Digitalisation and technological advance in the maritime sector have allowed high precision navigation systems to become more commonplace and – over the past few years reducing in size and cost.
As navigational officers we have moved from purely chart based – to a blend of digital and paper – and now on some vessels – almost exclusively digital. The days of hundreds of chart corrections on some faraway archipelago barely touched by mankind never mind a vessel – all whilst maintaining a navigational watch are a thing of the past for some.
Digital navigation systems have shrunk from cabinet sized, overheating, dust grabbing bridge systems – to small portable – even handheld systems.
Trelleborg Marine Systems started life as Marimatech Denmark – and have focused their products on the needs of marine pilots for the past 2 decades. Realising that with the reduction in size and weight of navigation systems – Trelleborg now design and build pocket size navigation systems based around the Apple iPad. One or two small antenna that fit in pilots pockets – are carried by the pilot, even whilst climbing their favourite safely fitted ladder – with or without man ropes dependent upon personal preference of course!
The SafePilot® system antenna talk via wi/fi to the pilots iPad – giving high accuracy (up to 1cm) position, speed, heading and also the jewel in the crown – vessel predictions. The vessel predictions using various algorithms to provide a visual representation of how the vessel will behave based on its current movement. This allows pilots to predict how the vessel will respond during pilotage – pre-empting any issues that may occur.
Many modern ports now make the use of Portable Pilot Systems (PPU) mandatory, with an ability to record and maintain records, tracks, routes etc from a shore side setup. Live weather, tides, airgaps etc can be used by the units – providing real time information as and when needed. Pilotage transits such as the Panama Canal ensure that all their pilots use SafePilot® to maintain standards.
With the introduction of the Apple Watch in the past few years – Pilot departments became interested in ways of utilising the watch to act as a repeater for the SafePilot®. In conjunction with our pilotage development team – Trelleborg Marine – produced an App – readily available in the Apple App Store – that would sync the SafePilot® PPU information to the watch – allowing Pilots to remain with vital, critical information to hand – even when stepping away from Bridge console or even away from their own iPad screen. Nowadays the Apple Watch app is used by busy pilots across the world – providing further re-assurance of the data to hand – at a quick glance without interruption to their task. The SafePilot® app has 2 modes – a mode for passage navigation and mode for docking – each giving relevant detail such as cross track error, distance from berth, docking speed/angles etc. The app gives pilots the freedom to move around the entire bridge, interacting with crew whilst maintaining critical data literally in his hand.
Moving into 2021 – Trelleborg Marine Systems Denmark continue to design and develop the highest precision, and lightest Navigation systems – with further exciting products to soon enter the market.
If you would like to experience SafePilot® – Trelleborg are happy to send out demo units to French ports – please contact email@example.com if you would like to test (free of charge) or visit www.safepilot.eu