October 23, 2009
The upgraded simulator capabilities allow for the display of varying environmental conditions: any time of day or night with celestial bodies accurately displayed for date and time selected; varied states of visibility - fog, rain or snow; varied states of wind, sea and current with control of strength and direction. The simulator controller can initiate the movement of over 200 different types of vessels as well as aircraft, floating objects, person in the water, wrecks and land objects, as well as allowing for auto or manual steering. There are three models of ARPA Radar available (Bridgemaster, Furuno & Nucleus). It allows for ARPA on or off, interference on or off, no signal from a target and SART (search and rescue transponder).
The simulator controller can initiate error, defect, failure or warning alarms for engine, steering, GPS, depth sounder and gyro. It provides a variety of options for mooring and towing, including the choice of type and breaking strength of line, sending lines to the dock or object being towed as needed, and control of the winch. Other options include light and sound signals such as control of spotlight and navigation lights and ability to initiate sound signals and hear signals from other vessels, as well as ship movement recording and playback for debriefing.
The simulator allows for various training options, such as collision avoidance by duplicating real world circumstances for others to learn from, practice navigating and docking under different conditions of set and drift or different environmental conditions, the use of limited resources to safely navigate during low visibility or equipment failure, taking a one, two or three position visual or radar fix, practice helm commands, identify navigation aids and vessel light identification at night, figure ETA (simulator controller can fast forward scenario to check accuracy of ETA), or practice quick response to a man overboard.
Funding for the project was provided by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Technical Vocational Education Program (TVEP). The purpose of this program is to provide grants to technical and vocational education entities to provide industry specific training, on-the-job training and classroom job linked training. Funds for the program are appropriated from amounts the state collects in unemployment insurance contributions, and are provided to the Alaska Workforce Investment Board. The board establishes a list of priorities for training under this program.
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