Wednesday, October 24, 2018
NORFOLK, VA (October 24, 2018) – W R Systems, Ltd. (WR) has won an award for its “Under Keel” software application under Phase I of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
The research and development effort, titled “Under Keel Clearance Management Support of Precision Navigation," focuses on the design of a visual display to crew members of the water’s depth underneath the boat’s keel, the bottom-most structure around which the hull of a ship is built.
Often a ship’s keel will come within two or three feet of the seafloor, particularly in areas like the St. Lawrence Seaway. The software developed by WR will alert the crew to prevent the keel from grounding.
The WR team will now prototype, test and evaluate the new Under Keel Clearance standard specification (S-129). The modular software application will support S-129s with new and legacy Portable Pilot Units (PPUs) and Electronic Charting Systems (ECS). The ultimate goal is to ensure safe and efficient navigation through critical ports around the world.
“WR has taken our extensive knowledge of geospatial navigation and the development of S-100 based products and focused them on Under Keel Clearance to support navigation through U.S. ports,” says Dr. Ed Weaver, Principal Systems Engineer with WR Systems. “Our team is excited about the opportunity and is working hard to provide a value-added solution for the mariner, port authorities and other potential users.”
WR hopes to deliver the final product to NOAA within 6-12 months for further testing and implementation.