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Requirement of this marine equipment on board a merchant ships is
governed by SOLAS CONVENTION. This equipment provides important
navigational safety information to mariners, such as :
MSI ( maritime safety information )
Navigational warnings
Metrological warnings
Weather forecast in text



The use of this marine equipment on board merchant ships is governed by
SOLAS CONVENTION. This instrument provides marines the following
information :
The atmospheric air pressure
The barrometric tendency
Warning of upcoming low or high pressure
Early warning of an approaching TRS can be predicted by
monitoring the barrometric readings.





The use of this marine instrument is governed by SOLAS CONVENTION.
There must be three rudder indicators of this type on a ship's
wheelhouse; one on the PORT wing, one on the STBD wing and one in the
wheelhouse. These rudder indicators show the angle of the rudder applied
for altering the course of the vessel. When Master is not in the
wheelhouse ; he can see the rudder angle from either of the wing's
Rudder Indicator.






"EPIRB" stand for Emergency Position Indicating Radio beacon . This

particular equipment indicates the position of a vessel in distress. There

are two types of EPIRB based on satellites.
Carriage requirements of these equipments on board a ship is governed
by the chapter V of SOLAS CONVENTION.





The use of this particular equipment on board a merchant ship is
governed by the chapter V of SOLAS CONVENTION.
SART is used to transmit / indicate the position of a vessel in distress , to
the nearest air or water crafts having a "X BAND" radar fitted on board.
SART works on a frequency of 9 GHz.
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The word "GPS" stands for GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM . The requirement and use of this
equipment on board merchant ships is governed by the CHAPTER V , REGULATION 19 of
GPS is a navigation system based on the several satellites. The user side receiver , gives the
continuous updates about the user's position on the earth ( in Latitude and Longitude ) at any
given moment. The accuracy of this position is about 5 meters.
GPS receiver is a box shaped instrument placed on the ship's bridge . (Now a days various types
of portable GPS receivers are available in the market and they are used in most private cars etc )
This instrument on ships has various display modes and feed types to be advantageous to the
users.Some of these display modes and feed types are as under :






The GPS system consists of 24 orbital satellites in 6 different paths.The system works on doppler
shift techniques. The GPS signals are comprised of various components such as :

Ephemeris data

Almanac data

Pseudo random code

This Pseudo random code identifies the satellite because every satellite has its unique code. The
Ephemeris data is continuously transmitted by the satellites and it contains very vital information
such as date , time , status of the satellite etc. The Almanac data conveys the receiver the
position of each satellite at any given time in a day.
In short, Every satellite of this system transmits messages to the all other satellites of the
system , such as my name is satellite Alfa , my position is Bravo and time of sending this
message is Charlie.The user side GPS receiver receives the data and based on that fixes the

How echo sounder works

Acoustic pulses at the rate of 5 600 pulses/ min having BW of 12-25 degrees are
transmitted vertically. Received echoes are converted to electrical signals by
transducer. The electrical signals are sent to the stylus which produces
corresponding marks on the recording paper.
Average speed of acoustic signals is 1505 ( approx 1500) m/s with conditions of 15
deg C & 3.4% salinity. Sound speed in sea water varies between 1445 and 1535 m/s
depending on temperature, pressure and salinity. Standard value of 1500m/s gives
soundings within 5% of actual depths even when extreme values of speed are
encountered. If required depths can be corrected from sounding correction tables
(NP 139)
Recording unit: It originates the sequence of events by transmitting an electrical
signal to the pulse generator at the same instant as a stylus commences to travel
across a sheet of sensitized paper.This is usually achieved by means of a small
carefully regulated constant speed motor which actuates the stylus , a contactor being
used to originate the signal to the pulse generator at the correct instant.
Pulse Generator: It contains a tuned circuit and a voltage multiplying device so

that in response to the signal from he recording unit a heavy pulse of alternating
current is discharged through the transmitter. A voltage doubling device can be made
connecting the two capacitors in parallel when charging and in series when
discharging. This arrangement, in conjunction with suitable inductances to give the
required tuned frequency, produces the short high powered pulse necessary.
Transmitter: It may sometimes be a quartz oscillator (electrostrictive type working
on the principle of peizo electric effect) but is usually of the magneto striction
type.The latter depends on the fact that certain substances when subjected to
magnetic fields tend to alter in size. Nickel is particularly susceptible to this effect
and a bar of nickel placed in a solenoid tends to reduce in length when current is
passed through the windings. This effect is independent of the direction of the field
so that an a.c. would cause the bar to vibrate with a frequency twice that of current.
Receiver: After reflection from the sea bed the returning sound wave is received by
a magneto striction type type receiving transducer. The nickel washers vibrate in
tune with the incoming sound waves and, provided that it is slightly magnetized, an
a.c. pulse will be induced in the windings. The current is very small and is
transmitted to the amplifier.
Amplifier: It generally consists of more than one stage. Its function is to amplify
the signal from the receiver to value which can be used in the recorder.
Recorder: It leads the amplified signal current to the moving stylus and on passing
through the electrolytic paper to the earthed back plate a clearly visible mark is
made.The position of the mark on the paper depends upon the distance moved by the
stylus during the transit interval of the sound wave and this depends directly on the
depth of water.
Range: Range can be increased by arranging that the stylus does not start to move
until a fixed interval after the transmission ( phasing ) or by reducing the speed at
which stylus sweeps across the paper.

Some of the basic controls that the user will need to understand to operate the
Mini Sounder are Tx Power, Gain,Pulse Length, Range, Phase, and Tx
Blanking.The Tx Power, Gain, and Pulse Length directly affect the strength of
the output signal and thus the return echo.There are four power settings each
approximately 25% of the configured total output power. The Gain can be
selected manually or automatically (recommended). Shorter pulse lengths are to
be used in shallow waters andlonger pulse lengths in deeper water. Longer pulse
lengths may be used in shallow water if the user is sub-bottom profiling.
The Range and Phase settings will tell the echosounder what the extents of the
search window are. The Range determines the size of the search window and
the Phase determines where in the water column to search.
For example: (assuming Meters as units) Range 100 Phase 1
The search window will be from 0 to 100M. If the Phase changes to 2 the search
window will shift down the water column and now be 50-150M. The same
amount of information (100M) remains as the Range did not change.

There is an AutoPhase control that will allow the echosounder to change to the
proper phase as the bottom approaches either extent of the search window.
Diffused reflection is better than specular reflection because of motion of ship.
Higher frequency gives greater diffused reflection. And it is easier to concentrate the
signals into narrow beams.
But higher frequencies have three disadvantages too:
More attenuation
Transducers have to be small which will not produce sufficient power
Thus the acceptable compromise is struck while deciding the frequency and
optimizing the desired results.Moreover frequency should not be within audio
frequency range otherwise audible noises ( engine, wake, water hitting ships hull etc)
will also be picked up as echoes and appear as noise. ( audio range : 30 Hz 20
KHz )
Pulse length: It lies 0.2 to 2 ms and varies with sets. For a given set shorter the
range scale shorter the pulse length and vice versa. Stylus rotates at half the scale
speed of acoustic signals i.e. at scale speed = 750 m/s.Echo cannot be received till
transmission is over. And because stylus movement is synchronized with the leading
edge of the pulse minimum measurable depth is given by PL.thus for a PL of 2ms
min. measurable depth will be 1/2 PL = *2/1000*1500 = 1.5 m
PRF: If PRF is 2 then in 1s 2 pulses are transmitted or each pulse is transmitted
every s.This means each pulse has s at its disposal i.e. s to go and s to
come back at the transducer. This means it will cover a distance of (+ ) * 1500 =
750 m which in turn corresponds to depth of 350 m. Thus each value of PRF
corresponds to maximum critical depth that can be measured.
If actual depth is more than the critical depth, the second successive pulse will have
left the transducer before the first pulse arrives as an echo. Correspondingly, stylus
also would have completed its one rotation. Thus echo will be received on the second
round of the stylus and is known as second trace echo. The correct depth of such
echo is given by adding critical depth to the depth indicated on the recorder.
Paper Speed: Speed of paper over which stylus moves can be varied in addition to
pre-programmed change of paper speed with range scale.
If bottom is uneven and a careful examination is required then the fast speed will
give more separation of traces.
If echoes are faint e.g. at greater depth, slow paper speed will accentuate the echoes.
If running a line of soundings that require a change of scale , it is advisable to
maintain a constant paper speed to assist subsequent analysis.
ERRORS: The position of transmission line or zero line should be carefully aligned
with the transmission of pulse. This datum of the stylus can be adjusted as instructed
in makers manual.
If the transmission line is set to the depth of the transducers, the recorded depth will
be below the surface of the sea. If it is set to the zero of the scale, depths will be

recorded below the transducers. Should the transducers be higher than the keel, by
say 1m, then setting the transmission line to read -1 would give reorded depth below
the keel.If transmission line is set to depth of transducers care is necessary when ship
proceeds from salt to fresh water.
SPEED OF STYLUS: After adjusting T.L., the speed of the sounder should be
checked and adjusted to correspond to a velocity of sound in water of 1500 m/s or
such speed as the makers recommend. This is usually done by measuring with a stop
watch the time for a given number of revolutions of the stylus as instructed in
makers handbook.
ROUND THE CLOCK ECHOES: False readings may be obtained from a correctly
adjusted sounder when the returning echo is not received until after the stylus has
completed one or more of its cycles and so repassed the transmission line and the
next pulse has been transmitted.
If a sounder has its scale divided so that one complete cycle of the stylus corresponds
to a depth of 300m, an indicated depth of 10m, could be sounding of 10. 310 or even
610m. Such false readings can sometimes be recognized if the trace appears weaker
than normal for the depth recorded, or passes through the transmission line, or has a
feathery appearance.
DOUBLE ECHOES: With many types of sounder, an echo may be received at about
twice the actual depth. This mark on the trace is caused by the transmission pulse,
after reflection from the seabed, being reflected from the surface and again from the
seabed. It is always weaker than true echo, and will be the first to fade out if the
sensitivity of the receiver is reduced.Its possible existence must always be borne in
mind when a sounder is started in other than first phase setting.
MULTIPLE ECHOES: The transmission pulse in depths as great as several
hundred meters may be reflected, not once but several times, between the seabed
and the surface of the sea or the ships bottom before its energy is dissipated, causing
a number of echoes to be recorded on the trace, These multiple echoes can be faded
out by reducing the sensitivity of the set.. In the first phase setting, multiple echoes
are too obvious to cause confusion, but should be guarded against in the second or
subsequent phase setting. The sounder should always be switched on in the first
phase and then phased deeper to find the first echo.
Echoes other than bottom echoes seldom have the reflective qualities to produce
strong multiple echoes, and may sometimes be distinguished from the bottom echo
by increasing the sensitivity of the set and comparing the multiple echoes.
In addition, they are caused by following:
Shoals of fish
Layers of water with deep scattering layer or set of layers believed to consist of
plankton and fishes.It lies between 300 450 m below the surface during day and
ascends to the surface by sunset and remaining there till sunrise. By day it is more
pronounced when sky is clear than when overcast.
Submarine springs
Side echoes from an object not directly below vessel but whose slant depth is less
than depth of seabed.
Turbulence caused by tidal streams or eddies with solid particles in suspension
Electrical faults or man made noises.
Sudden changes in temperatures and salinity can cause masking of bottom echoes

Weak Echoes: They are caused by:

Ships speed
Shape and condition of hull
Unsuitable siting of transducer
Sea and weather conditions
Aeration (caused by sternway, wake of vessel moving ahead, application of wheel,
head trim)
SQUAT: consists of settlement and change of trim. It does not alter ships draft The
effect depends on configuration of seabed, depth of water and vessels speed. The
theoretical squat on a vessel drawing 10.0 m in a depth of 12.5 m will be 1.0 m at a
speed of 15 knots.
In shallow water squat causes abnormal bow and stern waves to build up, which if
observed should be taken as an indication that the ship is in shallow water with little
clearance below the keel.. The amount of squat depends on many variables which
differ, not only from ship to ship, but from place to place and can seldom be
accurately predicted even in theory. So generous allowance should be made for this
when ship is in shallow water.
Reduced depth over submarine pipelines which may stand as high as 2m
Possible inaccuracies in offshore tidal predictions
Risk of negative tidal surges
Possible alterations in depths since last survey
Weather: rolling and pitching reduces UKC e.g. for a vessel of 50 m beam UKC is
reduced by 0.5 m for a roll of 1 degree.
In certain areas where nature of bottom is unstable, depths may change by 1m or
more, in a matter of months after a new survey.
Shifting banks or sand waves may themselves appreciably alter depths.
SETTING UP PROCEDURE: Prior to use, the back plate should be cleaned and
the roll of recording paper fitted.
The equipment should be switched on; a range scale commencing at zero and
covering the expected sounding should be selected e.g. 0 100 m.
The gain or sensitivity control should be adjusted until there is a clear trace from the
sea bed. In the absence of a response, the maximum range scale having a zero should
be selected and the gain set so that noise speckles are just marking the paper.
Adjust illumination if required.
Controls for paper speed (if provided) should be set at slow to permit trace
integration of weak responses while making initial detection.
Alarms, if provided, may also be set.
Where a trace is already available, care should be taken in setting the gain control so
as to avoid multiple traces which can result from signals bouncing between sea bed
and the hull.
Choose the setting between UKC and depth of water.
Great care should be exercised when setting the gain control and using phased range
ECHO SOUNDER GRAHICAL DISPLAY: should be sited on the bridge in
position to facilitate easy access and viewing, and where the effect of any lighting for
the equipment does not interfere with the keeping of an effective look out.

It should also facilitate easy servicing, repair and changing of paper rolls/stylus etc.
Because they are operated for long periods, adequate ventilation is essential. Thus
sufficient space should be available around the display unit so as to avoid
overheating and effect of fumes from some types of dry recorder papers.
To avoid putting them in the vicinity of underwater openings or projections from
hull, such as plugs, anodes or other transducers, so that overall satisfactory
performance is achieved.
The ideal position for transducer is one where there is solid water from aeration
beneath the transducer. And where the effect of surface, engine and propeller noise
are at a minimum. Such positions are few on a ship and moreover position found to
be satisfactory on one ship may not be suitable for another ship.
The principal source of aeration is the bow wave created by a moving ship. The wave
rises some way up from the stem, curls over, and is the forced down beneath the ship,
taking a quantity of air with it. The resultant bubble stream starts about a quarter
length of the ship from the stem, and divides about three quarters of the length from
the bow. The bubble stream varies in form and intensity according to speed, draught,
shape of bow and hull, and the trim of the vessel and sea state. In particular in the
case of bulbous bow, the only satisfactory site may be within the bulb, although the
consequence of physical damage has to be recognized.
To avoid aeration, a position at the forepeak is desirable but it may be unsatisfactory
in a ship with a light draught forward, especially in bad weather conditions. In
addition the hull shape may make fitting difficult.
In a laden ship of normal design opposition within a quarter of the ships length from
the stem will often be found to give satisfactory results. On small vessels damage may
occur due to pounding and care should be taken when siting transducers. However it
should also not be sited very close to propeller.
When separate transmitting and receiving transducers are fitted, they should be
sufficiently separated to prevent interaction between them but it should also be kept
as small as is possible to ensure accurate soundings in shallow waters.
Transducer should be installed in horizontal position.
If windowed transducer has to used, the window should be acoustically thin so that
the range of the equipment is not adversely affected.
Siting near and particularly aft of ford propeller, bow thruster, water intake pipes,
drain plugs and external speed measuring devices should be avoided.
To minimize effect of roll and pitch, centerline siting should be chosen.
Care should be taken to minimize interference between echo sounders and Doppler
Information regarding the position of the transducer should be available onboard.
IMO standards: Should be capable of measuring any clearance under the
transducer between 2 and 400 m.
Should provide min of 2 range scales one of which, the deep range, should cover the
whole range of depth, and the other, the shallow range, one tenth thereof.
The scale of display should not be smaller than 2.5 mm per meter depth on the
shallow range scale and 2.5 mm per meter depth on the deep range scale.
VOLUME REVERBERATION: is defined as scattering of sound waves from
randomly positioned suspended particles, organism etc in water column. Intensity of
sound reverberated from a unit volume of water is called volume reverberation. It is

expressed in dB. In deep water it does no cause much problem, but in shallows
reverberation can happen multiple times causing high background signal levels. On
rocky bottoms it can cause multiple echoes.
Short PL, narrow beams and absence of side lobes can minimize the volume
reverberation and also reduce reverberation from seabed. This, in turn improves
signal to noise ratio.