledge and competency on the simulator navigating through a model of a real lock on the river. They arranged several one-hour sessions with varying degrees of involvement from the DE. During the final run, the DE exited the simulator and sat in the observation room. With three sessions on the simulator, the mariner passed the assessment, receiving signoffs on five mandatory TOAR maneuvering procedures.
On review of the process, the DE commented that the student learned very quickly. If he made a mistake on the first run, the examiner noted, he corrected it in the subsequent trial. By the third run, the mariner had acquired the skills necessary to complete the maneuvers without any help from the DE. The simulator provided a familiar environment—so realistic that the mariner could apply his experience on the water—to learn new skills quickly and easily.
In 2014, SCI harnesses the power of this technology to help more professionals in the maritime industry. Because of the Transas simulator’s extreme adaptability, additional uses include instruction for mooring masters, the development of feasibility studies and, with the flip of a switch, nighttime simulations.
A NAUTIS Desktop Trainer classroom and two class A NAUTIS FMB simulators were purchased by the Korea Institute of Maritime and Fisheries Technology (KIMFT) in Busan, South Korea. All simulators are part of the upgraded maritime simulator training wing at the Busan Campus.
The KIMFT was formed in 1998 from the merger of the Korea Fishing Training Center with the Korea Maritime Training and Research Institute and is one of the leading Maritime Universities in South Korea.
The KIMFT purchase includes two NAUTIS Class A Full Mission Bridge Simulators and instructor station, as well as a classroom of 12 NAUTIS Desktop ECDIS/Navigation Trainers. NAUTIS is a new generation of DNV certified maritime simulators developed by VSTEP. The simulators were delivered and installed at the KIMFT premises by NAUTIS developer VSTEP and its Korean partner SamWooSoft Co., Ltd. The simulators provide students at the university with the latest in advanced DNV certified maritime simulation technology.
Dae-Hee Kim, SamWooSoft CEO: “We are very happy with the NAUTIS simulators provided by VSTEP. The open architecture of NAUTIS allowed us to develop many customizations that were requested by the client in a limited amount of time. The bridge lay-out was changed during the implementation a number of times on client request, and we added several touch display panels with nautical instruments for which we developed the software locally. For the project, a series of 3D models of Korean ports were developed by the VSTEP and Samwoosoft 3D modelers in a short time frame, with a high level of quality.”
The FMB simulators are equipped with an additional NAUTIS Tug module, allowing realistic tug training in addition to the DNV certified STCW criteria training. The FMB simulators were installed with an innovative system whereby a conventional ship bridge is combined with a tug bridge, on wheels. Using guiding rails, the combined console can be rolled forward for the conventional bridge training, and backwards for the tug training. This set-up provides a wide range of training options in a very cost- and space-effective way.
The NAUTIS Desktop Trainers are high quality portable simulators that allow training of many competencies, including ECDIS Model Course 1.27, and basic ship handling & maneuvering.
Resolve Maritime Academy recently completed its installation of Transas engine room simulator platform, the ERS 5000 TechSim. As part of the Academy’s Simulation Training Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the engine room has booked classes for January 2014.
The ERS 5000 TechSim has allowed Resolve Maritime Academy to expand its course offerings to engineers from all sectors of the maritime industry including the offshore, tanker and cruise sectors.
The engine room simulator is connected to Resolve Maritime Academy’s full mission bridge simulator, allowing integrated training options for a variety of courses. “Connecting the simulators means we can offer Resource Management and Integrated Systems training to our clients,” said David Boldt, Simulation Training Group Manager at Resolve Maritime Academy.
Resolve Maritime Academy hired Rosemary Mackay, an engineer with nine years of experience in maritime education (and 12 years of at-sea experience) to manage the ERS 5000 TechSim. Mackay joins the Academy from Star Center, where she instructed classes offered at the Star Center Engineering Department and was directly involved in course design and development.
The Transas ERS meets STCW code requirements. The scope of training objectives corresponds to specifications of standard competence for engine department personnel, which provide for the use of simulators for training engineers as well as engineering instruction for operational, management and support personnel.
Kongsberg Maritime informs that its latest version of K-Sim DP, a Dynamic Positioning (DP) Manoeuvring simulator, has received Class A Certification from Det Norske Veritas (DNV). This makes it compliant with the highest DNV standard for DP simulators according to Standard of Certification of Maritime Simulators number 2.14 (January 2011).
The manufacturers explain that the K-Sim DP Manoeuvring is the most advanced in a long line of Dynamic Positioning simulators developed by Kongsberg Maritime. It is built on the same advanced technology platform as the market leading K-Sim Offshore (previously known as the Kongsberg Offshore Vessel Simulator) and has the power to provide realistic and relevant DP training in various simulated conditions and environments.
“The DNV Class A approved K-Sim DP is developed to conduct more operational and scenario based courses, fulfilling the industry’s training requirements and has the possibility to replace a significant amount of the on board training required in a typical Dynamic Positioning Operator (DPO) training scheme,” comments Geir Lilje, Product Advisor, Kongsberg Maritime.
The new K-Sim DP Manoeuvring simulator is configured with a dual redundant DP system and a 240 degree or wider visual scene. It includes a fully integrated Power Management System and is delivered with standard DP reference systems such as Artemis, Hydroacoustic Position Reference system (HPR), DPS and DARPS. FanBeam and RADius position reference systems are also available as options.
K-Sim DP includes an extensive Instructor system, which has the power to design realistic scenarios and introduce faults and alarm settings throughout the entire training exercise. Recording and replay of all simulation exercises in addition to objective assessment, allow the students to build competence and to be prepared for both daily and emergency situations that might occur in real life.
Transas Marine, in collaboration with local agent Mecys, announced the completion of a complex simulator project for the Korea Coast Guard Academy (KCGA). The real hardware integration and achieved level of realism make this simulator complex truly unique. Within the project, Transas has developed models for bridge and engine room simulators matching the layout of PV3000 and three other Korea Coast Guard vessels.
The installed simulators include the Transas full mission engine room simulator ERS 5000 which is a replica of the PV3000 KCG vessel, four very specific full mission bridge simulators based on the Transas Navi-Trainer Professional 5000 (NTPRO 5000) software imitating KCG boats, a gun fire full mission simulator integrated with 3,000t vessel’s full mission bridge. Ten real KCG surveillance radars are stimulated by Transas NTPRO 5000 software. A full mission VTS simulator with six operator workplaces and an oil spill combat lab with 10 operator workplaces can operate in the common environment with the full mission bridge simulator NTPRO 5000. This functionality provides training in oil spill response for all involved parties. A navigational lab with 30 part mission NTPRO bridges with one visual channel each, conning, radar and ECDIS stations will enable practicing various scenarios for KCGA cadets. ERS lab with 30 workplaces will be used for the training of engineers.
One of the project challenges was integration of a software control of the real MTU hardware system RCS-5 with the NTPRO 5000 and ERS 5000 software in order to provide bridge, engine and joint modes of operation to enable crew resource management exercises. Real high voltage ship born Automatic Circuit Breakers (ACB) units from Terasaki with fully functional trip device module were integrated as well. ACBs automatically pick up exercise state and operate very similar to real life.
The brand-new Korea Coast Guard Academy facilities including various administrative constructions covering a huge area near the city of Yeosu will open the doors to the first groups of cadets early next year. The newly acquired simulation complex will become a valuable national asset and contribute to proficiency of maritime education and further cost savings in training of KCG officers.
The Korea Coast Guard is responsible for maritime safety and control off the coast of South Korea. The KCG is an external branch of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at peacetime. The KCG has its headquarters in Songdodong, Incheon, and has hundreds of smaller operating stations along the coastline of the Korean Peninsula. The Korean Coast Guard operates four classes of heavy vessels (over 1,000 tons), three classes of medium vessels (over 250 tons), and three classes of light vessels (speedboats over 30 tons). The KCG also uses several types of ‘special purpose watercraft’, such as firefighting vessels, barges, high-speed scout boats, light patrols, and amphibious hovercraft.