RMS QUEEN MARY 2 Bridge and Navigation Information . Overall Length : 1132 ft ( 345m )
Width : 148 ft ( 45m ) Loaded Displacement : 79 , 827 tonnes
Gross Tonnage : 149 , 215 GRT Height of Funnel Above Waterline : 204ft ( 62m ) Maximum Draft : 33ft 10 in ( 10 . 3m )
The Bridge Team . The bridge is located on Deck 12 , some 41m ( 135ft ) above the waterline . It is the navigation and safety hub of the ship and comprises a central navigation area , chart room , safety centre and enclosed bridge wings . The bridge is manned 24 hours a day by two deck officers . The officers are assisted by quartermasters who keep lookout and steer the ship by hand when required . The bridge officers work in watches ; four hours on the bridge , followed by eight hours in which to rest and carry out other duties such as passage planning , maintaining the ship ' s folio of paper and electronic charts and publications , inspection and maintenance of safety equipment and keeping the ship ' s official log book . The watches are commonly referred to as the 4 to 8 ' , ' S to 12 ' and ' 12 to 4 ' , and cover those hours in the morning and evening . For example , the 8 to 12 watch are on the bridge from 8 . 00am to noon , and from 8 . 00pm to midnight . The primary duty of the bridge officers is the navigation of the ship , allowing for the safe and timely arrival of Queen Mary 2 at her destination . This involves knowing the ship ' s position and being aware of the ship ' s surroundings at all times , complying with the laws of the sea , the rule of the road and various international and regional environmental regulations . At sea , either officer may take the position of “ navigator " , responsible for conning ( driving ) the ship . The other officer , the co - navigator ' , provides support by looking ahead , carrying out additional duties such as fixing the ship ' s position , keeping the deck logbook and handling internal and external communications . The two officers swap on a regular basis . In certain situations , such as in areas with very dense shipping traffic or when the visibility is reduced , the bridge team is supplemented by a senior officer ; the Captain , Deputy Captain or Safety Officer . Further officers are present for arrivals and departures , allowing the workload to be spread evenly .
Propulsion . Queen Mary 2 is the first four propeller ocean liner built since SS France in 1962 . Instead of conventional propellers connected through long shafts to the engines , Queen Mary 2 ' s propellers are driven electric motors contained in pods attached to the underside of the hull . Each pod weighs more than an unladen Boeing 747 . The forward two pods are located outboard , or away from the centerline of the ship . They are fixed in position and provide only ahead and astern propulsion . The two after pods are slightly closer together and are can be rotated fully through 360° . provide both propulsion and steering , meaning that Queen Mary 2 does not have a conventional rudder . The ship also has three bow thrusters , which are transverse propellers with an output of
horsepower . The thrusters start to lose their effectiveness at speeds above five knots . One hinged door on each side of three thruster tunnels , covers the thruster openings in the hull when not in use , providing a more streamlined shape for high speeds . The two azimuthing pods are often placed at 90° angles to the hull during docking and , combined with the bow thrusters , allow the ship to be moved sideways while maintaining the same heading . At the same time , the two fixed pods can be used to move the ship ahead and astern . With such manoeuvrability , Queen Mary 2 is usually able to dock without the assistance of harbour tugs and is able to turn around within her own length .
Bridge wings . The bridge wings offer a dramatic , unobstructed view along the ship ' s side , spanning some 53m . This allows the bridge team to watch the ship ' s hull as it approaches a pier and to judge distances when manoeuvring in harbours . Class plates are cut into the deck on the wing , allowing the officers to look directly beneath them . The pods and thrusters may be controlled from the bridge wing , and there are various information displays .
Kelvin Hughes Manta Digital . The Kelvin Hughes Manta Digital system comprises eight independent computer processors , connected to large displays on the bridge consoles . Each screen is multi - purpose and can show electronic charts , a radar display , a conning display or a route planning application . Each system is approved as an ECDIS ; an Electronic Chart Display and Information System ; meaning that Queen Mary 2 may sail with no paper charts on board . The ship retains a small folio of paper charts covering critical areas . The electronic charts are produced by various Hydrographic Offices and issued by the British Admiralty . They allow the operator to choose various information layers within the chart and individually tailor the display . The ship ' s position is continuously plotted , and the ECDIS provides advance warning of any dangers ahead . An entire world folio of electronic charts may now be stored on just one DVD . Updates and corrections to reflect new soundings , changes in buoyage and other similar information are supplied weekly by email . The ECDIS is not solely reliant on the GPS input for position information . Visual bearings and radar ranges from prominent navigational marks and land features may be plotted manually on the charts , allowing the officers to cross check the electronic system . The system also allows celestial fixes , derived from sextant sights , to be plotted . Celestial navigation remains an essential skill for all deck officers .
Radars . Queen Mary 2 is fitted with six radar scanners ; four on the main mast above the bridge , one on the bow and one on the stern . Four of the radars operate on a wavelength of 3cm which provides good definition and two operate on a wavelength of 10cm which is less susceptible to clutter caused by precipitation . While the radars provide excellent long range detection , a good lookout by sight and hearing remains the primary means of locating other vessels and navigational marks . The bridge is kept dark at night and all forward facing lights are curtained off so as not to hamper the night vision of the watch keepers . With the built in automatic radar plotting aid ( ARPA ) , over 40 radar echoes ( known as “ targets " ) can be tracked simultaneously . Various important pieces of information are readily accessible , including the target ' s course and speed , closest point of approach , time to closest point of approach and other collision avoidance information . This may be supplemented using information from the other ship ' s Automatic Identification System ( AIS ) which broadcasts information such as the ship ' s name , destination , dimensions and type using VHF radio signals . Should the officer of the watch wish to alter course , the ARPA can predict both numerically and visually the expected path of targets based upon the ship ' s intended new course and speed . With the integration of the bridge equipment , the radar is now commonly displayed overlaid on an electronic chart , giving the operator all pertinent information on one display .
Compasses . Queen Mary 2 is fitted with two fibre optic gyrocompasses , which are electronic compasses that align themselves with true north . This information is sent to vario and is used by the helmsman when steering . The gyrocompass also provides an input into the radars , ECDIS and various other pieces of navigational equipment . The officers check the accuracy of the gyrocompass several times a day by taking bearings of celestial bodies and comparing their gyro bearing with a calculated true bearing . Queen Mary 2 also carries a magnetic compass , located directly above the bridge , which reads slightly differently from true north due to variations in magnetic fields around the world as well as the influence of the magnetic field surrounding the ship . The magnetic field surrounding the ship is influenced by the ship ' s steel and electrical equipment and changes depending on the ship ' s heading .
GPS . Queen Mary 2 is fitted with three GPS receivers . The Global Positioning System uses 24 satellites circling the Earth to pinpoint Queen Mary 2 ' s position . The GPS also receives differential signals from shore stations which correct for any errors and increase the accuracy of the GPS to within one metre . Like the compasses , the GPS provides an input to various bridge equipment including the radars , ECDIS and communications equipment . The bridge team .
Steering At sea , Queen Mary 2 is mostly steered by an autopilot integrated with the ECDIS which sends signals to the pods to keep the ship on a set heading . The steering may also be controlled using the ship ' s wheel , the pod controls , backup tillers or locally from the pod rooms . A helmsman is on the wheel for all arrivals and departures , major course alterations and in areas with dense shipping traffic .
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Speed logs .
While GPS provides speed over the ground , the ship is fitted with Doppler and electromagnetic logs which show the ship ' s speed through the water .
Stabilisers . The ship is fitted with four stabilisers that extend approximately 5m ( 15ft ) from the ship ' s hull when in use . They are similar in form to an aircraft wing , and act to reduce the rolling motion by changing their angle of attack . They are less effective at slow speeds as they require a good flow of water to generate the necessary thrust .
Global Maritime Distress and Safety System . GMDSS is a worldwide system that allows ships to quickly transmit distress messages to both shore based rescue centres as well as to nearby ships . The equipment includes radio transceivers operating on the VHF , MF and HF bands , two radiotelex terminals , two INMARSAT - C Satellite terminals and a NAVTEX unit . The system is also used to promulgate navigational warnings , weather information and can be used for commercial communication .
Whistles . Queen Mary 2 has five whistles ; two on the funnel , one on the main mast above the bridge and two on the bow . Of the two whistles on the funnel , the starboard whistle was originally fitted on Queen Mary . It was originally powered by steam , but was converted by its original manufacturer to work on compressed air . The port whistle is an accurate but modern replica . The forward whistles can be heard for over ten miles and are used for manoeuvring signals to other vessels and during periods of reduced visibility . The whistles are tested every day at noon when at sea .
Safety Management and Control System . The Safety Management and Control System ( SMCS ) allows the officer of the watch to monitor all safety systems throughout the ship and , with the detailed deck plans covering the entire ship , have a visual indication of any developing situation . All watertight doors , fire screen doors , ventilation , low level lighting and other safety systems can be operated through this system on the bridge and in the safety centre .
Ancillary equipment . The Valmarine automation system allows for monitoring of engine performance and adjusting the levels in the heeling tanks to keep the ship upright . The NAPA stability computer calculates the ship ' s stability condition , and is connected to sensors in every fuel , fresh water and sea water ballast tank on board . Various panels allow control of the ship ' s external lighting , as well as navigation and signalling lights . The bridge is fitted with a public address system console . Queen Mary 2 is a Voluntary Observing Ship for the United Kingdom Met Office . The bridge officers send regular weather observations , including atmospheric pressure , air and sea temperatures and wind and wave information to the Met Office . This information is fed into the Met Office supercomputer and is used to assist in generating weather forecasts . The ship is supplied with precision observing instruments and specialist computer software for this purpose .
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