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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19 Summer 2015 Proceedings Although others may be considered, enhanced Loran or eLoran has captured the attention of many users and poten- tial providers. Multi-system navigation receivers that may use GPS, other satellite systems, and terrestrial systems, may also help eliminate catastrophic modes of failure and increase robust positioning, navigation, and timing. These could also play a part in PPU evolution. eATON The latest term to arise from the e-Navigation discussion is electronic aids to navigation, or eATON. This term was crafted, in part, to obviate the need for distinguishing the different types of Automatic Identifcation System (AIS) aids to navigation (ATON). In the context of AIS ATON, a virtual aid to navigation results from a transmitted AIS message that portrays an aid on an electronic chart where no physi- cal aid exists. A synthetic aid is an AIS message transmitted from a location different from an aid, to mark the position of that physical aid. A "real" AIS ATON is transmitted from an AIS unit affxed to a physical aid marking its position. Coastal and harbor navigation in pilotage waters has been characterized by those who understand it best as a tactical form of visual navigation augmented by electronic naviga- tion. How do pilots view these electronic cues known as AIS ATONs? As pilots' tactics frst involve visual cues, the view out the bridge window and sight of traditional aids to navigation are of the greatest utility. Synthetic and real AIS ATON can serve to augment the pilot's view of a situation. Virtual ATON has been met by many within the maritime sector with some trepidation, but using this technology in extenuating circumstances can be understood. One reason- able use of virtual AIS ATON, for example, would be if a buoy is no longer on station, having broken free from its mooring due to ice or severe currents. Another potential use might be to mark a temporary hazard in an area where placing a physical aid would be challenging. Pilots, how- ever, will continue to voice concerns with any plans for the widespread replacement of traditional aids with eATON. The IMO e-Navigation Vision No discussion on the future of navigation would be complete without at least a brief look at the International Maritime Orga- nization (IMO) e-Navigation efort. The current product of that nine-year project is an e-Navigation strategy implementa- tion plan (SIP) that includes two items of specifc interest to pilots: • the standardized mode, • the maritime service portfolio on pilotage service. The Standardized Mode The concept of a standardized mode for a navigation display was initially presented to IMO in 2008. Under this original version, S-mode would require naviga- tion displays to have the ability to revert, by a single operator action, to a standard- ized navigation display. When the NAVTECH committee looked at the concept, members determined that a standard starting point for settings would be valuable, but should be combined with a save /recall function through which a user could restore previous user settings. However, the currently proposed S-mode appears to go beyond the original idea of default settings and would include standardized operating features and user interfaces that manufacturers strongly resist and hence are unlikely to adopt. S-mode supporters see it as a component of e-Navigation and have succeeded in having it, along with the pilots' concept of default settings and save/recall function, included in the SIP as part of the larger e-Navigation program. Manufacturers, however, are already independently developing the pilots' concept. Pilots are concerned that linking their concept with S-mode under the strategy implementa- tion plan could interfere with, or at least delay, the full roll-out of their concept. The Maritime Service Portfolio Another pilot issue is the description of pilotage service within the SIP: "Each pilotage area needs highly special- ized experience and local knowledge on the part of the pilot … . The Pilot's Portable Unit (PPU) is a useful tool for safe navigation in clear and restricted visibility. Data acces- sible by the PPU should be made available in a structured, harmonized and reliable manner, and the interface for accessing such e-Navigation information should be standardized … ." This description of pilotage is generally accurate, although pilotage is not an elec- tronic information service and is certainly not accomplished from ashore. The mari- time service portfolio (MSP) also implies PPUs are a requisite part of a pilotage service. However, portable pilot units may not serve a useful purpose in some pilotage areas. Furthermore, PPUs are e-Navigation information consumers, not providers. In practice, it is quite likely that portable pilot units will utilize informa- tion from some or all of the MSP services, but the units will not provide services electronically to ships. Including pilotage service and portable pilot units within the MSP, which will become part of the IMO's strategy imple- mentation plan, may become an invita- tion for international pilotage standard- ization. If that happens, pilots' ability to match their practices and equipment to the specific demands of their pilotage areas could be hindered. For these and other reasons, the APA would prefer to see this description of pilotage service removed from the SIP.

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