Moving hardware off the bridge
For decades, the wheelhouse has been characterized by bulky and proprietary consoles, each providing access to different navigation or automation systems or data displays. Even on today’s multifunctional ships, integrated bridge systems (IBS) often consist of individual consoles hosting the computers and displays.
On many ships, these traditional bridge consoles with computers and displays are the opposite of an ergonomic workplace. In addition, designers are limited when outfitting wheelhouses that are as comfortable and attractive as possible.
When Raytheon Anschütz, a business of Raytheon Technologies, designs a customized IBS, they combine the benefits of modern LAN and software-defined workstations. By using 19-inch racks for computers and other hardware, the IBS creates a flexible and ergonomic wheelhouse.
The Synapsis NX navigation system uses standardized computers, which can be moved off the bridge and installed in 19-inch racks in a separate technical room. The system shares all data, tracks and targets within a redundant LAN. Navigational applications receive and process the data and, on the bridge, present the data as needed by the operator on multifunctional displays.
“Customers benefit from high flexibility for lean, space-saving and ergonomic wheelhouse designs, besides other advantages with regard to maintenance and security,” said Björn Ober, head of project management at the IBS business unit at Raytheon Anschütz. “The improved cooling of the hardware and the lower heat development on the bridge itself are also advantageous.”
Standard 19-inch racks can be delivered in a customized configuration, including computers, data collectors and switches, while allowing space for future technology. Through the integration of digital video interface (DVI) extenders, the distances between hardware and displays can range up to 140 meters. Customers also benefit from racks delivered fully wired and tested, providing reliability from the start and reducing time and effort for installation onboard the ship.
Raytheon Anschütz delivered customized integrated bridge systems, including 19-inch racks, to various projects in the recent past, such as Vox Ariane, a state-of-the-art and highly automated hopper dredger; RRS Sir David Attenborough, a sophisticated research vessel; an undisclosed polar icebreaker and several mega yachts.