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Are marine electronic manufactures like Apple & MARSSA like google ?!
zakborg
Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2011 2:27 PM
Joined: 06/10/2010
Posts: 8


http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2011/05/17/f_schmidt_gps.cnnmoney/
RH
Posted: Friday, May 20, 2011 9:45 AM
Joined: 10/05/2011
Posts: 7


Hi Zakborq Have watched the video but I’m not sure what you mean by this question as there is a whole range of possible subjects here. Are you talking about interoperability between different manufacturers systems or accepted industry NMEA protocols etc OR do you mean the navigation systems will become more intelligent and intertwined with the vessels other systems and the crew? Happy to answer but you need to let me know, I have a pretty good spread of experience on small yacht to commercial marine electronic systems and know what direction the deep sea manufacturers are going with their products.
zakborg
Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 6:42 PM
Joined: 06/10/2010
Posts: 8


Hi RH, hope all is well! thanks for the reply. do you work on super yachts ? Well basically i am trying to get some input from the captains, crew etc that use systems on a daily basis. Currently the marine industry is like a closed box due to all the proprietary solutions, why is radar data available only over proprietary standards ? we have just launched an open source project www.marssa.org which is going to provide an open source platform which will allow any company to hook up to the MARSSA platform on which a yacht is running allowing them to use ANY front end, any sensors/actuators and develop any Applications. what do you think ? we plan on using underlying communication networks such as NMEA and other such as Ethernet but move onto a distributed computing scenario were the services (such as Route planning etc) are simple services on the private cloud on board the yacht rather than how it is currently with one device per function ad the processing power is locked away. id love to get your feedback. my email is zak.borg@marsec-xl.org!
RH
Posted: Monday, May 23, 2011 9:49 AM
Joined: 10/05/2011
Posts: 7


Hi Zakborq Well, like everything else, it seems like a great idea at the time but there are a number of issues. With respect to the data only being available on proprietary displays etc, this is simply down to the fact deep sea nav system OEM’s only manufacture a few hundred units per year so it’s not in their interests to be able to mix and match screens/radars/ARPA/ECDIS etc if you’re talking in terms of an integrated bridge. They just don’t have economies of scale to justify trying to make their systems compatible with their competitors. Apple and other hardware manufacturers turn out hundreds of thousands or more of their hardware so it’s not such a big deal to cross-platform systems and software. Also, when you’re talking about deep sea systems as found on commercial and very large yachts, for regulatory reasons, all systems have to be IMO approved in order to be able to make their market as large as possible and this is also a huge expense. Even retrofitting old CRT radar displays for newer flat screen technology has only just become available to this market due to the IMO regs etc. You can’t just plug in any old display. Because of this, most major OEM’s such as Kongsberg, Maris, Sperry Northrop Grumman, Raytheon etc are all sticking to their own integrated bridge systems. By the way, most of these are dual LAN connected as well as having direct connection of sensors to the computers under the console as well, also an IMO requirement. About the only thing you can safely cross platform is utilising any IMO approved AIS, GPS which is basic NMEA standards (also IMO approved) data. Also, on systems like Kongsberg for example, the K-Bridge system is running Windows XP with KM’s own proprietary software on top. In addition, the sensory integrator (SINT) is running a third Operating system which, on start-up, grabs it’s config files from a folder on the XP computer of which every radar, ECDIS, planning station and conning has it’s own XP computer with dual LAN and SINT. To introduce an “APP” into that mix would be spectacularly expensive, risky and for little gain. I can tell you from experience, the last thing any Captain or crew needs is an added headache from the nav systems. Another issue is that of backup of the nav system. Because modern integrated bridges tend to be windows based systems (including newer VDR’s), they are, by nature unstable and as such you have to factor in regular backups of which the crew are rarely ever qualified to safely do and in a timely fashion in case of catastrophic failure of components (think hard drives, motherboards etc). Swapping HDD and motherboards is never straightforward, least not because of the operating system licences not to mention chart licences and they happen a lot more often than you would think. Vessels vibrate just enough to make these components fail with increasing regularity so here again, we see OEM’s trying to come up with solutions but everything new that is introduced needs to be IMO approved and the process rolls on and on. Any APP introduced into the bridge will need to be IMO approved unless you intend on sticking to smaller yachts that don’t come under any classification society which is becoming fewer and fewer as regulation increases. Now, if you’re talking about APPS for the AV or overall entertainment system then these are already out there and well proven from companies such as Crestro and Lutron to name two.
 
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