Light Structures, a supplier of Fiber Optic Hull Condition Monitoring Systems based on Fiber Bragg Grating technology (FBG), has secured a new contract for engineering, test and supply of a system to the EPF USNS Puerto Rico operated by US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC).
The new contract follows a pilot installation on USNS Spearhead in 2019 and includes an option for a third ship.
The Expeditionary Fast Transport program contains T-EPFs that are high-speed, shallow draft ships capable of intra-theatre personnel and cargo lift for the armed services. Able to reach speeds of more than 35 knots, they enable the rapid transit and deployment of conventional and special forces, equipment and supplies in support of manoeuvre and sustainment operations.
USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF-11) is the eleventh in the program, and the system is planned to be retrofitted in 2021.
“Light Structures is experiencing significant growth in the naval market, and we are very pleased to continue the cooperation with MSC on hull condition monitoring”, said Light Structures EVP sales, Arnstein Stavnheim. “The system from Light Structures will monitor actual fatigue life, material temperatures and material stresses in areas of interest, which can be done at a very high level of reliability and data quality, using fibre optic technology.”
As part of an ABS condition-based class program with U.S Navy’s Military Sealift Command, ABS has defined a digital asset framework that encompasses everything from data collection and pre-processing, to a digital twin that maintains and analyses the data, to visualisations and outputs that support risk-based decision making. The Light Structure system is part of this digital framework and will be feeding structural data for use in the digital twin.