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 360º 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 360º 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

Singapore, US navies link up naval simulators for virtual drills


SINGAPORE : US and Singapore warships have hooked up their respective naval simulators, so they can conduct joint exercises virtually instead of travelling half way around the world for the drills.

This is one of the displays at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition, which focuses largely on the importance of security at sea and the maritime threats posed by terrorists.

But it’s not just about military hardware, it’s also about well-trained personnel capable of dealing with different scenarios and reacting to real threats.

That is why the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has not only developed its own realistic simulator but also linked it up with the US Navy’s Battle Force Tactical Training system.

This means the two navies can conduct joint high-tech simulator exercises, with realistic scenarios set around the world.

Navy to use more simulation training

Navy to use more simulation training

HONOLULU – The Navy will invest in simulation software and applications in the future to help reduce the cost, time and strain of training its sailors, service officials said here this week.

The Battle Force Tactical Training system is being used during in-port exercises to improve the training of strike group command and control elements, from simple reporting procedures to the current application of rules of engagement in a realistic environment,” Doran said Nov. 5, at the AFCEA Hawaii chapter’s TechNet 2003 Asia Pacific Conference. “Through technology, our strike groups can practice and evaluate the tactics, techniques and procedures in port before getting underway.”

In addition to combat training, the Navy is distributing simulation software that can be used to practice navigating through unfamiliar waters.

“Soon — very soon — a ship heading into a port that they have never been to before will be able to practice the night before during their navigational detail brief, by plugging into this onboard simulator,” Doran said. “Our [ports] will be outfitted with bridge mockup simulators for complete navigation training. Our ships will be equipped with a version that is a virtual reality hood, designed to train individual watch commanders and enabling our sailors to see precisely what they would see from the bridge of their ships.”

Asia’s Largest Maritime Fair to Open in Pusan


Marine Week 2003, the largest maritime business exhibition in Asia, gets underway tomorrow at the BEXCO in Pusan from Oct. 21-24.

The exhibition is co-hosted by the Pusan city government, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and the Korea International Trade Association.

The exhibition brings together 836 companies from 36 countries, including the United States, Germany and France, to promote their high-end products, according to organizers.

South Korean, Russian and Chinese firms are expected to showcase their latest port logistics systems, while some 63 defense-related companies from 13 countries, including the U.S.? Lockheed Martin, are scheduled to display state-of-the-art naval defense weapons and technologies.

TAMUG to start work on engineering building


“We cannot grow to 2,000 and beyond without the additional building,” McGonagle said. “It provides additional lab space for large engine testing – there will be enough space to hold pieces from a major diesel engine off of a ship – and a ship’s bridge simulator. Part of the curriculum involves the maintenance and overhaul of marine engines.”

Link: Texas A&M University at Galveston