The development of dynamic positioning (DP) systems has grown over the past 35 years, with reliable and robust methods of positioning essential for safe vessel operations at offshore installations.
This growth has in turn stimulated the development of DP position measurement sensors which have become more sophisticated as technology has allowed. The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has just published “Guidance on RADius Relative Positioning System” (IMCA M 224) describing the RADius microwave radar system.
“This new document is produced by IMCA as an aid to members and others using position reference systems and forms part of a series of documents on the available systems, ” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler. “In common with some previous documents on position reference systems, it has been prepared in the major part by the manufacturer of the system, in this case Kongsberg Seatex.
“Of course the grown in the use of DP has been accompanied by the development of internationally recognised rules and standards against which DP vessels are designed, constructed and operated, ” she adds. “These include International Maritime Organization Maritime Safety Committee (IMO MSC) Circular 645 – ‘Guidelines for vessels with dynamic positioning systems’; DP rules of the main classification societies, IMCA M 103 ‘Guidelines for the design and operation of dynamically positioned vessels’; and guidelines for DP capable offshore supply vessels (OSVs) IMCA M 182 ‘International guidelines for the safe operation of dynamically positioned offshore supply vessels’.”
About RADius RADius, which utilises radar principles, has been developed for applications in need of a robust and reliable relative positioning system. Many applications can benefit from RADius in operations, as there are different types of retro reflective transponders and different types of installation of the sensor heads (interrogators). Furthermore, the RADius system is a solid state system – there are no motors, stabilised platforms or other moving parts – so the maintenance cost is low. Further information is available from www.km.kongsberg.com
How to order The guidance is available for downloading free of charge from the IMCA website, at www.imca-int.com and additional printed copies are available to members at £5.00 (plus delivery charge where applicable) and £10.00 for non-members via the website, from email@example.com or from IMCA at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.
• IMCA is an international association with some 900 members in more than 60 countries representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies. IMCA has four technical divisions, covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey and remote systems and ROVs, plus geographic sections for the Asia-Pacific, Central & North America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and South America regions. As well as a core focus on safety, the environment, competence and training. IMCA seeks to promote its members’ common interests, to resolve industry-wide issues and to provide an authoritative voice for its members.
• IMCA publishes some 200 guidance notes and technical reports – many are available for free downloading by members and non-members alike. These have been developed over the years and are extensively distributed. They are a definition of what IMCA stands for, including widely recognised diving and ROV codes of practice, DP documentation, marine good practice guidance, the Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) – now available electronically as e-CMID, safety recommendation, outline training syllabi and the IMCA competence scheme guidance. In addition to the range of printed guidance documents, IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and distributes safety flashes.