Clearance Height

Route planning in inland navigation

As a captain (owner) of a ship, the journey normally begins with voyage preparation. Over the years, however, the need for this preparation has diminished, partly due to innovations. For example, an on-board navigation system already takes a lot of work and worries out of your hands, and should you need more information, you can always look it up on the go. So what do you need for a worry-free trip?

Bridgescout® bridge height detection

To determine if a route is navigable, you need to know if the water depth and bridge heights are sufficient for your vessel. You can find this on the water chart. You hope to find yourself in a so-called Blue Wave, as we know the Green Wave on the road. Still, it is easy to have the operating times of bridges and locks handy. For the Netherlands, Rijkswaterstaat has compiled an overview

Water levels can vary due to tidal effects, but also due to wind uplift or heavy rainfall. Deviations of the water level are not shown in relation to the local level, but in relation to the NAP: the Normal Amsterdam Level. In other words, you need to know the deviation and difference between the NAP and the level of the area where you are sailing to calculate whether you can safely pass the bridge. 

There are thousands of bridges to pass in Europe alone. Each bridge has its own clearance height. Most barges are equipped with a wheelhouse that can be adjusted in height to anticipate the clearance height. However, the captain never has complete assurance that the wheelhouse is sufficiently low. Consequently, a wheelhouse that is too high results in dozens of collisions each year with millions of euros in damages. In addition to material damage to the ship, bridge and/or cargo, personnel and bystanders also risk injury and possible traffic congestion. 

Did you know that many collisions happen while more than one person is present in the wheelhouse? Despite all the preparations, navigation systems and manpower on board, things go wrong due to a moment of inattention or error of judgment, among other things. This is why Bridgescout® was developed. It gives you as captain the peace of mind that there is always someone on board who is sure that the wheelhouse can pass safely under the bridge and if not, will raise the alarm in time. 

More about Bridgescout®

Bridgescout® detects whether there is sufficient clearance height

Bridgescout® is designed to reduce the number of collisions, as well as the risk of collisions. Using Bridgescout® increases alertness and safety on board. As soon as Bridgescout® detects that there is insufficient clearance height for the ship to safely pass the approaching bridge, Bridgescout® will inform the captain by means of an alarm about the possible risk of a collision. This allows the captain to lower the wheelhouse in time. Bridgescout® also informs the captain when the wheelhouse has reached a safe height and is thus sufficiently lowered. Bridgescout® provides support at critical moments and in the event of an error of judgment by the captain; Bridgescout® increases safety on board and offers your captain(s) peace of mind.

Bridgescout® chart system, GPS and internet

Bridgescout® chart system is an online database of objects used by all Bridgescout® systems developed by Sensor Maritime. By using a GPS antenna mounted on the Bridgescout® sensor, the position of the Bridgescout® system is determined. Data from the Bridgescout® sensor combined with data from the Bridgescout® mapping system and the GPS antenna ensure that Bridgescout® knows when to start scanning. This also prevents unnecessary alarms. Bridgescout® does not require an internet connection to function. However, if (remote) support is needed or an update is available, a (fixed) internet connection is required.

Real time clearance height

Bridgescout® is independent of environmental factors such as height of objects and/or water levels; Bridgescout® makes a real time scan. To determine whether a ship can pass safely under an object, it uses distance and angle measurements to determine in real time whether there is sufficient clearance height. This also means that Bridgescout® notices temporary objects under a bridge, such as a jetty.

Bridgescout® system in the wheelhouse

Interface for the captain can be found in the lectern; the so-called Sensor Maritime hub. This is a very user-friendly interface to which all solutions can be easily connected, including the Bridgescout® sensor. When the Bridgescout® sensor is not scanning, the Sensor Maritime hub, the panel in the wheelhouse, is in standby mode (black screen). This is to prevent so-called information overload. At 500 meters from an object, Bridgescout® starts scanning; the panel in the wheelhouse lights up (green screen). At this moment, the captain is already informed about an approaching object; alertness is an important component in preventing collisions.

Why Bridgescout®?
  • Alertness and safety on board
  • Day and night detection
  • Real time scan
  • Clear and timely alarm
  • Personalized (alarm) settings
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