Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world and the technology behind what makes this ship get from port to port is provided by aeronautics giant Northrop Grumman. Northrop Grumman’s Sperry Marine business unit supplies the navigation, communication and safety systems for Allure.
Allure of the Seas' integrated bridge system was custom built, with its base technology by Sperry Marine’s VisionMaster FT and then added proprietary otalWatch multi-function workstations using extra-largeWideView high-resolution screens. Each of the TotalWatch stations can be individually configured to show conning information, the ship's radars or electronic chart systems. It can also show closed-circuit TV images.
Allure of the Seas primary navigation consoles have been configured in a U-shaped layout to provide easy control and access for all control and navigation functionality. In addition, all the functions are incorporated into the control stations on both bridge wings. The Sperry Marine IBS also includes a separate wireless computer node that permits the master to view the ship’s navigation status in his or her cabin or on the bridge. In accordance with Royal Caribbean’s rigorous safety requirements, the IBS has been designed with redundant network architecture, providing built-in duplication for all critical components.
Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine also supplied the operator equipment and consoles for the separate Safety Command Centre, which is located directly behind the main navigation bridge. A “first” for cruise ships, the dedicated facility serves as the nerve centre for all of the ship’s critical safety systems. The four super-wide displays provide enhanced situational awareness over the entire ship. Royal Caribbean officers observed that removing these non-navigation functions from the wheelhouse enhances navigation safety by reducing distractions for the ship’s conning officers and bridge crew.