An approach to e-Navigation

Jun 2007 | Comments Off on An approach to e-Navigation

The following is a list of key elements required for e-Navigation position fixing:

* appropriate accuracy, availability, continuity, and integrity (alert limit, time to alarm, integrity risk), already included in IMO Resolution A.915(22);
* adequate redundancy;
* compatibility between systems; and
* appropriate datums (vertical and horizontal).

There is also necessity to develop a unifi ed theory of the some navigational criteria (availability, reliability, continuity, and integrity) under consideration and to determine the relations between them, because [Specht, 2003]:

* reliability and availability refers to different functional structures,
* definition of continuity is ambiguous,
* lack of mathematical connection between availability, reliability and continuity,
* vague procedures and methods of determining each of the criteria,
* measurement of the criteria is based only on statistic analysis of empirical measurement data.

These and others methodological problems should be solving as soon as possible, because all fi xing systems characteristics have to be considerate in the same standardized way. The next important problems in implementation position systems to E-navigation are:

* identifi cation of the service provider responsibility (especially for global and wide area positioning systems) for accidents caused by non-operation status,
* to establish international cooperation between GNSS service providers related to others than positioning services (Safety of Live, Commercial, Search and Rescue,.),
* to solve responsibility problem for core navigational system provider and augmentation signal deliverer.

Current GNSS has a common weakness in that they are all subject to accidental or intentional interference. Hence, alternative and independent position fi xing capabilities need to be considered.
Consideration should be given to independent non-GNSS Electronic Position Fixing System and sensors as a potential component of E-Navigation.

E-Navigation systems should enable the electronic capture of radar ranges, radar and visual bearings, etc. for position fixing.
The following is a list of key communication aspects required for e-Navigation, relating to both technical and content:

* autonomous acquisition and mode switching (i.e., minimal mariner involvement needed);
* common messaging formats;
* sufficiently robust (e.g., signal strength, resistance to interference);
* adequate security (e.g., encryption);
* sufficient bandwidth (data capacity);
* growth potential;
* automated report generation;
* global coverage (could be achieved with more than one technology); and
* the use of a single language (English), perhaps with other languages permitted as options.

The following communications issues are among those that will require resolution to achieve the above:

* it seems likely that a satellite broadband link will be required to achieve the above requirements, and consideration must be given to how this will be achieved; and
* the question of cost and who pays for the provision of a satellite broadband link must be resolved early in development of E-Navigation.

The standardization and unambiguous interpretation of information plays an essential role in the appropriate accomplishment of navigational information acquisition and exchange processes in the E-Navigation System. The defi nition of relevant standards will enable unequivocal interpretation of the information. Measures taken to unify the above mentioned standards are aimed at the development of the navigational information ontology. The starting point for the creation of this ontology is an analysis and classification of navigational information accounting for its kind and range. This will allow to sort out the structure of navigational information, thus the availability and exchange of information will be extended.

Need or Compelling Need

There is a clear need to equip the master of a vessel and those responsible for the safety of shipping ashore with modern proven tools to make marine navigation and communications more reliable and thereby reduce errors – especially those with a potential for loss of life, injury, environmental damage and undue commercial costs. More substantial and widespread benefi ts for states, shipowners and seafarers can be expected to arise from the increased safety at sea which is the core objective of E-Navigation. According to the United Kingdom’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, navigational errors and failures have been a signifi cant element in over half of the incidents meriting a full investigation in the last four years.

There are already a great many electronic navigational and communication technologies and services available or in development – such as Automatic Identifi cation System (AIS), Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS), Integrated Bridge Systems/ Integrated Navigation Systems (IBS/ INS), Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA), radio navigation, Long


Range Identifi cation and Tracking (LRIT) systems, Vessel Traffi c Services (VTS) and the next modifi ed generation of Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) – which can provide automatically the master and those ashore with the necessary information they require.

In addition to reducing navigational errors and failures, these technologies can deliver benefi ts in areas such as search and rescue, pollution incident response, security and the protection of critical marine resources, such as fishing grounds. They can also offer operational benefi ts by enabling the capture of advance information on cargo arrival and increased throughput capacity in congested ports, fairways, and waterways, or in poor visibility conditions.

However, if such technological advancement remains uncoordinated, there is a risk that the future development of the global shipping industry will be hampered through lack of standardization on board and on land, incompatibility between vessels, and an increased and unnecessary level of complexity.

By taking a pro-active lead through the development of a strategic vision, IMO also has the opportunity to contribute to improvements in the international organizational structure overseeing marine navigation, improve international co-operation and give guidance to other organizations involved, such as the IHO and IALA and key stakeholders such as equipment designers, suppliers, navigation practitioners, shipowners and the port industry.

Furthermore, the strategy has the potential to contribute positively to the reduction of the burden on all countries, including developing countries, in having to maintain physical aids to navigation. It should also assist separate initiatives such as those currently under consideration in the Facilitation (FAL) Committee e.g. the development of electronic means for the clearance of ships and the submission of information to a single point (the ‘Single Window’ concept), which are aimed at reducing the range of reporting obligations on the ship-owner and ship master.

An Integrated Enavigation Action Plan

The co-sponsors of this submission believe that the time is right to develop a coherent E-Navigation policy to embrace the evergrowing and complex set of technological aids which already exist. Delivery of this vision requires a clear, global commitment, articulated through a viable and coherent framework which sets out a migration plan (from where we are to where we want to go) for Governments and industry to achieve a common and consistent format for the use of electronic technologies.

The challenge for IMO is to develop a framework which accommodates and builds on existing systems already furthering the concept of E-Navigation, such as the World Bank-funded Marine Electronic Highway project in the Malacca Straits and the European Union’s projects:

ATOMOS IV (Advanced Technology to Optimize Maritime Operational Safety – Intelligent Vessel) and MarNIS (Maritime Navigation and Information Services). The framework must deliver improved navigational safety for maritime Authorities, coastal States and the master of a vessel, without imposing unnecessary burdens on them.

The development of E-Navigation system can include following steps:

* Identifi cation of the system and theirs subsystems (Integrated Navigation System INS, Integrated Bridge System IBS, shore centers with their specifi city), particularly:
* identifi cation of system architecture and their structures,
* requirements for defi ned subsystems and structure,
* defi ning the kind and range of navigational information and subsystems interfaces.
* Developing models of integrated navigation subsystems (INS) and alert management.
* Developing models of integrated bridge subsystem (IBS).
* Developing models of shorebased centers subsystems.
* Developing a model of automated information acquisition and exchange subsystem:
* elaboration of the concept of automated information acquisition and exchange subsystem,
* developing of navigational information ontology for the information acquisition and exchange in projected E-Navigation System,
* analysis and choice of specifi c formal language for navigational information ontology recording,
* requirement specifi cation for data security.
* Integration of modeled subsystems into E-Navigation System.

Practical Realisation of E-navigation System

The most important problem during creation of e-navigation concept is concerned with answer to following important questions:
* the communication platform and technical means used for communication, transmission protocols and data encryption;
* structure and basic equipment of shore data navigation support and data processing centre;
* technical structure of ships data exchange system and the presentation format of data within the integrated bridge system.

Due to problems of IBS defi nition an affords should be made to standardise and defi ne minimal subsystems and modules of Integrated Bridge Systems and such defi nition will be base for further e-navigation system defi nition and creation. The IBS system is nowadays the integration of following subsystems: Radar/ARPA, ECDIS/ENC, VDR/SVDR, Systems of control HAP/CSAAP, Gyrocompass, Autopilot/Trackpilot, Logs, Echosounder, GMDSS, SSAS Ship Security Alert System, External communication, AIS, DGNSS and Inertial and mooring support systems. So many integrated electronic systems and devices under one system will lead to several problems unknown yet on the base of experience with less integrated systems. The following research problems should be then resolved:

* ensuring reliable and redundant communication between marine subsystems with use of fast networks (Ethernet, RS485, CANs) with possible errors considerations;
* defi nition of models and algorithms of technological used by enavigation with permission of proper level of navigational safety;
* creating the model of navigational information circulation and presentation on the integrated bridge and shore navigation support centre with use of proposed system;
* defi nition of model of navigation information exchange with use of satellite communication, VHF, WiFi, Internet or GPRS;
* defi nition of minimal information set, sufficient for reliable enavigation system functioning;
* creation of the model of optimal information in all enavigation subsystems;
* creation of optimal visualization model of navigational data on ship equipped with IBS and for data exchange within e-navigation;
* defi nition and creation of control and protection model of e-navigation system.

The prediction of possible development of e-navigation system is very diffi cult but it could be anticipated that the system will be developing in two main directions:

1. integrated system – where information from ships will be send to shore data processing centres and the main decisions about the ship navigation assist will be made onshore;
2. distributed system – based on development of ship intelligent selforganising systems which will be able to exchange the information between the other ships and will be able to process the information and to support the decision of navigators.

Most likely the fi nal versions of the e-navigation system will be the combination or above solutions. In more near future the system will be most likely developed in two stages:

1. first stage which will be totally based on existing bridge and communication systems (AIS, ECDIS and voice VHF) only development of shore navigation support centres will be necessary;
2. final stage with dedicated system based on created ship e-navigation support platform where satellite communication
will be applied (Fig. 1).


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