The Jewel in the Crown is written by Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) professors, Stig Kvaal and Per Østby. Contributors from Kongsberg Maritime include Nils Albert Jenssen, an Honorary Member of the Norwegian Society of Automatic Control and a Maritime Technology Society Distinguished Achievements Award winner, for his role in the development of DP systems.
The Jewel in the Crown provides a detailed account of the people, technology and events behind DP. This groundbreaking technology allows a vessel to keep a fixed position at sea by the use of the vessel's own propellers and thrusters, instead of anchors. The adventure started in 1975, when Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk signed the first contract and one and a half years later delivered its very first DP system on board Seaway Eagle, a Norwegian diving vessel in the North Sea.
Since then, KONGSBERG's DP systems have become a worldwide success. The technology was first developed and industrialised as a collaborative effort between Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk, professor Jens Glad Balchen at The Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH now NTNU), SINTEF, Simrad and the ship owner Stolt-Nielsen. The system was and still is an essential enabler for advanced marine operations and for the Norwegian oil adventure.
"Today, DP is found on board all types of vessels worldwide from offshore supply vessels to the new generation of mega-cruise ships," said Nils Albert Jenssen, Kongsberg Maritime. "After 40 years of developing DP technology, Kongsberg Maritime still maintains its world leading position as a DP supplier. It's very satisfying that the technology we have worked so hard to perfect was also recently chosen as the most important Norwegian engineering accomplishment since the Second World War by the readers of Scandinavia's leading engineering and technology magazine, Teknisk Ukeblad."
"This technology is unique in the sense that it conquered a large share of the world market, and Kongsberg Maritime has maintained this market position for so long. It is vital that we document this history now, since many of those who contributed to the development of the DP technology are getting close to retirement age or have already passed away, and we should honour their work towards making maritime operations safer and more efficient," adds Morten Breivik, Head of Department of Engineering Cybernetics at NTNU and initiator of the book project.
"The story of the KONGSBERG DP is also an excellent example of how modern cybernetics theory was successfully applied by engineers educated at the department founded by professor Balchen in 1954. It's my hope that this book will help inspire new generations of engineers to contribute to similar achievements in the future," adds Morten.