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Q GLOBAL NEWS CURRENTS Unmanned boats sneak into naval surveillance


Portsmouth Naval Base was the setting for tests of an unmanned RIB manufactured by defence contractor BAE Systems. The autonomous boat will assist military operations with surveillance, reconnaissance or protec- tion of larger ships in a fleet without the need to send extra personnel. The new boat, based on Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB)


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already used by the Royal Navy, can operate for up to 12 hours, either on a pre-planned route or via remote control up to 40km away. New kit consists of different sensors including a navigation radar, a 360-degree infrared camera and a laser range finder. The software was developed by ASV, a specialist firm of autonomous systems. The company’s managing director, Dan Hook, said: “The algorithms that we’re developing with BAE Systems allow the boat to perform complex missions and navigate through waters avoiding collisions.” The system is designed as a retrofit to the manned Pacific


24 RIB already deployed across Type 23 Frigates and Type 45 Destroyers. These boats will also go on to the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers once they enter service.


Korean yard halves vessel design time


A South Korean shipbuilder has substantially cut the man-hours it spends on vessel design thanks to the introduction of new CAD-style 3D modelling software.


According to Napa, the firm


behind the new software, Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering was able to halve design throughput time, from around eight weeks to four. The reduction was mostly


achieved by streamlined working processes, for example, through the automatic generation of classification drawings and global finite element (FE) models, which could then interface directly with class society software. Sungdong entered into a joint


project with several major class societies before IACS’ common


structural rules (CSR) came into force in July. One aspect of the project involved the yard replacing its traditional structural design and plan approval process with 3D


modelling of whole vessels. Under the previous process, a


2D design drawing of each vessel hold was created and then translated manually into 3D models employing software from whichever class society it was working with on that project. The new software and work


processes were first put to the test in the structural design of a 158,000 dwt Suezmax tanker. Productivity is said to have jumped as it was possible for the design team to work on the vessel as a whole, rather than designing hold by hold.


Containers must be weighed


Changes to IMO’s SOLAS convention making it mandatory for containers to be weighed prior to be loaded onto a ship have been welcomed by ship insurers. The requirement


from July 2016 fined or penalised. According to the


new amendment, the shipper is responsible for obtaining the verified gross mass and communicating it to the ocean carrier. UK P&I Club and


becomes mandatory on 1 July 2016, after which date it would be a SOLAS violation to load a packed box onto a vessel if the ship and marine terminal operator don’t have a verified container gross mass. Unweighed boxes may incur delays, and miss their designated ship. Operators who fail to comply will be


TT Club have jointly published an advisory briefing outlining the key issues to consider ahead of the


enforcement date. Points include: * Logistics supply


chain complexity can make it difficult to identify ‘the shipper’. The different parties will need to deter- mine how verified gross mass will be obtained, and how this can be passed on to the ocean carrier in a timely manner. * Ship operators


will need to check that the verified gross mass is recorded and used in ship stow planning. It’s vital to consider the impact of this on existing data capture and control processes.


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