IALA Workshop Dublin - Lighting the way to safer navigation
by Susie Foreman
IALA had previously held workshops on new light sources (IALALITE) and on alternative power sources (IALABATT, i.e. batteries). The combined IALALITE/IALABATT 2004 workshop in Dublin was attended by 50 delegates from 19 countries and ran from 28 September to 1 October 2004.
The objective of the workshops was to assist IALA in reviewing and updating two documents originally published in 2001: Guidelines on Solar Photovoltaic Systems and Guidelines for New Light Sources and Associated Power Supplies. The intention was for IALA to revise these guidelines, based on the results of the workshop, to reflect the latest developments in the relevant technologies. Subsequently it was decided that the workshop should also review IALA Recommendation E-122 on the Photometry of Marine Aids to Navigation Signal Lights.
Three working groups were set up to consider the existing Guidelines and prepare comments and suggestions on them to assist IALA in finalising the document. It was decided that the existing Guidelines could be better presented if split into two new Guidelines-one concentrating on power and the other on light sources.
The workshop also provided an environment where delegates could share their experience and identify possibilities to improve light signal efficiency and reliability with reduced costs and minimal impact on the environment. Presentations provided a basis for further discussion on the use of lights such as light emitting diode (led) lanterns including measurement and calculation procedures compared to incandescent technology. Further presentations were given on developments in solar photovoltaic systems and battery technology. There was also a number of visual demonstrations of aids to navigation, one of which dealt with how to sector a led light which has been a difficult process up to this time.
All sessions were completed in the allotted time and the workshops were deemed a complete success. Nine conclusions and recommendations were agreed by the delegates and sent to the IALA Council for consideration. Much praise was given to the organisers from the Engineering Department of Irish Lights and to the staff of Clontarf Castle for the success of the workshop.
Susie Foreman is a master mariner currently on secondment from ILV Granuaile as Marine Assistant in Irish Lights Office.