Dynamic Positioning Sensor

dynamic positioning sensors

Fanbeam has led the market for over 20 years due to its durability, high-performance in tough conditions, and ease of use for dynamic positioning operators (DPOs)

Pioneering Technology

Fanbeam pioneered the use of time-of-flight laser technology to provide accurate, reliable sensors for DP systems. Twenty five years later, Fanbeam remains the most widely used sensor of its kind, due to its robust construction, intelligent software and global support.

The preferred laser-based reference position system

It’s the combined design of the targets, Fanbeam laser unit, software and interface that make Fanbeam the preferred laser-based reference position system.

How Fanbeam works

The Fanbeam 5 position reference system (PRS) uses accurate time-of-flight laser technology to determine vessel position relative to custom reflectors, which can be fixed to offshore rigs, installations or other vessels. Fanbeam data is communicated to the vessel’s dynamic positioning (DP) system, which controls the thrusters that are used to maintain vessel position during operations.

The design of the Fanbeam 5 laser unit, our custom reflectors and the Fanbeam Controller 4.0 control software make Fanbeam the laserbased PRS of choice. Our range of data outputs, and the ease with which Fanbeam can be combined with other sensors and DP systems, make it ideal for holding a vessel in station, or for moving a vessel with great precision.

2 Key PriNciples

Fanbeam 5 is engineered to support DPOs based on:


DPOs should be supported by clear, intelligent, quick-to-operate, pre-configurable software, which offers the peace of mind of automation, alerts and performance indicators.


Since conditions at sea are unpredictable, and no two operations are the same, DPOs must have the ability to quickly and simply control laser tilt, target acquisition, filters and all other aspects of sensor control.

Better target identification

The Fanbeam 5 unit is mounted over the working end of a vessel. The sensor emits invisible laser pulses, which bounce off custom reflectors mounted on rigs or other installations. These pulses are received back into the Fanbeam sensor.

Applications in extreme environments

Fanbeam’s accuracy, reliability and ease of use make it ideal for a wide range of offshore projects, from bridge construction and windfarm installation through to platform supply. The following vessel types have adopted Fanbeam as their primary or secondary PRS:

Why Fanbeam 5 is the laser position reference sensor of choice

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Bridge of Don Aberdeen
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United Kingdom