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mTrack to control winches on new research vessel

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

Scantrol celebrates the milestone of 100 mTrack units sold in only a few years. The 100th mTrack will be operating on the new research vessel Kaharoa II in New Zealand. The research institute NIWA and Armon Shipyard have chosen a package consisting of Ibercisa trawl and oceanographic winches for the new Skipsteknisk ST-361 design, where mTrack is essential for several of the subsea operations.

mTrack to control winches on new research vessel

It isn’t yet mTrack number 100 for Ibercisa, but we are proud to be the 100th client, and believe that many more of these units will be part of the Ibercisa package for research vessels in the future” says Miguel Riveiro, Business Development and Sales Director at Ibercisa.

AHC also available for smaller research vessels

Scantrol has been working with Ibercisa since 2009. Like Scantrol, Ibercisa also started in the fishing sector, but 30 years ago Ibercisa entered the oceanographic market. Since then, Ibercisa has become one of the market leaders in the sector and continues growing.

Scantrol has a long experience with delivering control systems for research vessels, mostly for trawl winches. But with the new AHC Controller, they have a very flexible product that can be used for the oceanographic winches in order to improve data quality when collecting scientific data and during towing operations, in order to keep the load stable at a certain depth or follow the seabed profile, according to Rolf Krogh Hjelmeland, VP for AHC and USVs at Scantrol.

Traditionally, AHC functionality has been too complex and expensive for smaller winches and vessels. One of the goals when developing mTrack was to make AHC available for smaller winches as well. Today there are 1200 vessels running Scantrol systems, about 100 of these in the research and oceanographic market. Ibercisa has already delivered both Scantrol SYM 7 RSV (research vessel version) and mTrack AHC Controller to multiple new research vessels.

The general interest for AHC in research operations has increased a lot. It is important for the scientists to get keep improving data quality, highlights Riveiro.

Oceanographic surveys down to 6500 m depth

Together with the Spanish shipyard Armon, the end-user NIWA selected Ibercisa and Scantrol as suppliers for its new research vessel RV Kaharoa. NIWA is located in New Zealand and has two research vessels, RV Tangaroa and RV Kaharoa. NIWA is familiar with the Scantrol Autotrawl system for fish sampling on the vessel ‘Tangaroa’. It is the smaller vessel, RV Kaharoa, that is now being replaced by a new 36 m vessel that is designed to undertake fishery and trawl surveys to 600 m and oceanography up to 6500 m in depth. The new vessel is expected to be finished by the beginning of 2024.

The challenge with the new Kaharoa is that it needs to pack in a lot of equipment whilst minimising size and weight. Even if it is a quite small vessel, NIWA required the latest technology and functionality onboard, explains Riveiro.

To maximise marine science, it is important to have the ability to continue operating, even in challenging and variable sea conditions in the southern Pacific Ocean. Electric winches equipped with AHC will enable us to continue working in weather conditions where previously we had to stop or wait until conditions improved, explains Greg Foothead, Ship Technical Manager at NIWA.

The winches will work together with an Ibercisa LARS, A-frame and side T-frame. The vessel will have two trawl winches and one net drum. Ibercisa is also supplying a set of three electric research winches; piston coring winch (combined with trawl), a combined camera/CTD/acoustic winch with capacity to work, with AHC, up to 6500 m, and an oceanographic winch with 4000 m capacity.

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