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Techmac Fanbeam

  • Techmac Fanbeam

Unique Group supplies the Fanbeam 4.2, and the newer Fanbeam 5 position reference systems (PRS). These systems use accurate time-of-flight laser technology to determine vessel position relative to custom reflectors, which can be fixed to offshore rigs, installations or other vessels. Fanbeam data is communicated to the vessel’s dynamic positioning (DP) system, which controls the thrusters that are used to maintain vessel position during operations.

The design of the Fanbeam 5 laser unit, our custom reflectors and the Fanbeam Controller 4.0 control software make Fanbeam the laser-based PRS of choice. Our range of data outputs, and the ease with which Fanbeam can be combined with other sensors and DP systems, make it ideal for holding a vessel in station, or for moving a vessel with great precision.

Key Principles:

Fanbeam 5 is engineered to support DPOs based on:

Control - DPOs should be supported by clear, intelligent, quick-to-operate, pre-configurable software, which offers the peace of mind of automation, alerts and performance indicators.

Responsiveness - Since conditions at sea are unpredictable, and no two operations are the same, DPOs must have the ability to quickly and simply control laser tilt, target acquisition, filters and all other aspects of sensor control.

Better Target Identification -

The Fanbeam 5 unit is mounted over the working end of a vessel. The sensor emits invisible laser pulses, which bounce off custom reflectors mounted on rigs or other installations. These pulses are received back into the Fanbeam sensor.

  • Personnel on deck and reflective surfaces are no problem for Fanbeam 5, as the Fanbeam Controller 4.0 software identifies and rejects false observations.
  • Operators can pre-program range cut-offs for observations so that anything out of range is filtered.
  • On-screen indicators warn of potentially false observations.
  • Our custom reflectors provide accuracy in a variety of conditions: tube reflectors offer low-cost 360° coverage for short-range operations, while prism clusters provide reliable positioning at longer ranges, up to 2000 m.
  • USB with installation, operation and software manual
  • Auto-level filtering means settings adjust automatically, to allow for changing conditions.
  • Operators can tilt the laser during operations, allowing for fine-tuning at any time.

Applications in extreme environments:

Fanbeam’s accuracy, reliability and ease of use make it ideal for a wide range of offshore projects, from bridge construction and windfarm installation to platform supply. The following vessel types have adopted Fanbeam as their primary or secondary PRS:

  • Construction and multi-purpose support vessels
  • Anchor-handling tug supply vessels
  • Dredging and rock-dumping vessels
  • Heavy-lift construction semi-subs and dive support vessels
  • Windfarm construction vessels
  • Emergency towing vessels
  • Well-stimulation vessels
  • Platform supply vessels and crew supply vessels
  • Accommodation floatels
  • Shuttle tankers and FPSO


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