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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29 Summer 2015 Proceedings The United States Coast Guard and its key partners are cre- ating the marine navigation system of the future, spurred by changing needs of diverse users, such as increases in the beam and draft of commercial vessels, which reduce the margin of error for safe navigation; new developments in technology (displays, computers, geographic informa- tion systems); and deployed systems, such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Automatic Identifcation System (AIS). Some advances are evolutionary, such as using light-emit- ting diodes, solar cells, and rechargeable batteries on buoys. But others are revolutionary, helping to make reliable and accurate electronic navigation (e-Navigation) a reality. For example, traditional aids to navigation (ATONs) can be aug- mented with AIS to create a sort of "smart buoy," capable of determining and transmitting when it is off station or otherwise not watching properly. These smart electronic ATONs or eATONs, include: • Real AIS ATON: AIS is placed on an actual aid, capable of transmitting the actual location of the buoy and other information. • Synthetic AIS ATON: An AIS broadcast station trans- mits a position signal that coincides with an actual ATON. • Virtual AIS ATON: An electronically charted ATON capable of being displayed on the vessel's electronic chart display and information system, electronic chart system, or less sophisticated chart plotter systems. Does not coincide with a physical aid. AIS has other uses as well; it can display the course, speed, distance of closest approach of other participating vessels, information from notices to mariners, and data from the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System. 1 These and other systems are capable of substantially increasing situational awareness. U.S. eATONs were frst tested in San Francisco Bay, Califor- nia, and are now operating at several other locations around the country. Plans are underway to include more test loca- tions, prior to any widespread deployment. Potential Benefts In principle, new e-Navigation systems have numerous ben- efts. For example, virtual buoys: • can be placed at locations with water depths too great for physical buoys; • are never off station; • cannot be hit by large ships or displaced by ice; • can be inserted at will on a temporary basis to replace a physical buoy destroyed by a storm or mark a wreck, regatta, or other temporary condition that requires extra caution; • may reduce the number of conventional ATONs, with resultant budgetary savings. An AIS base station can serve an extended geographical region, often in excess of 50 square miles per station. 2 More- over, virtual buoys do not require periodic servicing, which saves money. Recreational Boaters The USCG 2012 National Recreational Boating Survey indi- cated that there are approximately 21.6 million recreational boats in the U.S. Moreover, in 2012, approximately 3.6 billion person-hours were spent underway on recreational vessels. 3 Thus, recreational boating is a statistically important seg- ment of the marine transportation system, and therefore boaters' needs must be considered when designing and operating new e-Navigation systems. Recreational Boating Perspectives A revolution in the making. by l. dAniel MAxiM, ph.d. President Everest Consulting Associates Stakeholders' Perspective

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