Tender tracker from Furuno

Mon, 30 November 2015

Carnival Cruise Line is installing a tender tracker developed by Japanese marine electronics giant Furuno on several of its cruise ships. Tender trackers are not new but this new Furuno developed system takes tracking one stage further by incorporating a degree of control, communication and monitoring that goes way beyond what normal trackers can offer.

This system is based on the MaxSea chart software that is part of the Furuno Portfolio. This is installed on board the mother ship and authorised routes for the tenders to follow plus and everything needed for safe navigation including danger or no-go areas can be plotted on this master display. This can include routes, waypoints and danger areas and these are then copied via software links to the displays on board the tenders.

Each tender is fitted with a Furuno Time Zero 2 plotter which displays these authorised pre-planned routes at the helm station on board. An AIS transmitter is linked to the plotter which is used to transmit the position information, course and speed of the tender back to the mother ship where it is automatically plotted on the master display enabling the officer on watch to constantly monitor the position and progress of the tenders. Warnings are displayed if a tender wanders into a no-go area or deviates significantly from the plotted route and action can then be taken to remedy the situation.

The system can be adapted to meet the requirements of different ports of call and for changing weather conditions. Furuno has developed unique software and hardware links that allow the situation to be constantly monitored from the cruise liner's bridge and for action to be quickly taken to rectify any developing danger situation. The system also provides feedback to the crew of the tender who can learn from the monitoring system.

While this system has been specifically developed to meet the requirements of cruise ships this new Furuno system has potential for the operators of patrol boat fleets and for contractors who are operating a flotilla of vessels engaged on a major construction project. The use of AIS as the prime communications link extends the range at which communication can be maintained and it can help to speed up the response time to any incidents and provide a measure of monitoring and safety that can benefit major operators and which can be used to optimise the deployment of multiple assets on the water.

Source: Dag Pike;

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