Sperry Marine (a Northrop Grumman unit) received type approval from the German certification authority Bundesamt für Seeschiffahrt & Hydrographie (BSH) for the NAVISTAR satellite compass system. The BSH type approval certifies that the NAVISTAR system meets the International Maritime Organization carriage requirements and International Standards Organization performance requirements for a Transmitting Heading Device.
According to the company, sea trials conducted on a variety of vessels in recent months have demonstrated the NAVISTAR system’s ability to maintain an accurate heading display under adverse weather conditions and in heavy seas. NAVISTAR system is designed to serve as a viable alternative to spinning-mass and fiber-optic gyrocompasses for workboats, commercial fishing vessels, large private yachts, naval patrol boats and small merchant ships, which are not required to be equipped with a gyrocompass.
The system provides a stable heading reference input for radars, autopilots, chart plotters, scanning sonars, automatic identification systems, voyage data recorders, steerable antenna arrays and other devices. The computer continually compares the GPS heading against the magnetic heading sensor. If the GPS data is lost or degraded, the system switches to the magnetic heading from the integral magnetic field sensor to ensure uninterrupted navigation. Using advanced inertial algorithms, the NAVISTAR hybrid system processes information from dual high-precision GPS receivers, together with data from three integrated turn-rate sensors, three accelerometers and a three-axis magnetic field sensor.