Atlantic Canada Profiles: Rutter
Marine Technology Reporter
Advanced Ice Analysis & Ice Defense
The world of onboard navigation systems is always changing, and as such, existence of convenient user-interfaces and powerful navigation capabilities are in constant evolution. Contributing to this evolution is Rutter Inc., which in the first quarter of 2017 is releasing an update to its flagship radar system, the sigma S6 Ice Navigator, adding Advanced Ice Analysis to the system. In addition, Rutter will release the new sigma S6 Ice Defense system, an ice radar system aimed at users for whom ice management is a serious operational and safety concern when working in areas with sea ice and icebergs.
Rutter’s sigma S6 product line, which also includes systems focused on oil spill detection, small target surveillance and wave and current measurement, connect to commercial marine radars, adding value to those existing navigation assets. “With the release of our latest generation of marine radar data processing software, sigma S6 9.1.0, we are able to assist vessels to improve their operations and fulfill industry demands with even greater efficiency,” said Fraser Edison, President and CEO, Rutter.
Stephen Hale, Director of Sales & Marketing at Rutter, added, “Whether used in combination with one of our other products or a single system, the information provided by our new sigma S6 Ice Navigator system will help provide a safe and efficient environment for vessels operating in ice. The ability to display critical information on open-water leads, ice ridges, ice movement and bergs embedded in pack ice is not available with any other radar system. This is a cost effective system to reduce fuel consumption and enhance the safety of personnel and assets.”
Advanced Ice Analysis, introduced in January 2017 as an addition to the sigma S6 Ice Navigator, makes possible the mitigation of several risks posed by ice obstacles. Ice pressure ridges, for example, are a significant navigational hazard that can damage the hull of large vessels. With Advanced Ice Analysis, users can more easily avoid these obstructions by automatically detecting and outlining ice ridges in ice fields, detecting and tracking icebergs embedded in pack ice, and detecting and outlining open water leads. Due to their irregular geometry, icebergs have a low radar profile and are therefore difficult for conventional radars to detect. Adding the ability to detect and track these hazards automatically provides information critical in route planning for navigation and during ice management activities.
Open-water lead detection finds ice-free areas within an ice field, highlighting areas suitable for easier transit and the safe deployment of equipment.
Ice ridge detection automatically detects and outlines ice ridges in ice fields revealing their location so they can be more easily avoided and managed. Ice pressure ridges pose a significant hazard that can cause hull damage during navigation, exert higher loads on offshore structures, and their keel can potentially impact subsea infrastructure in shallower operations.
The sigma S6 Ice Defense system includes all the features of the sigma S6 Ice Navigator, but also offers automatic outlining and drift-tracking of ice pans and floes, as well as drift prediction of ice in open water. For offshore operators with rigs and FPSOs in areas of sea ice, detailed information on ice floes and ice movement is essential.