Automation of the deck and engineering functions of merchant ships is approached by treating the entire ship as a single system on both a technical and economic basis. Fundamental precepts for a practicable system are defined. System objectives accuracy criteria, reliability, maintenance, relative economics, and command philosophy are discussed.
A central data processing computer, with analog computers for redundance, is the primary means for mathematical computations, sequencing operations, monitoring, and data logging. How computer characteristics were determined is discussed along with the proper role of remote control.
Consoles for navigation, collision avoidance, trim, list, and stability, and engine room data readout and control are discussed and a new Marine Course Computer, the first item to reach the hardware stage, is described.