The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA, UK) has published new guidance on the selection of satellite positioning systems, warning that in recent years lower priority has been given to system selection than is wise. This is particularly the case when choosing a dynamic positioning (DP). The guide explains that the use of inappropriate systems has led to delays in project execution, vessel downtime and, in some circumstances, damage to assets.
In the introduction to ‘Guidance on the Selection of Satellite Positioning Systems for Offshore Applications' (IMCA S 018) the association explains that the costs incurred during any of these incidents have significantly outweighed the procurement of a suitable system from the outset.
The new guidance document has sections devoted to types of GNSS systems (i.e. GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Compass, QZSS and IRNSS); augmentation techniques; service providers; considerations for the selection of the ideal system; recommendations; a glossary and references.
The wide availability and relative cheapness of DGNSS and services has been such that they can be perceived as a commodity. This has lead to a lower priority being assigned to the selection of appropriate systems, particularly in the DP positioning sector, where the recent boom in new-build DP vessels saw many companies and shipyards, new to DP classification of vessels, involved in the specification and commissioning of DGNSS - and this is where the problem lay, and why we have published the new guidance document.
Members can download the document from the members-only website, printed copies are available to members at GBP2.50 for members and GBP5 for non-members and can be purchased from the IMCA website.