Ketchikan, Alaska – The Southeast Alaska Pilots’ Association (SEAPA) has announced the delivery and installation of a new propulsion technology simulator at its headquarters in Ketchikan, Alaska. The new azipod simulator, the first of its kind in the U.S., was engineered by Electronic and Marine Research Industries (EMRI) in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Azimuthing podded drives, or azipods, is new marine propulsion technology where power and rotation are incorporated into one unit, thus ships with azipods are steered without a rudder. The pods incorporate built-in electric propeller motors attached to the vessel by a freely rotating steering gear. This enables 360 degrees of steering angle with controlled power output during maneuvering. The term “azipod” is an acronym incorporating azimuth (distance in angular degrees measured clockwise from a standard direction) and pod (a streamlined compartment).
Capt. Ted Kellogg, President of SEAPA said “In keeping with our mission of providing safe, secure pilotage in southeast waters, we’re training marine pilots on the newest, most up-do-date technology. We’re proud to be the first group in the US to have an EMRI simulator.”
The simulator will display two screens, one showing the vessel in a specific Transas© electronic chart display area and the other showing the vessel’s own data. The electronic chart display will be capable of displaying other vessel traffic via AIS (automatic identification system) and will present real time traffic situations for the operator. The simulator is interfaced with an instructor PC and LCD which forms the “control room “of the simulator. Vessel selection, wind, current, location, thrusters, generators, alarms and other initial data related to the exercise is input for the simulation exercise.
Kellogg said “For decades ships have been powered by the traditional propeller and rudder. Azipod propulsion is the future, and by installing this simulator, we’re going to be ready for it.” In Alaska, azipod propulsion technology is primarily utilized by the cruise industry by companies such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line. Azipod technology has seen increased applications in the tanker, ice breaking, and cargo vessel new builds in recent years. Still a growing and developing technology, further use and development of azipods is anticipated.