Proceedings Of The Marine

SUM 2015

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.

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18 Proceedings Summer 2015 Today, more than 90 percent of state-licensed and federally registered Great Lakes pilots in the U.S. use some form of PPU. Each group of pilots selects, and often adapts, the type of PPU best suited to the specifc needs and demands of the group's pilotage area. Through the NAVTECH committee, pilots can review the different options for portable pilot unit hardware and software and related technology. Positioning, Navigation, and Timing The need for robust positioning, navigation, and timing in the marine environment has long been the focus of many user communities, and pilotage is no exception. The pilots' preferred method of enhancing the ubiquitous Global Posi- tioning System (GPS) is the U.S. Coast Guard's differential GPS (DGPS) because of its ability to provide independent GPS satellite monitoring. There have been numerous reports of GPS anomalies show- ing vessels several hundred yards off position. In a nar- row waterway, this could have disastrous consequences. Further, the vulnerability to interference, coupled with the dependence on GPS by so many shipboard systems, have most pilots supporting a reliable terrestrial back-up to GPS. Pilots are always looking forward — whether through the bridge window at approaching traffc, buoys, and shore- line points of reference, or at developing technology. As to technology, there are numerous current initiatives in which pilots are actively participating or leading. In fact, pilots have long been known as technology leaders and innova- tors. For example, the American Pilots' Association has a dedicated Navigation and Technology Committee, known as NAVTECH. Even before the 1971 Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act, pilots were bringing VHF radios to the bridge to communi- cate with other pilots rather than relying on the medium- and high-frequency radios in the radio room. Long before the notion of e-Navigation, portable pilot units (PPUs) came into their own in the 1980s. The Pilots' Association for the Bay and River Delaware introduced the frst PPUs, using Loran-C as the position sensor and a simplifed monochro- matic display indicating cross track error, cross track error rate, speed over ground, and distance to waypoint. From those days, the portable pilot units have continued to utilize newer technologies and pilots continually adapt them to best meet their needs. Looking Forward How e-Navigation tools can improve the view. by CAptAin MiChAel r. WAtSon President American Pilots' Association Stakeholders' Perspective This PPU uses a Bluetooth connection to the pilot plug. All photos courtesy of the American Pilots' Association. A PPU uses the wide area augmentation system. A PPU with Bluetooth connection to an independent differential GPS and AIS pilot plug interface.

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