The Gulf of Mexico- At the height of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, safety electronics systems manufactured by Cobham Life Support-ACR Products were deployed to provide thousands of responders with a safe path while working around the clock to contain and skim the massive oil spill.
The Fort Lauderdale-based company, known globally as the leader in safety and survival technologies, worked closely with the Coast Guard Command Center to install 13 Class A-rated Nauticast™ Portable AIS transponders on fishing boats contracted to serve as oil skimmers. The portable systems greatly improved shipboard safety by providing information about AIS traffic that radar alone couldn't provide the Command Center and other vessels engaged in the clean-up.
Cobham Life Support-ACR Products through its sales distribution network also shipped nearly 5,000 SM-2 Automatic Crew-Overboard Marker Lights which were strung along miles of booms and netting that were set in place to contain the spill from spreading into public and environmentally sensitive areas along the coasts of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. Nearly four million feet of boom was deployed during the height of the crisis.
"From May through July we normally sell 1,000 SM-2 units," said Bob Henry, regional sales manager for the company's South/Central region. "This year, due to this emergency, that number increase five fold."
Henry said responders attached the SM-2 to the boom netting in increments of 20-feet apart to provide a recognizable safety beacon for those navigating the area, especially at night.
According to ACR's Bill Cox, who worked closely with the Coast Guard Command Center, the installation of the Nauticast™ Portable AIS transponders allowed the Command Center to track the locations of the skimmers and to provide Scout Boats in the region with critical data as to the skimmers' location and availability to respond when new spills were located.
Providing captains with added safety in multiple cruising situations, the Nauticast™ AIS system includes the innovative three-in-one graphical display with three different views at a fingertip, including alphanumeric radar and fairway views. This representation of the surrounding traffic scenario (also with different zoom levels) is a completely unique way of capturing and representing vessel data.
Compliant for Inland and SOLAS applications, the Nauticast™ Portable AIS can operate for three hours or indefinitely when connected to the ship's power. Interfacing with the ship's sensor and ECDIS displays is made easy with the external case mounted ports and optional cables. Built in WiFi allows for communication with PC ECS software.
About ACR Electronics, Inc.
ACR Electronics, Inc. www.acrelectronics.com, designs and manufactures a complete line of safety and survival products including EPIRBs, PLBs, AIS, SART, Strobe Lights, Life Jacket Lights, Search Lights and safety accessories. The quality systems of this facility have been registered by UL to the ISO 9001:2000 Series Standards. Recognized as the world leader in safety and survival technologies, ACR has provided safety equipment to the aviation and marine industries as well as to the military since 1956. The company is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and employs 200 at its manufacturing facility.
About Cobham plc
Cobham's products and services have been at the heart of sophisticated military and civil systems for more than 75 years, keeping people safe, improving communications, and enhancing the capability of land, sea, air and space platforms. The Company has four divisions employing more than 12,000 people on five continents, with customers and partners in over 100 countries and annual revenue of some £1.9bn / $3 billion.
ACR Electronics, Inc.
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