New steering control system introduced

10 Feb 2011
The new NautoSteer AS steering control system is available in customized configurations

The new NautoSteer AS steering control system is available in customized configurations

German navigation system supplier Raytheon Anschütz has introduced Nautosteer, described as a new advanced steering control system. Availability is expected by the end of 2011.

NautoSteer AS is based on CAN-bus technology, where important components such as follow-up amplifiers, autopilots, interface units and alarm monitoring units are connected via redundant CAN-bus systems. In case of failures the steering control system switches automatically to a redundant CAN- bus.

Since ship steering control is one of the most critical systems, NautoSteer AS was developed to fail-safe principles. The integrated steering failure and wire-break monitoring checks actual rudder against set rudder and monitors wire breaks to prevent unwanted rudder actions which may cause damage. Data integrity monitoring ensures that inconsistencies within the steering system do not necessarily degrade system performance.

A new simplified steering mode selector switch separates an independent ‘main’ non-follow-up steering position from a ‘secondary’ steering position with CAN-bus based autopilot or follow-up and non-follow-up bus tiller controls, to prevent switching from one defective steering control to another defective steering control position.

Apart from adding safety, NautoSteer AS claims to offer improvements in ship handling. The design aims to be user-orientated and intuitive, with central alarm reset and central dimming for the whole steering control system. The system allows the user to define up to four different dimming groups in accordance with different conditions of lighting on the bridge, e.g. main bridge, bridge wings and aft bridge. Control take-over is possible from any steering position, using the graphical operator unit. The recently-launched NautoPilot 5000 autopilot can be seamlessly integrated into NautoSteer AS.

For shipbuilders, the new system facilitates installation with simple wiring, less cabling and quicker PC-based commissioning and set-up.

NautoSteer AS is available in customised configurations with single and double rudder, follow-up and non-follow-up controls. The design allows for integration of further steering controls such as joystick or DP systems. NautoSteer AS is an integral part of the recently introduced Synapsis bridge control system. The redundant Ethernet bus communication allows full integration, including a curved heading line display on the ECDIS screen.

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