UK’s Lerwick Port Authority has installed a new vessel monitoring system (VMS), which uses the latest technology to advance the handling of ship movements at the Shetland port.

Provided by Transas, the new VMS covers four sites at the port area, including port control in the main building and three remote stations.

The areas being covered include Rova Head north of Lerwick, and Maryfield and Kirkabister, on the island of Bressay; monitoring the northern approaches, inner harbour and southern approaches, respectively.

"The VMS is already a great asset for Port Control in handling shipping movements and providing navigational assistance."

The newly installed VMS allows fibre and microwave links to supply data back to port control.

The entire VMS modernising project, which includes the Transas contract, telecommunications and civil works, cost £450,000.

Lerwick Port Authority deputy harbourmaster Alexander Simpson said: “The VMS is already a great asset for Port Control in handling shipping movements and providing navigational assistance.

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“It combines data from multiple sensors in very user-friendly vector chart operator display units, extends Port Control’s very high frequency (VHF) radio range, displays weather information and linked cameras deliver CCTV coverage, all enhancing the efficiency and safety of operations.

“The investment in the VMS is just one of several projects expanding the port’s infrastructure at a time when we are welcoming larger vessels, for example, the biggest cruise ship yet at Lerwick arrived this week.”

Based on Transas’ Navi-Harbour software solution, the new VMS comprises various hardware equipment, which involves class A AIS transponders, Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine Vision Master radars, a Jotron VHF communication system, Gill Meteorological sensors, a general IT hardware platform and an APC power backup system.

Under an upgradation project, the Lerwick Port Authority’s port control room in Albert Building has been completely renovated and a new server room has been put into place.

As part of the phased refurbishment programme, conversion of the ground floor of Albert Building to a new reception and offices is currently underway, with plans to complete the same by the end of this year.

Image: Lerwick Port Authority installs new vessel monitoring system. Photo: courtesy of Lerwick Port Authority.