Latest vessel monitoring system at Lerwick

A NEW vessel monitoring system (VMS) that uses the latest technology to improve the handling of ship movements has been inaugurated in Lerwick.
The system has been installed by the company Transas across four sites covering the busy Shetland port: port control in the main building and three remote stations; at Rova Head north of Lerwick; and Maryfield and Kirkabister, on the island of Bressay, monitoring the northern approaches, inner harbour and southern approaches, respectively.
Fibre and microwave links supply data back to port control.
The completion is being marked today, with invitations extended to port users to view the new system.
The modernising VMS project, including the Transas contract, telecommunications and civil works, cost £450,000.
Lerwick Port Authority’s deputy harbourmaster, Captain Alexander Simpson, said: ‘The VMS is already a great asset for port control in handling shipping movements and providing navigational assistance.
‘It combines data from multiple sensors in very user friendly vector chart operator display units, extends port control’s VHF radio range, displays weather information and linked cameras deliver CCTV coverage – all enhancing the efficiency and safety of operations.
‘The investment in the VMS is just one of several projects expanding the port’s infrastructure at a time when we are welcoming larger vessels – for example, the biggest cruise ship yet at Lerwick arrived this week.’
The new VMS is based on the high-end Navi-Harbour software solution from Transas. Hardware equipment scope consists of Class A AIS Transponders, Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine Vision Master radars, a Jotron VHF Communication System, Gill Meteorological sensors, general IT hardware platform and an APC Power Backup System.
‘The Transas Ship Traffic Control solutions installed at Lerwick Harbour will provide tools for coordinated approach to maritime traffic control, monitoring and decision support which is vital in the era of rapid digital transformation,’ said Frank Coles, Transas CEO.
Picture: Lerwick Harbour’s port control room and the newly installed Vessel Monitoring System, with deputy harbourmaster Alexander Simpson (left) and port controller Douglas Garrick. Credit: John Coutts.