Litton Marine Systems has introduced a new adaptive autopilot system with self-tuningsoftware. The new auto-tuning software has been extensively tested in sea trials over the last nine months, and is available in the Sperry Marine ADG 3000 autopilot system.
Thomas M. Woolfolk, manager of commercial products at Litton Marine Systems, explained, "The software performs dynamic tuning of the autopilot during a modest series of initial maneuvers, then automatically continues to refine the tuning throughout the voyage in response to the ship's behavior”. Woolfolk noted that the system maintains two separate tunings, one for light and another for loaded conditions, permitting the operator to switch between the two settings for significant loading changes.
The upgraded ADG 3000 system underwent extensive sea trials on the 46,000-dwt product tanker HMI Nantucket Shoals. Beta and sea trials were also conducted on a number of other vessels, including two Great Lakes iron ore carriers, a RoPax ferry, asurvey vessel and a tugboat. The new software can be retrofitted to existing ADG 3000 installations, permitting field upgrade of the more than 600 ships currently fitted with the ADG 3000 system.