Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/528099
56 Proceedings Summer 2015 www.uscg.mil/proceedings The U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation is a U.S. government corporation within the U.S. Depart- ment of Transportation that directly partners with Canada to manage and operate the seaway. The binational Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System is an economic driver for the region and a gateway to the continent's agricultural and manufacturing heartland. On an annual basis, the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System's commercial maritime activity sustains 227,000 jobs, $33.6 billion in business rev- enue, $14.1 billion in wages, and $4.6 billion in taxes. 1 Innovation The U.S. and Canadian seaway corporations have had a strong culture of innovation and are continuously work- ing on research and development initiatives. The system's stakeholders and engineers have collaborated with custom- ers and performance-focused operational managers with a willingness to listen and partner. That cooperative spirit has helped to overcome geographic and international chal- lenges, most recently in the area of vessel traffc manage- ment technology. For example, the Canadian laker feet led electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) development in the early 1990s. In turn, that led to one of the most impor- tant technological innovation in the seaway's 55-year history — the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which was developed in the 1990s and adopted in 2002. 2 And, in July 2012, stakeholders undertook the draft information system (DIS) as a collaborative project among U.S. and Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway entities, the shipping industry, and equipment suppliers. Stake- holders used the AIS as a key component to increase navigation safety by giving mariners real-time informa- tion on current and projected distances between a ves- sel's keel and river bottoms. The St. Lawrence Seaway is the frst inland waterway in the world to implement DIS technology into its operations. 3 The new technol- ogy reduces the potential for groundings, allows ships to carry more cargo, and supports more precise vessel traffc management. The System The seaway has long required a minimum safety margin between the ship's keel and river bottom, or under-keel clearance that vessels must maintain while transiting the waterway. The new draft information system technology provides mariners with real-time operational and naviga- tional information while the vessel is in transit. The onboard software integrates multiple navigation information data points and provides for a three-dimensional, data-rich interface. It relies on a real-time water level gauge network along the vessel's route that the AIS network communicates. Because the DIS provides vessel operators with accurate data on river bottom contours and water levels, along with the vessel's speed and heading, mariners can implement effec- tive course changes or other required reactions in transit. A single bridge display monitor integrates information on the projected under-keel clearance electronically with chart data, high-resolution bathymetry, and other navigational readings such as water level measurements, vessel speed, The Draft Information System Innovation in vessel traffc management. by MS. Betty Sutton Administrator Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Technology The seaway system. Graphics courtesy of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.