Essential Info at a Glance: The Manta NEO Integrated Bridge System
Gaining essential information at a glance, integrated in a modern, efficient and effective manner – that is the philosophy behind Manta NEO. With this in mind, HENSOLDT UK (a trading name of Kelvin Hughes) have created a “clean bridge” that allows the navigation officer on a ship to prioritize tasks, and merge information.
Flemming Haase, Head of Commercial Marine Systems, explains: “Manta NEO takes radar back to its fundamental use, as a collision avoidance tool, removing optional and unrequired items from the display and, by maximizing the use of modern flat panel displays, gives an extended field of view to the navigation officer.”
In the past, all manufacturers have set the traditional Planned Position Indication (PPI) circle in the middle of the display. The remaining space on screen was filled with information that may or may not be useful to the navigator. What sets us apart at HENSOLDT UK is the use of the whole screen as a radar display. The periphery can then be enhanced with the information the user wants to see, thus maximizing the radar information available to the navigator.
In keeping with modern media users, we allow navigators to select the additional information they wish to see, with a simple menu structure. We have also moved away from the most common software platform to an Android solution – allowing both, better security and faster processing, than was available before.
“In the past, when users were looking for new systems, they often complained about information overload. On this basis, our Manta NEO philosophy is managed through a common menu structure and displayed in a uniform manner, including information from external systems. Our Manta NEO bridge thus brings commonality and fluidity to the user,” explains Flemming Haase.
Initial customer reactions has proved us right with comments ranging from ”Why haven’t you done this before?“ to ”This is what we have been asking for, for years”, our customers are definitely impressed.
All ships complying with the bridge requirements set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) would benefit from our philosophy. All users suffer from the same issues of a multitude of displays and control systems. A standardization across the bridge would benefit all types of vessels – the more information a vessel displays on the bridge, the more its crew will benefit.
A representation of the Manta NEO user interface in its cleanest form. With this video the radar operator is able to see a full screen radar picture that is free from distractions. With Manta NEO, information is available as ‘widgets’ that can be placed on the screen or hidden to allow the radar screen to be used as a collision avoidance tool only.
Furthermore, the new Manta NEO incorporates both Solid-state X and S-Band Radar sensors providing state-of-the-art detection performance.
“With our heritage as a 250 year old navigation company, the development of Manta NEO wasn’t always smooth sailing,” explains Flemming Haase. “Whilst we have led the field in every technology since 1947, we still struggle to let go of tradition sometimes.” Moving software platforms was itself a significant challenge. But our engineers embraced it with vigour and strove to move away from the traditional PPI philosophy, open the display screens up and rationalise the information displayed for a state-of-the-art solution. In keeping with tradition, we held on to our philosophy of clean design and fluid lines that we have been known for, ever since we designed our first modern radars and the first generation of Manta displays. “Our design engineers spent hours thinking and modelling and made the new styling of our displays look like a simple and easy evolution,” Flemming Haase adds.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.