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
6 Proceedings Summer 2015 www.uscg.mil/proceedings Since we live in an age where we expect information at our fngertips, modern-day commercial and recreational mari- ners also expect this. These technological advancements provide the Coast Guard the means to provide the mari- ner with a better position and better information, which, in turn, leads to better situational awareness. Advancements in electronic navigation, such as the Global Positioning System and electronic charting display and information systems (ECDIS), coupled with more recent technological developments like the Automatic Identifca- tion System (AIS), have changed the way mariners receive and process navigational and marine safety information. 21 st Century Waterway Design Providing safe, effcient, and resilient waterways. by CDR John M. Stone Chief U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Technology and Systems Division Federal Agency Involvement Aids to Navigation Evolution Our visual aids to navigation (ATON) are necessary fixtures throughout some 25,000 miles of inland, intracoastal, and coastal waterways that comprise our marine transportation system (MTS). They are established, maintained, and operated to mitigate maritime transit risks and enable a safe, secure, efcient, efective, accessible, and environmen- tally responsible MTS. The current constellation of visual aids to navigation has evolved through continual waterway stakeholder input, public outreach, and knowledgeable and experienced Coast Guard waterway managers who operate and maintain them. We have become more efcient in managing the physical ATON infrastruc- ture through technological advances such as ATON positioning, solar power, and self-contained LED lanterns. And, as technological advancements have made accessing and transiting the MTS more efcient, reliance on certain types of aids, such as lighthouses, has decreased. These technological advances and shifts in aid reliance have allowed the Coast Guard to divest or transfer these costly historical struc- tures to partner agencies or private entities. Moreover, recent worldwide electronic navigation technology development and use have begun to change the way the mariner navigates through the MTS. Leveraging these efficiencies in the visual constellation and acceptance of e-navigation technologies, such as Automatic Identifcation System (AIS), has allowed for electronic Aids to Navi- gation (eATON) emergence. While visual ATON will be still be required to mitigate transit risks well into the future, the Coast Guard needs to leverage technol- ogies to help refne the optimal number and locations of buoys and beacons. AIS and Electronic Aids to Navigation In 2000, the International Maritime Organiz ation adopted Automated Information System carriage and use as a means to provide collision avoidance information from one ship to another and to coastal authorities. Following the Transportation Security Act of 2002, Coast Guard leaders set out to enhance maritime domain awareness by leveraging AIS technology. The Coast Guard's nationwide Automatic Identif- cation System consists of 121 towers capable of transmitting and receiving AIS signals out to 24 miles. This allows the Coast Guard to augment the current ATON constellation by broadcasting electronic aids to navigation and trans- mitting electronic marine safety infor- mation. With application-specifc messages, we are able to broadcast eATONs to specifc locations to augment physical ATON information or provide information where no physical ATON exists.