Australian Reef Pilots (ARP) is using one of the most sophisticated shipping simulators in the world to add to its already state-of-the-art suite of training and safety initiatives. One look at the full capabilities of the company’s resources begs the question, how do we introduce such a complete scope of technology into our training centers in the United States?

Smartship Australia Facility
The Smartship Australia facility in Brisbane provides cutting-edge simulation services in a world-class training environment give pilots a realistic experience on the bridge of a ship in numerous different shipping scenarios. The center is a navigational and maritime facility operated as an arm of the Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Says ARP CEO, Simon Meyjes, “Smartship is one of the world’s most advanced maritime simulators and is the perfect training tool for our pilots who navigate in some of the world’s most challenging waters; the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait . . . Smartship is the perfect partner to our wide range of world’s best practice systems such as the Australian start-up ‘VoyageBank’ initiative, a state-of-the-art innovation which tracks and plots piloted ships’ movements in real time, at sea and shore side.”

Portable Pilot Units
All pilots are equipped with a Portable Pilot Unit (PPU), which is a tablet computer that provides a record of every decision the pilot makes and every movement the ship makes – like the record from a “black box”. PPUs utilize touch screen technology, and they run Orca G2 pilotage software. Using Microsoft cloud infrastructure, the PPUs include Electronic Chart Display Information System (ECDIS) charting that is customized to the unique challenges that pilots face on the Reef.

Smartship’s simulators and programs can adapt to any navigational situation worldwide, and they can also provide simulations for any ship in any port around the world, making Smartship an unparalleled technological resource.

The Smartship Center includes two full mission bridges, two part task bridges, and a tug simulator. The bridges have a full suite of control and communications equipment, and they also contain navigation system NACOS. The simulators utilize both high-resolution projectors and LCD displays.

Full capabilities
Here are some more details on the full scope of the facility’s capabilities:

  • Full Mission Bridge 1: Primary full mission bridge (FMB) simulator is 16 meters in diameter and 5 meters high with a 360° field of view including connected bridge wings.
  • FMB 2: Secondary full mission bridge simulator is 12 meters in diameter with a 240° field of view.
    TUG Simulator: Has a 360° field of view and the ability to simulate all tug propulsion systems, including rotor configuration.
  • Part Task Bridges 1 & 2: The task bridge simulators have 120° field of view.

The simulators can be integrated in any arrangement or operated independently, depending on training needs which may include:

• Ship maneuverability
• Ports and fairways
• Environmental factors such as wind, current, tide, rain, fog and day/night conditions
• Equipment malfunctions
• Top-quality, high-definition visuals