Sperry Marine has introduced the marine industry's first network based ship steering and heading control system with self-tuning autopilot technology. The new SteerMaster control system simplifies installation on all types of ships to all classification society requirements, while providing for easy future expansion and upgrades in the field. The system's unique network architecture provides 20 percent to 25 percent cost savings in cabling and installation compared with traditional steering systems with point-to-point wiring.
The Self-Tuning Adaptive Autopilot
The SteerMaster control system comprises two major components: the Naviguide 4000 manual steering system and the Navipilot 4000 heading control system, with adaptive self-tuning autopilot. Naviguide 4000 is a flexible, modular system that provides all system components for follow-up and non-follow-up steering for single or dual rudders. Navipilot 4000 is a fully adaptive, self-tuning autopilot system that makes real time adjustments for loading dynamics and weather conditions. The system's 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. The system provides manual selection of steering strategies to suit weather and loading conditions.
The auto self-tuning capability provides fewer and smaller rudder movements for reduced fuel consumption and less wear and tear on the steering machinery. The flexible design provides for easy interface with a broad range of steering gears, and the simplified display and control panel reduces training time.