Scantrol is celebrating the milestone of its hundred mTrack units sold in only a few years. The hundredth mTrack unit is going to Kaharoa II, the new research vessel being built for New Zealand research institute NIWA.
The new vessel is being built at Astilleros Armón in Spain for NIWA, and the choice has gone to Ibercisa winches for the Skipsteknisk-designed ST-361 research vessel.
‘This isn’t yet mTrack number 100 for Ibercisa, but we are proud to be the 100th client, and believe that many more of these units will be part of the Ibercisa package for research vessels in the future,’ said Miguel Riveiro, Ibercisa’s business development & sales director.
Scantrol has been working with Ibercisa since 2009. Both companies have their origins in the fishing sector, before branching out into other areas, including the market for oceanographic vessels.’
‘Scantrol has a long experience with delivering control systems for research vessels, mostly for trawl winches. But with the new AHC Controller they have a very flexible product that can be used for oceanographic winches in order to improve data quality when collecting scientific data and during towing operations, in order to keep the load stable at a certain depth or follow the seabed profile,’ said Scantrol’s Rolf Krogh Hjelmeland.
He commented that traditionally AHC functionality has been too complex and expensive for smaller winches and vessels. One of the goals when developing mTrack was to make AHC available for smaller winches as well. Today there are 1200 vessels running Scantrol systems, about 100 of these in the research and oceanographic market.
Ibercisa has already delivered both Scantrol SYM 7 RSV (Research Vessel Version) and mTrack AHC Controller to a number of new research vessels.
‘The general interest for AHC in research operations has increased a lot. It is important for the scientists to get keep improving data quality, Miguel Riveiro said.
Oceanographic surveys down to 6500 metres
Together with Armón, NIWA selected Ibercisa and Scantrol as suppliers for its new research vessel Kaharoa II. NIWA operates research vessels Tangaroa and Kaharoa, and is already familiar with the Scantrol Autotrawl system for fish sampling on board Tangaroa.
It’s the smaller vessel, now being replaced by a new 36 metre vessel designed to undertake fishery and trawl surveys to 600 metres and oceanography down to depths of 6500 metres. The new vessel is expected to be completed by early 2024.
‘The challenge with the new Kaharoa is that it needs to pack in a lot of equipment while minimising size and weight. Even if it is a quite small vessel, NIWA required the latest technology and functionality onboard,’ Miguel Riveiro explained.
‘To maximise marine science it is important to have the ability to continue operating, even in challenging and variable sea conditions in the southern Pacific Ocean. Electric winches equipped with AHC will enable us to continue working in weather conditions where previously we had to stop or wait until conditions improved,’ said NIWA ship technical manager Greg Foothead.
The winches will work together with an Ibercisa LARS, A-frame and side T-frame. Kaharoa will have two trawl winches and one net drum. Ibercisa is also supplying a set of three electric research winches, piston coring winch (combined with trawl), a combined camera/CTD/acoustic winch with capacity to work, with AHC, up to 6500m, and an oceanographic winch with 4000m capacity.