The first engine developed in the ADD project (shown in Photo 2) was mounted in March 1998 as the main engine on the Maritime Safety Agency's large oceanographic vessel SHOYO.
4-3 Research and Development on Super-Large Scale Floating Structures
As a result, the Technological Research Association of Mega-Float was established in April 1995 with the goal of advancing research and development on super-large scale floating structures (Mega-Float) and making them feasible. The project is a cooperative one between the steel and shipbuilding industries, and has received support from the Ministry of Transport and the Nippon Foundation.
Phase I of the research lasted three years (fiscal 1995 to fiscal 1997), and involved feasibility testing with a large-scale floating structure model. Phase II also will run three years (fiscal 1998 to fiscal 2000), and will involve construction of a floating structure test model that incorporates the research findings from Phase I. The model will be 1,000 meters in length (as can be seen in Photo 3) that is scheduled to be used for actual airplane take-off and landing tests.
5. Technological Development for the 21st Century
The shipping and shipbuilding in dustries have selected research and development issues important to the new era that fit into the following framework： environmental conservation, safety and reliability, advanced information technology, and creation of new demand. The industries will pursue these R&D issues with great diligence. Here, we would like to introduce two of the R&D projects that concern the issue of environmental conservation.
5-1 Research and Development on an Oil Spill Recovery Equipment
The large-scale oil spill that occurred in the January 1997 Russian tanker NAKHODKA accident greatly impacted the marine environment of the Japan Sea and the coastal fishing industry. At the time there were no oil spill recovery devices or ships in Japan that could retrieve the highly viscous spilled oil from the rough waters. Thus the demands for this development project arose at that time. The Association for Structural Improvement of the Shipbuilding Industry responded by launch-ing in fiscal 1998 a four-year R&D project focused on the development of an oil boom and an oil recovery equipment that can be used in rough weather and with highly viscous oil.
5-2 Research and Development on a Super Marine Gas Turbine
The Technological Research Association of Super Marine Gas Turbine was established in 1997 with support from the Ministry of Transport and the Nippon Foundation, and R&D has begun on an "Low Environmentally Load Marine Propulsion Plant" that aims to produce marine gas turbines that are efficient and friendly on the environment. The project will last six years from fiscal 1997, and will involve various R&D attempts and verification of test findings with a test engine.
In the pages above, new technological developments that engulf the marine transportation and shipbuilding industry were introduced. The Japanese shipbuilding community has always poured tremendous effort into the development of new technology. The industry's mission into the future will be to continue to provide safer and more reliable ships that serve to support the development of the mercantile marine by concentrating on technological development basically focusing on the economy of ships themselves in an ever broader global perspective.