The Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania is the national institute for maritime education, training and research. The college has specialist teaching, learning and research facilities, including the state of the art MV Bluefin.
The Bluefin is the AMC’s flagship 35m training vessel. Bluefin cruises Australian waters with up to 20 passengers and 5 crew for alongside training and training voyages from single days to two weeks duration. Studies on board include habitat monitoring, fish sampling, fishing technology, machinery operation and maintenance, environmental assessment, multi beam survey, AUV operations, oceanographic instrument mooring, ship design and function and navigational and seamanship training for students looking to attain Master < 24M and Master <35M, (formerly Master level four and level five Masters certification.)
The brief was to find 21st century technology to be able to conduct 21st century training for AMC students. Simrad was chosen based off a track record the AMC has with Simrad. Our Autopilot legacy has been a key influencer in this installation, with the Bluefin now equipped with the latest in Simrad Argus Radar, S2016 fish finder sonar, AP70 Autopilot with HS80 GNSS Compass, and MO24 Glass Bridge monitors.
Chris White, Maritime Training Lecturer, notes that the new suite of Simrad electronics “will produce Trainees that have been exposed to current leading edge equipment. The update has replaced older and last generation equipment with a current product range in an integrated fashion”.
He adds that the product is incredibly reliable and meets the AMC’s needs from a technical standpoint – highlighting the ease of installation and the after-market service that he has become accustomed to with Simrad electronics.
The manufacturer’s Perspective
The MV Bluefin is now equipped with the latest generation Simrad technology. Following on from the AP50, the Simrad autopilot legacy continues with the AP70. The AP70 ensures reliability and can be configured to operate efficiently at low speeds while recovering fishing gear. This feature was particularly useful in the case of MV Bluefin where the original AP50 autopilot was the best solution in overcoming steering problems experienced when the vessel began builder’s trials. The current replacement AP70 carries on this legacy of being able to compensate accurately for random effects that nets can induce into the vessels handling characteristics. The AP70 receives its heading input from the HS80 GNSS compass.
The S2016 dedicated 16” wide screen sonar display incorporates dedicated function and soft keys that control key features. The wide screen format allows an extended history to be displayed giving students the ability to go back in history and learn more about the bottom structure.
The state of the art X-Band Argus Radar gives users the ability to see weather systems on the radar screen, while keeping an eye out for approaching targets at the same time. The graduated colour palette differentiates targets and therefore highlights weather systems more clearly. The wide screen presentation allows a “picture–in–picture” display which users can configure with selected sensor information (such as depth or alarms), or as a 2nd PPI displaying an expanded section of the main PPI, weather radar, or if desired, a second physical radar input. The system also demonstrates its versatility by outputting video via HDMI to a Panasonic LED TV at the aft conning station, providing a slave radar monitor when net operations are underway.
The bridge is rounded out by a series of 3x 24” wide screen glass bridge monitors to display any application on the bridge including third party navigational software and depth sounders.
The AMC have continued their relationship with the Simrad brand based on the innovative and reliable solutions, and dependable service organisation that they are known for. The AMC want to ensure that they are teaching their students with cutting edge technology.
With more than 60 years of maritime expertise invested in delivering solutions to the professional market, Simrad are well placed to continue their relationship with the AMC and supply a range of relevant, sophisticated and innovative products for the benefit of future generations of mariners.