By Rethinking Radar, Rutter is Making Maritime Operations Safer
The Canadian technology company Rutter is revolutionizing radar, giving mariners new access to actionable information on their surroundings. Through advanced software and signal processing, Rutter's radar systems can identify ice in the water, find patterns in currents and swells, and spot small boats against background clutter.
Rutter is the developer of the sigma S6 suite of X-band radar signal processing technologies for marine safety, security, and environmental monitoring. sigma S6 systems have been deployed in more than 40 countries for applications as diverse as ice navigation, oil spill detection, coastal surveillance, early detection of small craft at sea, and wave and surface current monitoring.
Rutter's latest development is a safety monitoring system for predicting waves and their effects on deck operations. The WaveSignal™ sigma S6 system forecasts quiet operating windows on a three-minute horizon, and it displays a signal light on deck showing stop (red) or go (green), giving the crew a simple way to determine the safest time to conduct an operation or activity. The system has potential applications in fisheries, rescue operations, personnel transfers, cargo transfers and other activities that are impacted by wave activity. Wind turbine installation and service operations - which involve frequent transfers between vessels and fixed platforms - can particularly benefit from user-friendly, real-time wave prediction.
"When you think about it, the ability to use state-of-the-art technology to determine when it's safe to do a transfer is a positive disruption for the maritime industry - especially when it potentially saves lives," says Blair Wheaton, Rutter's CEO. "This technology is making shipping a safer place to work. Instead of relying entirely on an assessment of incoming waves by personnel, the operator can look at the red light / green light display and use it to predict the safest time for a personnel or equipment transfer."
Rutter's X-band technology is also excellent at detecting small objects against background clutter. Its Small Target Surveillance system is in use in maritime security and monitoring applications around the world. Operators in oil and gas, search and rescue, law enforcement and defense have found a wide range of uses for this versatile platform: it is a valuable tool for ice detection, counter-smuggling interdiction, lost container detection, and port security surveillance, among other applications. It is in use today by Indonesia's customs and marine police agencies, which are tasked with ensuring maritime security for the archipelago's 17,000 islands and 50,000 miles of coastline.
Many clients find that they benefit from multiple sigma S6 products, and they can take advantage of the platform's modularity to easily expand their vessels' capabilities. "Our products can all be run on the same radar platform, which saves cost for our customers and reduces space requirements on the vessel's topsides, where space is at a premium," says Wheaton.
Training is also essential for sophisticated bridge technology, and Rutter has developed a full online program so that mariners can gain proficiency without traveling for a class - an essential consideration in the COVID-19 era. The company also has full-time, in-house specialists who are certified to provide installation, operation, and maintenance training and support. For overseas operators, its global dealer network includes four certified dealer-installers and nine certified technicians in ports around the world.
Rutter's sigma S6 solutions can improve safety and increase situational awareness for maritime operators in every sector. Learn more about Rutter's products and capabilities today by visiting https://rutter.ca/.
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The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.