British engineers constructing the Royal Navy’s largest ever warships have invented a mobile application to help them navigate their surroundings.
Engineers for BAE Systems, working on the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, have created the Platform Navigation system to direct the workforce around the large scale ship in an effort to increase efficiency and safety on board.
The decision to create the app came after BAE decided conventional satellite navigation cannot penetrate the ships’ structure and given it has very few windows.
Mick Ord, managing director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, said Platform Navigation represents a smarter, safer and more efficient way of working in a challenging environment.
“Platform Navigation is a truly innovative device as it provides greater visibility within complex environments so that employees can concentrate on the task in hand, which for us means delivering the nation’s flagships,” he said.
Platform Navigation sees employees using an encrypted application to scan one of 3,600 QR codes located at compartment entrances, before typing in their destination on the carrier and having the application display the best route.
The app, which can be used on existing mobile devices, is expected to become part of engineers’ toolkits on HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales because it can find the fastest safe route through complex indoor environments.
The device also has the potential to be used inside other large ships and structures, both during and after construction – its ability to record inspections and patrols making it suitable for environments such as hospitals and underground transport networks.