Maritime training specialists, STAR Center, upgrades its bridge simulator for an unparalleled 360 degree training experience.
Digital Projection International (DPI), an Emmy® Award-winning manufacturer of high-performance projection systems, Scalable Display Technologies, a leading provider of software for automatic edge-blending, and Electric Picture, a leading systems integrator recently collaborated on a significant system upgrade to STAR Center’s maritime training simulator in Dania Beach, FL. This upgrade resulted in increased imagery resolution and vertical coverage, improved color management and made overall system maintenance more efficient.
In operation since 1993, STAR Center (Simulation, Training, Assessment & Research) says it is regarded internationally as a top destination for ocean-going and inland professional maritime training and research. A division of the AMO Safety and Education Plan, STAR Center is the primary training provider for the U.S. merchant marine officers represented by American Maritime Officers. “The upgrade was a resounding success,” commented Brian Long, director of STAR Center. “The existing projectors were replaced by nine of DPI’s higher-resolution HIGHlite WUXGA 660 projectors with built-in advanced warp and blend capability, courtesy of their internal Fusion software. With the ability to run in both single and dual-lamp mode, the HIGHlite displays allow the STAR Center to accentuate extreme brightness or increased lamp efficiency based on the configuration. Additionally, the HIGHlite displays came with 3-year factory warranties.
A further benefit resulting from the projector upgrade allowed Electric Picture to increase the simulator’s vertical field of view, which, as Long noted, was “a very big deal indeed. The extra projected height reinforces that feeling of depth and full immersion and gives the simulator a much more realistic feel. The experience is very similar to being on an actual ship.” Long and the entire STAR Center team take their training responsibility very seriously. “Our central goal at STAR Center is to help produce the most well-trained, prepared maritime officers in the world. The newly upgraded bridge simulator will help us achieve that goal for years to come.”
The Caribbean Maritime Institute has ordered multiple VSTEP simulators for its new high tech simulation center at the campus in Kingston, Jamaica.
VSTEP will deliver all simulator solutions for the facility, including a NAUTIS Full Mission Bridge Simulator and a Class C Engine Room Simulator. CMI also ordered full classroom setups for both NAUTIS Desktop Trainers and NAUTIS Engine Room Desktop Trainers.
The new simulation center of Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) will serve as one of the most innovative hubs for maritime training and education in the Caribbean region, and will provide high quality training of maritime students and professionals alike in ship-handling, collision avoidance, Engine Room procedures and operations, as well as ECDIS, Radar/ARPA, AIS and other navigational aids.
After a thorough evaluation of the available maritime simulator solutions in the market, CMI selected VSTEP’s NAUTIS maritime simulators because of their high-quality, cost-effectiveness and compliance to the latest IMO STCW regulations.
The NAUTIS simulators for the CMI center include a NAUTIS Full Mission Bridge simulator and Class C Engine Room simulator. Included in the order are NAUTIS classroom setups for Engine Room Training which include multiple Engine Room desktop stations, and an additional classroom of NAUTIS Part Task Desktop Trainers, maximizing training accessibility and effectiveness at the facility. The facility will also include additional VSTEP RescueSim virtual incident management simulators for realistic training of maritime incidents.
Fritz Pinnock, Director of the CMI: “We are very pleased with our engagement of VSTEP because the purchase of these simulators will solidify our position as the simulator centre of the Caribbean. It will also make CMI the simulator showroom for VSTEP in the Americas.
Mark Polderman, Sales Director VSTEP: “We are proud to have the Caribbean Maritime Institute join the VSTEP family. With this investment, the CMI underlines its ambition to become the pinnacle of maritime training centers in the Caribbean, incorporating professional simulator training of the highest quality into its curriculum.
In line with the rapidly increasing number of NAUTIS Maritime Simulator clients worldwide, VSTEP continues to innovate and has developed a software interface for IMO Type Approved radar and chart radar systems. This makes radar and ECDIS training possible on real radar and ECDIS systems, instead of emulated systems and allows radar quality enhancements for all simulator types.
The new interface provides enhancements and benefits for maritime simulators. For example, with regards to the ECDIS training in a classroom set-up, one instructor can provide a large number of trainee radar systems with radar video and NMEA data input, while showing the outside view and navigation instruments on a projection screen. This makes high quality, yet affordable radar and ECDIS training possible.
Also larger simulator set-ups can benefit from the radar interface. The previous “no-brand” radar simulators can be replaced with real Type Approved radar systems, still running on a standard PC, without any need for special interface hardware. Some of VSTEP’s Full Mission Bridge Simulator clients have already been upgraded with Type Approved radar systems from Kelvin Hughes and MARIS, to benefit from this increased quality. The Kelvin Hughes and MARIS ECDIS systems can show the NAUTIS radar video as an overlay on the chart view, satisfying a recommendation from the IMO in the new ECDIS Model Course 1.27, published in July 2012.
Summarizing the unique features of the NAUTIS Radar Interface :
IMO Type-Approved radar systems can be used for training at an affordable price level, both for classroom set-ups and Full Mission Bridge Simulators
IMO Type-Approved ECDIS systems can show a radar video overlay image, needed for the new IMO ECDIS Model Course 1.27
No special processing is required for new training environments and vessels; the radar image is always in sync with the outside view image.
NAUTIS and the Radar & ECDIS systems all run on standard Windows PCs
Huib Gerretsen, Managing Director of De Ruyter Training & Consultancy (DRTC) B.V. : “We recently purchased NAUTIS Desktop Simulators for our facility, each with 3 outside view displays, and a corresponding radar overlay image on the Kelvin Hughes MantaDigital ECDIS. These simulators give our students an excellent tool to learn all about ECDIS and how it is used on board.”
Pjotr van Schothorst, VSTEP’s CTO: “We wanted to provide our customers with high quality yet affordable solution for all their radar/ARPA and ECDIS training requirements, running on standard PCs which can be bought anywhere in the World. We have been working on this solution for over 2 years, and there is a lot of clever software behind all this, yet it is all made available with a very simple Windows style user-interface. The radar video is created in NAUTIS using a realistic radar ray-casting simulation process. All land objects like hills, buildings and port cranes, and all vessels show up on the radar at exactly the same place as in the 3D outside view environment of NAUTIS. New vessels and new port environments can soon be created by clients themselves using the NAUTIS Port Creator software, and will also show up automatically on the radar video image.”
VSTEP has made special arrangements with Kelvin Hughes and MARIS to supply their radar/ARPA and ECDIS systems as software-only to maritime schools at an attractive price level. These systems have exactly the same functionality as their integrated, IMO Type-Approved on-board equivalents.
HR Wallingford signs an alliance agreement with the Fremantle, Australia Maritime Simulation Centre (FMSC)
HR Wallingford has recently signed an alliance agreement with Fremantle Maritime Simulation Centre (FMSC). This gives HR Wallingford the capability to conduct navigation simulation work in Western Australia.
HR Wallingford is an independent engineering and environmental hydraulics organisation, and FMSC is a state-of-the-art simulation facility, providing access to specialist marine pilot consultancy, in Fremantle, West Australia.
The newly formed alliance is presently operating out of FMSC’s premises in Fremantle near Perth but will shortly be moving to a new purpose built facility, also in Fremantle. The move should take place before the end of August and the facility will then have three ship simulators, two full bridge and one tug.
The facility, which will be known as HR Wallingford at FMSC, will initially focus on marine pilot familiarisation training, which is complementary to FMSC’s capability in other ship navigation simulator based training.
Jane Smallman, managing director of HR Wallingford said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for HR Wallingford to develop a close working relationship with FMSC so that together, we can provide a state of the art ship simulation training facility in Western Australia.”
The Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO), acting on behalf of three naval training centres in Denmark, has chosen Kongsberg Maritime to supply sophisticated new bridge simulation facilities. The contract, which was signed in Ballerup, Denmark on 14th December 2011, was awarded to Kongsberg Maritime as part of a public tender issued to support the Royal Danish Navy’s training capabilities through advanced simulation technology.
The contract includes a main delivery to the Danish Home Guard School (Marinehjemmeværnssektionen Slipshavn) of four (with the option of additional four) DNV Class B Part Task Bridge Simulators with instructor & debrief stations and integration with real vessel equipment for enhanced physical realism. It also includes delivery of Royal Danish Navy vessel models and exercise areas relevant to specific training needs, mostly covering Danish and surrounding waters.
Two other Royal Danish Navy facilities have options for new simulator equipment as part of the contract award. The Royal Danish Naval Academy (Søværnets Officersskole) has already ordered a DNV Class A Full Mission Bridge Simulator, Part Task Bridge Simulators and a desktop classroom configuration. Additionally, the contract also includes an optional bridge simulator system for the Royal Danish Naval Warfare School (Søværnets Taktikkursus). “The main delivery to the Danish Home Guard School is the basis of a prestigious contract that was won amidst some tough competition,” comments Erik Hovland, Sales and Marketing Manager, Kongsberg Maritime. “The contract reflects our ability to provide flexible simulator configurations and offer value added services including system and instructor training at multiple sites.
“As a Kongsberg Maritime simulator customer, The Royal Danish Navy will also benefit from being part of a large network of naval simulator users from around the world,” concludes Hovland.
VSTEP in cooperation with its Korean partner Dongkang M-Tech have successfully delivered and installed a full NAUTIS Naval Task Force maritime simulator classroom at The Korean Naval College in Seoul, Korea. The classroom consists of 20 NAUTIS Naval Task Force Trainee Stations and Instructor Station. The Korean Naval College has selected NAUTIS for efficient maritime training and preparation of cadets and naval personnel in ship handling and navigation.
VSTEP CEO, Cristijn Sarvaas: “NAUTIS is a new generation of simulation technology that meets the high standards of today’s maritime professionals. The Korean Naval college has evaluated and recognized the powerful benefits of NAUTIS, such as low cost, flexibility for the user and superior visuals in training.”
The Korean Naval College is one of Korea’s most renowned Naval Academies. Having used traditional legacy simulation technology in the past, the Korean Naval College selected the NAUTIS Naval Task Force simulators for its new simulation center, because of the cost effectiveness of the solution, its user-friendliness and the high quality of realistic maritime training it provides. NAUTIS Naval Task force is tailored specifically to the needs of Naval Forces and offers a wide range of navy specific simulation and training options.
A slim 18-page volume published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) marks a significant piece of work in the quest for increasing levels of competence within the marine contracting industry. “Guidance on the Use of Simulators (IMCA C 014 Rev. 1) is a fundamental piece of work, for it emphasises the increased importance placed by the industry on the use of simulators,” explains IMCA’s Chief Executive, Hugh Williams. “Simulation is proving its worth in the quest for the best way for individuals or teams to undertake a task efficiently and safely, and is thus often used for work lanning/mission planning purposes including engineering development, procedure development, technical assessments, research, and asset risk assessment. “The technology has improved enormously in recent years and the graphics are so good that users have a true idea of what they will be seeing and doing in ‘real time’ when the planning stage moves to the operational stage. Of course, simulators are also vital tools in emergency planning. “Our new publication is designed to address the use of simulators in the training environment and as part of competence assessments. The use of simulators enables measurable assessment of individuals in training to be undertaken. Sections cover the definition of a simulator; classes of simulator; use of simulators in the marine contracting industry; differences between e-learning and simulation; simulators in the training environment; simulators in competence assessment; and definitions. Then appendices cover different types of simulators used for dive control, dynamic positioning (DP) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) each describing their purpose. Other appendices will be added to the document as they are completed.” Simulation features on the conference agenda for the forthcoming IMCA Annual Seminar (being held 9-10 November in New Orleans, with Rob Gatt of ADAS and Cato Hordnes of OLF looking at Diving simulators and simulation – experience their use and development of an industry standard; and, in the ROV and Survey session, Use of simulation from concept design to offshore completion being presented by Jacco Huipen, Fugro Subsea Services. Guidance on the Use of Simulators can be downloaded free of charge from the IMCA website at www.imca-int.com with printed copies available at £2.50 for IMCA members and £5.00 for non-members, with further information available on the website; at email@example.com.
After a series of negotiations, Transas Hellas has agreed with Michaelmar Shipping Services Inc. (Piraeus) to supply a multi-purpose simulator facility for its Manila branch, Global Gateway Crewing Services INC.
The complex will enable training to the requirements of IMO STCW 78/95 Convention and Model Courses 7.01, 7.03, as well as number of specific tasks beyond the scope of the Convention. The contract includes supply of the Transas navigational simulator latest version, Navi-Trainer Professional 5000 (NTPRO 5000) with total horizontal visualization area of 180 degrees. It will guarantee realistic training, to the full satisfaction of the trainees.
The system will include a multi-task ship handling simulator capable of reproducing entire situation on the bridge, including mooring and maneuvering in restricted waterways. An instructor station and a debriefing facility provide instructor with all necessary tools for efficient preparation, editing, conducting, monitoring, playback and assessing the exercise. With such features and facilities, substantive learning will be fully challenging for trainees.
Three desktop bridge simulators enable training in watch keeping and operations with ECDIS, radar/ARPA, familiarization with all the details of electronic chart operation, including route planning and monitoring, electronic chart updating and the principles of displaying different information.
Michaelmar Shipping Services Inc. is dedicated to crew management and manning services. Manila office was established in order to provide Filipino crew to Greek and foreign ship owners. The new simulator will guarantee that the officers sent onboard are well-versed with their respective duties and responsibilities during ship’s navigation. The simulator complex will be used mostly for training the officers of Global Gateway who are sent to the principals of Michaelmar. Meanwhile, the said learning equipment will be open for seamen from other companies as well. This way, Global Gateway will ensure that the training is competitive in the market.
Konsgberg Maritime is shipping in its Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) Simulator for the inaugural Nor-Shipping Campus, a new event introduced to engage school and university students with the maritime industry. As the company’s fastest boat simulator, the spectacle is expected to attract a lot of attention, especially as Kongsberg Maritime is allowing visitors to try it out for themselves.
The Nor-Shipping Campus is being held in Oslo’s City Hall Square (Rådhusplassen), during Nor-Shipping week and has attracted strong backing from major companies with the mutual goal of promoting the benefits of a career in the maritime sector. The inclusion of the Kongsberg Maritime RHIB simulator at the Nor-Shipping Campus will provide young people and training institutions a glimpse into the world of high technology maritime training systems.
Kongsberg Maritime’s stand at the Nor-Shipping Campus will also feature a wealth of videos and information about the company, it’s people and products, with the centrepiece being the RHIB Simulator, which simulates faithfully the movement of a small, fast military boat using cutting-edge graphics, high-fidelity sound and six degrees of movement thanks to its full hydraulic motion.
“It’s certainly one of our most eye-catching simulators and we’re pretty sure that the young people visiting the Nor-Shipping campus will agree when they see it and indeed get behind the wheel,” comments Marketing Coordinator Anne Voith, Kongsberg Maritime Simulation and Training. “We hope that the noise, vibration, action and high-fidelity visuals persuade students to come over and talk with us, so we can explain just how exciting and rewarding a career in the maritime technology industry can be.”
Maritime Professional Training (MPT), a DNV Approved Maritime Training Center and an ISO 9001:2008 Company, has committed another $1.5m to further enhance its “Project 2010 & Beyond”. This project was envisioned as a means to update a wide range of their courses and enhance the learning experience and cost effectiveness for their students.
MPT said the funds will be spent almost exclusively as part of their ongoing expansion of its simulation facility, the S.M.A.R.T. Campus. The facility conducts Simulation for Maritime Assessment Research and Training and has long been used for both regulatory course compliance as well as research projects for port development and familiarization training.
The facility upgrades will include a fourth Full Mission Ship Simulator Bridge designed for Advanced Dynamic Positioning and AHTS training as well as enhanced features allowing for the conduct of T.O.A.R. programs. The upgrades will also include an additional ECDIS lab featuring the newest version of MFD ECDIS displays. This new lab will allow students to train on the newest equipment whilst fulfilling the regulatory requirements for the training. The installation of a new DP Lab for both Basic and Advanced Course offerings will round out the upgrades slated for completion.
Additional upgrades already in progress to the current bridges and facility will update the software, hardware, and displays allowing for an even more realistic visually immersive training environment. MPT is pleased with the response that the Project 2010 & Beyond upgrades have received so far and is committed to providing the very best level of training possible for their clients and students. New training vessels, new classrooms, new equipment, and even a few new faces are all receiving a welcome response from everyone!