Microcontroller controlled Marine Lantern
Use of microcontroller improves flexibility and increases functionality
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    31 Electrical Equipment
This report describes the development of a microprocessor controlled marine lantern for use as an aid to navigation. The project was carried out by Hydrosphere Navaids Ltd, a small British company with 3 employees. Hydrosphere designs manufactures and supplies navigational buoys and lights for the marine and offshore markets They also develop special navigational systems to meet specific customer requirements, they market their own products Worldwide.

The aim of the Application Experiment was to re-develop an existing product using a microcontroller to replace a previous circuit that used conventional analogue and digital techniques. The existing design required individual construction and set up, whereas the new product is a user programmable device that allows on site selection of flash patterns and other functions, thus a single product replaces a range of special variants.

The new design provides extra features such as 255 selectable flash codes, synchronisation between a number of lights and support for remote monitoring via an RF link.

The project duration was intended to be 10 months, but owing to external events (company take-over and subsequent re-negotiation of the AE Contract) the elapsed time was much greater. However, taking this into account, the project was completed in 13 working months, including the time required for the new Company to become familiar with the project.

The cost of the AE was 31 K of which 20.35 K was the FUSE investment and 7 K was required for industrialisation. Taking into account the expected revenue, the costs of the Application Experiment will be paid back within 2 years with an ROI of 250%.

The main advantages of the new product are: user programmability, reduced assembly costs, improved reliability, increased functionality, built-in self test and diagnostic signalling which reduces dramatically the cost of maintenance. This will improve the products user acceptability and maintain the companies market share.

The AE is of interest to any companies involved in the manufacture of sequential logic control systems using discrete electronics techniques who wish to simplify their product through embedded micro-controllers and particularly in the Marine Engineering sector.
Hydrosphere Navaids Ltd (Formally Specialised Lighting Ltd)
3 Penmark House
Albert Road

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Hydrosphere Navaids Ltd. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
University of Hertfordshire
Erdc, College Lane
AL10 9AB Hatfield
United Kingdom