automation & control


A New Direction For DP


Unprecedented flexibility for effective maritime operations. Putting the Operator in Control.

GE’s latest vessel control and automation solutions enabling management of multiple data streams with unprecedented flexibility for effective maritime operations.

Dynamic positioning (DP) enables a vessel to maintain a predetermined heading and position, fixed or moving, by use of propulsion units to counteract the effects of displacing forces such as wind, current, and wave action. This technique allows the ship’s position and orientation to be safely and efficiently controlled during both routine and complex operations.

GE’s latest SEASTREAM™ DP systems is a mariner-focused solution, enhancing situational awareness and rebalancing attention from system management to true seamanship.

It delivers the following benefits:

  • Unprecedented flexibility for effective maritime operations.
  • An energy-efficient nautical system to reduce operational costs and emissions.
  • A fully integrated system configured for optimum power & propulsion performance.

GE’s new direction in DP control systems sets new standards of excellence in ship positioning and directly addresses the needs of ship owners, shipbuilders and DP operators. This mariner-friendly package of controls and displays acknowledges the unique skills and high expectations of the mariners operating the system, allowing them to re-focus on seamanship and ship handling rather than becoming distracted by DP system management.

Side-by-side consultation at every level of the industry has guided the development and application of our advanced technology and control techniques. It’s one of the ways we ensure that our DP systems integrate with and enhance the flexibility needed for effective maritime operations.

The SEASTREAM™ DP system provides a comfortable, reduced-stress working environment enabling the operator to fulfill his duties safely and efficiently.

An energy-efficient nautical solution

GE’s expertise in DP and in power and propulsion systems has prompted the development of DP capabilities which impact on fuel economy, emissions, machinery wear, and machinery maintenance (time/cost). Operational costs are reduced and overall system up time/availability may be increased.

Energy Efficient Mode - a product of ecomagination

Automatic position and heading control. Using predictive software to anticipate position variation and to limit thrust changes if the vessel is predicted to remain within the ‘soft’ operating window.  If the vessel is predicted to move outside its ‘hard’ operating window the system develops optimum thrust to remain within that window. Advanced algorithms are used to optimize vessel heading to further reduce power consumption and limit thruster/machinery wear and tear.

GE’s SEASTREAM™ DP system meets all the major classification society and regulatory requirements such as Det Norske Veritas, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, American Bureau of Shipping, Norsok, U.S. Coast Guard and International Maritime Organization recommendations. Where appropriate, type testing has been performed.

Equipment CLASS
Class 1
Single failures may result
in loss of heading/ position
Single equipment without need for duplication
Class 2
Single failures do not result
in loss of heading/ position
Duplicated equipment and systems
Class 3
Single failures, including loss of
a single equipment space do not
result in loss of heading/ position
Duplicated equipment, systems and spatial redundancy

Systems can be custom built to meet high-level shock, vibration and temperature limits for special applications. In both cases each system is designed based on GE’s in-depth understanding of the entire ship including the power and propulsion plant and its control/ monitoring systems with which the DP system has a close relationship and an extremely high level of interdependency.  A Thruster Assisted Mooring System (TAMS) for anchored vessels completes the line-up.

Advanced positioning expertise for every application
Ultra deep-water drilling vessels (ships and semi-submersibles) operate in water depths of up to 10,000 ft, often in extreme environmental conditions of waves, wind, and current.  Under these conditions a dynamic position control system is at the center of an array of sensors which constantly update position, heading, attitude, and riser data to enable constant adjustments to heading and position via commands sent by the DP system to the vessel’s propellers, rudders and thrusters. Additionally the DP system provides predictive information to operators to enable effective decisions that help ensure safety and efficiency of the operation.  Positioning and heading tolerances can be small – sometimes as little as a meter or two and heading tolerances might be limited to one or two degrees.

This is GE’s business – effective position and heading control even in the most challenging environments.