Saab Marine Level Gauges For Navy Oilers

The Swedish company Saab Marine Electronics has supplied level gauging systems for 18 U.S. Navy supply tankers (T-AO Class). The project, which started back in 1981, was concluded last year.

The U.S. Navy rarely accepts equipment manufactured in neutral countries. In most cases, orders are placed with U.S. manufacturers and, in some cases, with suppliers from other NATO countries. In this case, however, no other manufacturer, according to Saab Marine Electronics, could meet with the high demands which were to be put on the level gauging system. The use of radar technology for the level gauging was specified for the oilers. Saab Marine Electronics received the order based on its leading position in the market for the last 15 years.

"We have put a lot of effort into adapting the system to U.S. Navy standards, not to mention the work with the extensive documentation required," said Anders Roos, manager of the marine division of Saab Marine Electronics.

"The U.S. Navy always puts the highest of demands on the equipment on board its ships," said Mr.

Roos. "We are very proud of the confidence that the U.S. Navy has shown in us in letting us deliver the level gauging systems throughout the entire class of ships." The levels are measured by means of a radar transmitter, which is placed on top of each tank. The transmitter emits a narrow radar beam twice every second, which is reflected towards the liquid surface and picked up by an antenna. The frequency difference between the emitted and received signal is exactly proportional to the measured distance.

The level is calculated with an accuracy of ± 5 mm. There are 33 transmitters on each ship and all are connected to a central computer.

Most of the oilers have been constructed at Avondale Shipyards Division, Avondale Industries, Inc., outside of New Orleans. The first two level gauging systems were delivered in 1983, another two in '84, five more in '86 and one in '87. The final delivery of eight systems, worth about $4 million, was made last year.

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Other stories from March 1991 issue


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