Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Integrated Bridge

The Antipodean Mariner has spent the last ten months (with the support of the Hong Kong Plan Approval team) reviewing and commenting on the hundreds pages of drawings and technical information requiring approval for the Capesize newbuilding project.

One of the most rewarding as a mariner has been specifying the Integrated Bridge Console for PN65 series. Most bulk carriers are delivered into service with the traditional bridge layout (port to starboard) of electrics, navigation lights, alarm panel, auto-pilot, engine control and radars. Ergonomically lousy and requiring the Officer off the Watch to walk (sometimes run) between the various consoles. The last thing needed when things are turning to s@#t in heavy traffic or in a port approach.

The ergonomic console selected for the series is the L3 NACOS Platinum integrated bridge console. The focal point for control of the ship is the starboard conning station. From this position, the OOW has main engine, autopilot, overlaid ECDIS (digital chart), radar, telephone and VHF radio all within arms reach. A second ECDIS/radar unit is stationed to port of the helm position for the Master or Pilot.

These photos are from a sister ship at the Yard which is nearing completion.

Integrated Console looking to starboard

Starboard conning position

The AM's ships are going to have the Bridge Navigating Watch Alarm System (a deadman alarm) integrated into the radar and ECDIS and with motion sensors so that the hapless OOW doesn't spend four hours pushing the alarm reset button.

The one reversion to traditional hardship is that the two cockpit-style bridge chairs have been deleted - same as for the AM's vessels. The Owners of this ship obviously have the same concerns about comatose watchkeepers in a pair of huge, comfy chair in front of the console.



  1. Dear AM

    Thanks for your info on the NACOS system.
    Being an electronics technician, I know that such a complicated system, while making the OOW's job easier, is subject to failure at the least opportune time.

    What sort of backup is built into this system?
    Can the various functions be separated and used independently?

    Thanks from southern Alabama... Tad

  2. Thanks for the comment, Tad. Without soundling like an advert for L3, the system runs on an ethernet which enables any display to operate on any system. Power supply is backed up with multiple UPS. Compared with individual component systems, agreed that there in a high reliance on inter-system operability and this was considered when L3 was selected for the engineroom automation system.


  3. Net-Logic - UK based technology company and designers of WatchKeeper - The Wireless Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System(BNWAS).