MARSS secures contract for their innovative MOBtronic™ system to protect crew on board the new Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Fleet Tanker under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.

MOBtronic protects the lives and safety of crew by creating a virtual shield around a vessel which automatically detects and classifies a man-overboard event, and supports rescue and recovery efforts.

The system consists of small marinised pods that are strategically positioned to cover the volume around an entire vessel or platform. The MOBtronic pods feature a patented configuration of sensors that reliably notify crew when a man-overboard event occurs, minimize false alarms and operate even in harshest environments.

Using a combination of multi-sensor data and MARSS proprietary software, MOBtronic differentiates a genuine event from false positive detections caused by birds, breaking waves and other objects. MOBtronic does not require wearable tags, which could be removed, either intentionally or unintentionally. Alerts, live tracking and video playback are displayed on the intuitive MOBtronic user interface to aid crew in managing SAR operations and to analyse a MOB incident.

This installation will meet stringent certification requirements including MIL Standard certification for EMI/EMC and EX-type for use in a potentially explosive atmosphere. While the system is fully automated, 16 manual alarm activation stations (also known as Manual Call Points) will be installed around the vessel to further protect crew. The system is rated to operate in artic environments, with temperature ranging from -40C to +85C.

MOBtronic evolved from a European Union research program with over 3,000 test jumps, extensive sea trials and industry participation over the last 5 years. Having been trialed in diverse marine environments, MOBtronic has a proven probability of detection in excess of 95% and false alarm rates of less than 3 a week.

Immediate notification of man-overboard events is a critical component to ensure a timely rescue and to minimise the resource required to identify, track and recover the target from the water, maximising the chances of survival. MOBtronic is an innovative solution that detects, classifies and integrates with the ships systems to plot the event point and estimated track of the target.

MARSS Senior Vice President of Science, Dr Alberto Baldacci, adds “this a great reward for the team effort from our engineers and our partners who supported in the research and development of this system. Over recent months we have installed MOBtronic to protect several vessels including cruise ships and private yachts. For the RNZN contract MARSS worked very closely with our local partners ELECTRIX to determine the customer requirements and succeed in a competitive procurement process.”

MARSS have continued to develop the capabilities of the MOBtronic system with additional features such as climber detection to protect against attempted boarding of a vessel from sea or land.

The MARSS MOBtronic system is in operation protecting the lives of crew and passengers on a number of cruise ships and superyachts around the world.