Kongsberg Maritime has been chosen to supply a suite of upgraded navigation, engine room and Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) simulator hardware and software for an extensive facilities upgrade to the School of Simulation & Senior Marine at South Tyneside College. The upgrade project is being carried out during the summer and will include installation of the simulation systems and improvements to the buildings that house them.
“Although our simulation facilities are continually updated and improved we understand the need to keep at the cutting-edge of technology and quality in order to meet the changing training requirements in the industry,” explains Paul Hodgson, Technical and Projects Manager, School of Marine Simulation and Senior Marine, at South Tyneside College.
“Our first Kongsberg simulator was installed in 1997, when we decided that the Polaris ship’s bridge simulator/Neptune engine room simulator combination was a more powerful and flexible system than the available competition. This opinion hasn’t changed and we are looking forward to offering the possibility for our students to train on the very latest versions of these simulators, using the extensive library of exercises and models we have developed over the years,” continues Paul.
The project will feature a total refurbishment for the main Polaris bridge simulator, which includes two full-mission bridges and four part task bridges, with brand new consoles including K-Bridge and Polaris Radar ARPA upgrades and the introduction of Multiflex panels, which offer the ability to change functionality through software, rather than swapping out hardware panels. The bridge will benefit from a brand new projection system that is twice as bright and provides twice the resolution of the existing system, while all standard PCs will be replaced and the computer network upgraded from CAT5 to CAT6 cabling.
The second Polaris bridge simulator, which consists eight desktop simulators and a VTS simulator will move to a newly refurbished building at STC, which brings all School of Simulation & Senior Marine simulators into the same location. Kongsberg Maritime upgrades to these systems include integration of Multiflex panels and new radar simulators, in addition to the latest VTS C Scope operator software in the existing VTS simulator.
The School of Simulation & Senior Marine’s full mission engine room simulator will be upgraded to Kongsberg Maritime’s flexible solutions, which includes multiple use of touch screen technology. The engine room simulator will be upgraded with new Local Operating Stations for mimic presentations and 65 inch touch screens for presenting Kongsberg Maritime’s new interactive virtual engine room applications.
The selected solutions will allow different engine types to use the same hardware, as all dials, indicators, buttons etc are presented on screens and either controlled by mouse/trackball or touch. The upgrade of the full mission simulator includes Low Speed, Medium Speed and Diesel Electric Models. All four full mission simulator models (MAN B&W 5L90MC VLCC L11-V, Wärtsilä RT-Flex Container L11, M22 PC Ferry-IV and DE22 Cruise vessel-III) will be integrated with the main Polaris bridge simulator, enabling the college to provide enhanced team training scenarios.
“The new equipment will all have the very latest Kongsberg software installed. The old style radar displays, joystick unit, bridge & engine consoles, comms devices, projectors etc will all be replaced with modern equivalents,” adds Paul. “The real power of the simulators is in the realism generated by the careful matching of software and hardware. Our upgraded simulator facilities will provide this realism, to ensure students receive high quality training across our wide range of courses.”
The School of Simulation & Senior Marine upgrade project is a part of a multi-million pound college-wide improvements program at South Tyneside College, and will result in all maritime facilities being housed at the same area of the campus, with its own Marine Entrance & Reception, separate from the South Tyneside College main entrance.