Northrop Grumman Introduces Embedded Shipboard Trainer for Integrated Bridge Systems


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., June 25, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) — Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC) Sperry Marine business unit has introduced an embedded training system designed to support onboard training for ships equipped with the Sperry Marine integrated bridge system.

The Integrated Bridge System Trainer (IBS-T) is an embedded simulator system that runs on the ship’s installed equipment to provide realistic training for the ship’s navigators and bridge watch team in all aspects of navigation, seamanship and ship handling, as well as navigation planning, watch briefings for port entries and departures and other planned piloting evolutions. Sperry Marine developed it in conjunction with Computer Sciences Corporation and Buffalo Computer Graphics.

The IBS-T can be used to run a wide range of scripted simulations on the ship’s integrated bridge system, including radar displays, naval electronic chart display and information system and steering/control displays. Visual images of the scenario are projected onto a large screen at the front of the bridge for enhanced realism. Training can be conducted in port or at sea.

The IBS-T can be easily retrofitted on any of the more than 100 U.S. Navy ships and submarines currently equipped with the Sperry Marine IBS. It is also a planned capability for future Sperry Marine IBS installations and upgrades for CVN 68-, DDG 51- and CG 47-class ships. A portable version will be available for SSN 688-class submarines. The IBS-T will provide standardized training throughout the fleet, using the actual equipment installed on the ships.

Sperry Marine, with worldwide headquarters in Charlottesville, Va., and major engineering and support offices in New Malden, U.K., and Hamburg, Germany, is part of Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector. Sperry Marine provides smart navigation and ship control solutions for the international marine industry with customer service and support through offices in 16 countries, sales representatives in 47 countries, and authorized service depots in more than 250 locations worldwide.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Md., Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense and commercial electronic systems including airborne radar, navigation systems, electronic countermeasures, precision weapons, airspace management systems, communication systems, space sensors, marine and naval systems, government systems and logistics services.

Link: Northrop Grumman

Bridge Crew Trains from Bridge of Naval Base San Diego Simulator


NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO (NNS) — “Stand by for ship lines, come left, steer course 005, phoning line is across,” commanded Ensign Scott Parker, the communications officer on board USS Bridge (AOE 10) a supply-class fast combat support ship, homported in Bremerton, Wash.

These commands are commonly used by bridge crews during an underway replenishment at sea. However, the particular commands from Parker came from the Marine Safety International (MSI) bridge simulator on dry land at Naval Base San Diego.

The main objective of MSI is to use the latest state-of-the-art simulation techniques to provide a realistic ship maneuvering, navigation and decision-making environment without real world risks. Each training session focuses on the decision-making process rather than the reaction of a certain situation, which an officer of the deck would receive underway in real time operations. The ship handlers use the simulators to practice different at-sea evolutions, as many times as they like until they achieve the results they desire. After spending time in the simulator one of the instructors will sit down and critique their performance.

The professional instructors at MSI work to build a ship driver’s knowledge, skill and judgment. According to retired Capt. Robert Richardson, who has been an instructor at MSI for six years, he feels the simulator is an ideal learning environment.

“This environment allows the watchstanders to learn without the fear of making a mistake. If you make a mistake in the simulator and run a ship aground, besides some embarrassment, there is no damage to the ship. Most people learn from their mistakes and the simulator allows them to make them without damaging the ship.”

For seven members of Bridge, the visit to MSI’s ship handling training course was a chance to train giving commands on a simulated bridge. MSI has a fleet of ship response models covering both combat and support ships. From tugboats and merchant crafts to cruisers and carriers, each model has been tailored by experienced naval officers to match the handling characteristics of each ship. This allows each person being trained, to experience real life situations in a simulated environment.

Link: MSI

Academy, institute take up shore homes


The newest campus in Michigan is also the newest attraction along Traverse City’s crowded waterfront.

Sandwiched between a Holiday Inn and the shuffleboard courts of the Traverse City Senior Center is the Great Lakes Campus of Northwestern Michigan College.

The new $18 million complex is home to the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, a school for first mates and marine engineers, and the Great Lakes Culinary Institute, a school for head chefs and bread bakers.

You can check out the radar rooms or see a demonstration of the ship bridge simulator, where seven giant computerized screens allow students to take the wheel of a 1,000-foot freighter and steer it anywhere on the Great Lakes.

Navy Navigates Toward Revolution in SWO Training


By Journalist 2nd Class Jason Heavner, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) — Projecting power to all parts of the globe requires a team of surface warfare officers (SWO) with proficient skills in seamanship, navigation and ship handling.

To satisfy this need, the U.S. Navy has developed a Navigation, Seamanship and Shiphandling Training Requirements Document (NSS TRD). The NSS TRD identifies the core competencies for SWOs assigned to Navy warships. It outlines a navigation, seamanship and shiphandling training continuum for Surface Warfare Officers, from newly reported ensigns all the way to the commanding officer.

The TRD is consistent with the specifications and requirements of the Merchant Marine “1995 Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.” It also conforms to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 46, which is a list of shipping regulations set by the Department of Homeland Security.

“As it works in conjunction with Task Force EXCEL, the TRD is especially beneficial for navigators, as it expedites the process of attaining Third Mate licensure,” said Lt. Tom Mack, assigned to the staff of Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Readiness and Training Department.

The TRD consists of many initiatives. One is the Navigator Course of Instruction. This course implements a newly established personnel qualification standard (PQS) for navigators and assistant navigators. The course will be software-based training distributed on CDs.

“Platform endorsement” is another initiative implemented by the TRD. “Platform endorsement” formalizes the re-qualification process for the Officer of the Deck. For example, every SWO, including the executive officer and department heads, will re-qualify in platform-specific evolutions (i.e. loss of steering, flight quarters). The goal is to enable a SWO to maintain their proficiency in navigation and shiphandling, regardless of the platform to which they are assigned. Both initiatives are scheduled for fleetwide roll-out in Spring 2004.

A third initiative of the TRD is the Training Record Book. Much like a pilot’s log, this will give commanding officers and executive officers a tool to track a SWO’s career qualifications. It will offer supervisors and leaders a clear picture of their subordinate’s professional development with regard to navigation, seamanship and shiphandling experience. The record book will include pages for sea service time, qualifications and facts, and characteristics of the ship on which the SWO stood deck watches. It will also include watchstanding records for combat, deck and engineering departments. The TRD is also compatible with Merchant Mariner and federal certifications, so a SWO could use the record book to more easily pursue civilian and other licenses.

In an effort to fill a considerable capability gap, the Navy will bring navigation simulators to almost every fleet concentration area by 2006. Currently, shiphandling simulators are located in the Norfolk and San Diego fleet concentration areas. Another simulator is located at the Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, R.I. By mid-2005, additional full mission bridge simulators will be online in other fleet-concentration areas, including Mayport, Fla.; Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and Everett, Wash.

“With the use of these simulators, the level of proficiency for a bridge watchstander will improve significantly. They can navigate a ship during any special evolution, or pull into any particular port in the world without using any fuel or altering ship schedules, thus saving the Navy time and money,” added Mack.

These initiatives will change the way Navy personnel are trained in navigation, seamanship and ship handling. The NSS TRD moves away from a knowledge-based approach to a competence-based system of qualification where candidates must physically demonstrate they have mastered the skills necessary to stand a navigational watch.

For related news, visit the Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Navy NewsStand page at

Advanced simulator will train mariners


Seamen and their employers are welcoming a new training facility for mariners, complete with a full-scale “bridge simulator,” that will open near Seattle’s waterfront in April.

The state-of-the-art simulator will help train seamen and mates to operate large vessels, just as flight simulators help train aircraft pilots. The $1 million device, the only one of its kind between San Francisco and Seward, Alaska, will feature lifelike effects, bridge equipment identical to that used on a full-sized ship, and a software-driven system that can simulate the characteristics of any ship operating in most ports in the world.

The simulator is the core of a 15,000-square-foot facility that will operate from a renovated building leased from the Port of Seattle near the container terminals on the waterfront.

The port contributed $550,000 in tenant improvements on the structure in return for a 10-year lease, said Gregg Trunnell, director of the Pacific Maritime Institute, which is developing the new facility. The training center will include classrooms and offices, a dozen computer stations for initial training, and the simulator itself.

The institute, known as PMI, is a state-certified vocational school that has operated in the Seattle area since 1972. The institute is supported by the Maritime Advancement, Training Education and Safety Program, a Baltimore-based nonprofit trust formed by ocean carriers and unions to support training and safety programs. The trust also operates the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies in Baltimore, a training center substantially larger than the Pacific Maritime Institute.

Training, virtually


FORT EUSTIS – The bow of the Army’s high-speed vessel pitched and rolled across the white-capped waves, slipping quickly through the sea.

Welcome aboard Fort Eustis’ vessel bridge simulator and welcome to the future of U.S. military training.

Virtual reality systems are key to the Pentagon’s vision of a new Joint National Training Capability program directed by the military’s Joint Warfighting Center in Suffolk. The Defense Department plans to spend $1.2 billion between 2004 and 2009 developing the program.

Computer Science Corp.’s Virtual Ship software is built on commercial off-the-shelf software. The simulator operates on Windows NT and mixed Windows and Unix systems, the company says.

MPA cuts fees for some courses by 19%


(SINGAPORE) The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has cut fees for mandatory courses and at its integrated simulation centre (ISC) by an average of 19 per cent this year.
The cuts apply to 13 of the assessment courses, including pilotage exemption, port limit tanker masters, passenger ferry safety and tug master training.

The state-of-the-art $12 million virtual vessel at Singapore Polytechnic is among the most sophisticated in the world, with inter-linkable simulation systems covering all aspects of ship operations, including engine room operations, pilotage and crisis management, with realistic bridge-view graphics.

New year sails


ONE of the most advanced maritime training centres in Europe is running team building exercises for Merseyside office workers.

The Lairdside Maritime Centre in Birkenhead is part of Liverpool John Moores University and has developed the only 360 ship simulator in the UK.

It is used to train ships’ officers how to handle vessels using state-of-theart computer projections of the Mersey or other waterways.

Some of the tasks mariners are set include piloting a tug boat and guiding huge oil tankers up the river in whatever river or weather conditions the trainers decide.

“As we have the only 360 simulator in the country, delegates have the chance to plot a course down the River Mersey or a stretch of water of their choice and feel as though they are really there. It is so realistic that we often get cases of sea sickness!

“Our newly-introduced tug simulator forces the teams to work together and communicate while facing the task of connecting the two vessels and navigating them to port.”

Panama Canal Authority Announces Fiscal Year 2003 Metrics

Panama Canal Authority Announces Fiscal Year 2003 Metrics

Significant capital improvement efforts in FY2003 have contributed to the Canal’s ability to handle increased traffic. Projects have included: the deepening of the Gatun Lake channel; the acquisition of new locomotives and rehabilitation of the locomotive tracks; the addition of new tugboats; improved aids to navigations; a training and research maritime simulator center; and the implementation of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) — a sophisticated vessel tracking system.

Owens creating new fire, police training center


It will also feature a Maritime Training Site and a 27,000-square-foot Simulation Center for Regional Anti-Terrorism Emergency Management. The interior of the center will consist of a containment chamber, classrooms, science-type laboratories, a decontamination room and shower/locker facilities.

Link: Owens Community College