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Raytheon Anschütz introduces new NautoSteer AS steering control

The German navigation system supplier Raytheon Anschütz introduces a new advanced steering control system to the market. Raytheon Anschütz says, apart from improving handling and making installation of systems at the shipyard easier, the new NautoSteer AS sets highest standards of safety at sea. NautoSteer AS continues the series of Anschütz NautoSteer and will be delivered to commercial and naval vessels by the end of the year.

NautoSteer AS is based on CAN-bus technology, whereas all important components such as follow-up amplifiers, autopilots, interface units and alarm monitoring units are connected via redundant CAN-bus systems. In case of failures the steering control system switches automatically to a redundant CAN- bus, providing most secure data communication and built-in reliability of the whole system.

Since the ship’s steering control is one of the most critical systems on board, the new NautoSteer AS was carefully developed with regard to fail-to-safe principles. Thanks to its integrated steering failure and wire-break monitoring, the steering control system permanently monitors actual rudder with set rudder and wire breaks to prevent from any unwanted rudder actions such as hard rudders which may cause damages to ship, loading or passengers. In addition, an integrated data integrity monitoring ensures that inconsistencies within the steering system do not necessarily degrade the performance of the system.

As another safety-relevant benefit a new and simplified steering mode selector switch separates an independent “Main” non-follow-up steering position from a “Secondary” steering position with CAN-bus based autopilot or follow-up and non-follow-up bustiller controls. Olav Denker, Product Manager at Raytheon Anschütz, states: ”Compared to other steering control systems the new Nautosteer AS prevents from switching from a defective steering control to another defective steering control position. In case of an emergency, when time is crucial, this architecture supports the crew in their fast and safe decision making. NautoSteer AS will significantly contribute to safe and comfortable steering.”

Apart from adding safety, NautoSteer AS brings improvements in the area of handling. All steering controls follow the same user-orientated and intuitive design. Central alarm reset and central dimming for the whole steering control system is possible. The system also allows to define up to four different dimming groups in accordance with different conditions of lightning on the bridge, for example on the main bridge, port and starboard wings or aft bridge. A comfortable take-over of steering control is possible from any steering position whereas a graphical operator unit also allows the give-over the control of steering positions. Of course, the recently launched new NautoPilot 5000 series is seamlessly integrated into NautoSteer AS.

At shipyards the new NautoSteer AS steering control eases installation with easier wiring of standard power and bus connections, less cabling as well as quicker PC-based commissioning and system set-up. Ease of installation also improves installation quality and reduces failures during setting in operation or maintenance.

With an average number of 400 installations per year Raytheon Anschütz is a leading provider of steering control systems. With the new steering control generation Raytheon Anschütz continues the successful series of NautoSteer, which has proven itself to be a flexible, reliable and precise steering system. NautoSteer AS is available in customized configurations with single and double rudder, follow-up and non-follow-up controls. The flexible design also allows for integration of further steering controls such as joystick or DP systems as well as for complex steering controls with fore and aft bridge configurations. New tiller can be simply added by connecting the plugs to the bus and power system.

NautoSteer AS is an integral part of the recently introduced Synapsis Bridge Control Integrated Navigation System. The communication via a redundant Ethernet bus makes possible an advanced level of integration, which results for example in the Curved Heading Line display on ECDIS screen.