Integrated Bridge Systems (IBS) are designed to combine systems, which are interconnected to allow centralised monitoring of sensor information and control of a number of operations such as passage execution, communications, machinery control, safety and security.
IBS is not mandatory. Various designs are offered by classification societies and factors taken into account are the design of the bridge, type of equipment fitted and the layout of that equipment on the bridge.
Design of the IBS should be such that failure of one sub-system does not cause the failure of another and the OOW knows about the failure immediately.
In a navigation management system, the link is provided between charts, position-fixing system, the log,the gyrocompass and the autopilot.
The IBS has an alarm system provided to warn the OOW if a potential dangerous situation arises. The alarm system is connected to radar, gyro, autopilot, position-fixing systems, ECDIS, the steering gear and the power distribution system.
There should be watch safety or fitness alarm to transfer the alarm to cabins within 30 seconds, if the OOW fails to acknowledge the alarm. An interval timer for setting alarm intervals of up to 12 minutes should be part of the system. A number of alarm acknowledge points, each with a pre-warning alarm to give the OOW notice that the alarm is about to be activated should be available around the bridge.
If the fitness time interval expires, an alarm should sound away from the bridge. Clear guidelines are to be written in the shipboard operation procedure manual with advice as to when to commence and when to suspend the use of IBS.
Over-reliance on automatic systems with OOW not paying proper attention to visual navigational Watch keeping techniques can be very dangerous.