The next generation of naval system integration

Once every few decades, there is a technology that completely changes the way an industry works. Apple changed the mobile phone industry, Airbnb the hotel market, and Wilhelmsen the spare parts supply business via 3D printing business models. 2022 is the year that marks the change for marine systems integration with the launch of RH Marine’s Integrated Virtualised System Architecture (IVSA), allowing the platform revolution to take place in our industry.

This new way of system integration is based on proven cloud and network technologies. Cloud-based networks offer huge advantages on board. The technology is maintenance-friendly, future-proof and more secure than conventional integrated systems.

RH Marine is the first party to take substantial steps in this direction. It is expected that cloud-based ship automation will be the standard in the maritime industry at some point in the future. This new system architecture is ideally suited for deployment on sophisticated naval vessels.

All applications are connected to the same network and all applications are therefore available at any workstation.
Applications are safer to integrate and interface to systems on-board and on-land.
Everything onboard is connected to the same shared and secure Ethernet network.
Hard- and software elements are decoupled. Enabling individual elements of the system to be changed and/or upgraded.
The hyperconverged server is one of the key elements in the new system architecture.

Developed by popular demand

In recent decades, all systems on board have been installed, developed and improved as stand-alone solutions and rely on traditional IO-based communication. This results in a large amount of physical components, redundant cables and unused computer power.

The isolated nature of these systems makes an integrated cyber security approach, multifunctional workspace design and technical ship management very complex. To solve this issue, RH Marine introduces IVSA – the next generation of system integration.

IVSA as total ship computer environment

The Integrated Virtualised System Architecture (IVSA) is a different approach compared to the traditional Integrated Networked System Architecture (INSA) way of system integration. Network connectivity, Shared resources control and ship cloud environment are the key differentiators of this system setup.

Network connectivity

All networks and systems use the same redundant Ethernet infrastructure. Allowing data to be distributed safely between any system onboard the vessel. This requires much less cabling than PLC-connected technologies, saving valuable space onboard and allows flexible hardware placement.

Shared resources control

Servers, thin clients and panel pc’s replace the system-localized computing power of stand-alone systems and share the computing power through the network, allowing maximum speed of all applications when required. This allows the system to be highly redundant and enables online upscaling or replacement of components.

Ship cloud

All applications are available on every workstation. This allows the crew to work with different applications without having to be physically near the equipment. All equipment which is connected via the network can be accessed from anywhere in the vessel.

Key platform for further naval developments

The development of IVSA is a major step forward for the performance and security of the international maritime industry. The platform is build on 21st century technology by combining a smart Ethernet network with cloud computing power. This enables three main technical features:

  • Connectivity | All applications are connected to the same network and applications are therefore easier to interface.
  • Independency | Hard- and software elements are decoupled. Enabling individual elements of the system to be changed and/or upgraded.
  • Cyber security | Simplified implementation of network and application based cyber security.

RH Marine’s IVSA is the only cloud inspired integration platform which is currently certified for maritime use. This certification includes the renowned wheelmark which certifies safe and reliable navigation and control, allowing bridge equipment to safely be added to the network.

Our IVSA Philosophy

The development of Rhodium IVSA started as spin-off from the Manning & Automation consortium. This consortium is a collaboration of the Royal Netherlands Navy, knowledge institutes and shipbuilding industry. During this project, RH Marine played a key role in the development of a joint system architecture to improve collaboration between systems onboard Navy vessels.

IVSA as foundation for future Rhodium Solutions

The goal of our Rhodium solutions is to enable shipyards, captain and crew to focus their project and their mission while RH Marine takes care of the electrical and automation technology onboard. RH Marine’s Rhodium Integrated Virtualized System Architecture (IVSA) provides a universal system platform on which applications (like bridge applications, engine room automation, CCTV and energy management) are integrated.

All Rhodium solutions are developed by dedicated teams with a common mission: Providing a flexible, easy to maintain and intuitive user experience. When all solutions and applications are integrated, Rhodium unleashes its full potential.