However, that not’s quite true... the most conspicuous difference for the incomer is the enlarged bridge and its separation by a partition in two parts, one is the bridge itself with all navigation equipment and the other the survey center with all the flat screens surrounding the central computers cabinet air cooled and sound insulated.
Another more subtle difference is the power increase of the auxiliary electric propulsion with more power on the aft pump jets and the installation of fore pump jets instead of the bow thrusters improving the DP performance. This improvement increases the weather conditions in which the boat remains operational. The survey electronic equipment is to the highest standard, with dual head multi beam sonar, high precision inertial navigation system.
There are other minor differences between the boats, and last but not least there is the d’ROP. This is an innovative development by Bibby Hydromap of a new kind of underwater survey vehicle that is able to follow the bottom of the sea at a certain altitude and to maneuver going ahead or sideways over the bottom. The boat and the d’ROP are moving in the same way, but one is at the surface, and the other is “flying” over the seabed. This system has a large autonomy and range, being able to work hours and days long……. This rather large UUV required an adaptation of Bibby Tethra aft deck with a large moon pool, and special plugs to be able to feed the d’ROP with energy and to process data in real time.
The new couple Bibby Athena/d’ROP is now fully operational bringing unmatched performance in bottom sea survey. The semi-SWATH design of Bibby Athena increases the efficiency of the d’ROP by minimizing its unwanted movement at the bottom due to the waves at the surface.
The Bibby Athena Christening ceremony took place on October the 20th 2014 in Boulogne, at the shipyard, in the presence of Sir Michael Bibby and the lord mayor of Boulogne, M. Cuvillier, former Ministry of transportation. The traditional British wet atmosphere of the ceremony itself that you can see on the pictures was quickly forgotten when everyone joined the party after...