New sensor system to aid DP accuracy

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

15 November 2018

A new sensor system developed by Wärtsilä for offshore wind farm applications is intended to enhance the dynamic positioning accuracy of vessels and improve safety.

Wärtsilä claims that its SceneScan Monopole is the first laser sensor where the need for installing fixed reflective targets is eliminated and will increase safety onboard service operation vessels (SOVs) because vessel positioning sensors that rely on targets fixed to the structure, are often unreliable because of poor placement, poor quality and being obscured by workers on the platform. The SceneScan has been designed and developed by Guidance Marine, which was acquired by Wärtsilä in 2017.

Scene Scan

The SceneScan Monopole’s advanced software allows the measurement of range and bearing to the offshore wind turbine, independent of the use of targets and GPS. The technology is highly applicable for China’s developing offshore wind market, as well as for North Sea wind farms. The first SceneScan Monopole was delivered in summer 2018 for a Chinese SOV newbuild project carried out by GE Power Conversion, a subsidiary of General Electric.

“This first of its kind SceneScan is compatible with all Dynamic Positioning systems on the market, and it is designed for one of the most demanding applications. It embodies our Smart Marine vision, where the latest and most advanced technologies support greater efficiency and enhanced operational safety,” said Dr Sasha Heriot, Business Development Manager, Navigation, Communication and Sensors at Wärtsilä.

“We very much appreciate the efficient way in which Wärtsilä has responded to the need for upgraded sensor technology, which will be used with our own SeaStream DP system. This certainly advances the safety of SOV operations around wind farm structures,” says Chris Bannigan, Global Market Leader for Offshore Support Vessels, GE Power Conversion.

The system successfully underwent sea trials earlier this year onboard the Windea La Cour, a purpose-built SOV owned by Bernhard Schulte Offshore. The vessel is fitted with other Wärtsilä sensor solutions, including the RangeGuard Monopole, the first targetless local position reference sensor based on radar technology.