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Fanbeam® Laser DP reference system

360 degree View

MDL's Fanbeam "Laser Radar" is the most widely used high accuracy position reference system for Dynamic Positioning (DP) of work vessels.

The class 1 eye safe laser system is used to continuously monitor ship to ship or ship to oil rig position in single or multi target mode.

Control systems
Crane operation from DP vessel to platform
DP station
DP supply vessel
DP vessel with Fanbeam on the move
DP Vessel
DP vessels at port
Fanbeam 4.2 scanning
Fanbeam at port
Fanbeam computer
Fanbeam control screen 2
Fanbeam control screen
Fanbeam control station
Fanbeam installed on DP vessel
Fanbeam installed on vessel
Fanbeam mounted on vessel
Fanbeam on vessel bridge
Fanbeam scanning
Fanbeam service van alongside vessel with Fanbeam installed
Fanbeam vessel
Principal Operation
Prism cluster 2
Prism Cluster
Scanning Fanbeam
track tube target
Vessel bridge with Fanbeam installed


  • Performs excellently during short range or long-range operations.
  • Achieves high accuracy consistently
  • Utilises inexpensive intrinsically safe targets that can be permanently installed onto many offshore installations
  • Rugged design
  • Long product life
  • Valuable alternative to augment to DGPS and other position sensors
  • Simple operation and setup
  • Quick and easy to mobilise
  • Access to global support network
  • Low cost compared to other systems
  • Rental systems widely available

Vessel Types

  • Jack-Up vessels
  • Crew supply vessels
  • Platform supply vessels
  • Anchor handling tug supply vessels
  • Offshore support vessels
  • Multi-purpose support vessels
  • Dive support vessels
  • Dredging & rock dumping vessels
  • Well stimulation vessels


  • Dynamic positioning
  • Seismic source Positioning
  • Collision avoidance
  • Gangway monitoring
  • Offshore access Systems
  • Docking aid
  • Hydrographic Surveying
  • Offshore construction Survey
  • Heavy lift / float over

The system is primarily used as a dynamic positioning (DP) reference sensor measuring the position of an Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) relative to an offshore structure such as a platform. Using the position data from the Fanbeam and other sensors, the DP system automatically holds the vessel on station allowing operations to take place. The system is regularly used as the primary position reference during critical short-range operations such as cargo container lifts from platform supply vessels.

The system has also been extensively used for seismic source positioning relative to geophysical exploration vessels and for positioning mine detection equipment relative to navy vessels.

The system is a laser sensor with a unique vertically “fanned” output beam allowing returns to be observed from passive retro-reflective targets despite relative movement experienced on any offshore vessel. The laser is mounted on a motorised base allowing for horizontal rotation in both directions or continuously 360 in one direction°. The laser can also be tilted in the vertical plane using the built in Autotilt mechanism allowing the laser to view targets at different heights to the Fanbeam.

Fanbeam® 24 Hour Support

On-site service and support, repairs and upgrades via MDL's mobile repair team.

Click here to request support

Office: +44 (0) 1224 246 700
Mobile: +44 (0) 7803 087 322 (24 Hr)
Van: +44 (0) 7711 722 854

Industry associations & accreditations

Drag the image to view Fanbeam® Laser DP reference system in 360 degree view