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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45 Summer 2015 Proceedings monitor component used for real-time DGPS monitoring and correction validation — a necessary function in any USCG system that transmits navigational information. DGPS proved highly successful and has been adopted nationwide to aid all GPS users. The Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC), established in the early 1970s, plays a critical role in the Coast Guard's efforts to move navigation technology forward. Navigation Technologies For example, the RDC has provided technology and man- agement improvements for more than 100 Coast Guard proj- ects, including Aids to Navigation (ATON), by developing improved buoy mooring designs and techniques, enhanced paints and coatings for fxed aids and buoys, and improved tools for aid placing and maintaining physical ATONs. Other RDC projects involved adapting new, more environ- mentally friendly power-producing and -saving technolo- gies on physical ATONs; using photovoltaic cells as supple- mental power sources, such as on lighted ATONs; using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as more effcient and cost-effec- tive light sources on these same ATONs; and developing LED performance evaluation standards and test protocols. In the late 1980s, the Research and Development Center began investigating cutting-edge technologies that would propel navigational aids through the remainder of the 20 th century and into the 21 st century. This effort, which followed the Department of Defense's (DOD) Global Positioning Sys- tem (GPS), deployment, included investigating the feasibil- ity of migrating from radio navigation systems to GPS, as a primary navigational aid. During the early days of GPS, this included investigating devices for maritime users to make it a highly accurate and practical navigational aid. The system developed, known as differential GPS (DGPS), involved installing ground radio stations that transmitted a correction signal from critical sites along coasts, around major ports, and along important inland waterways. This refnement allowed GPS to become a practical navigation technology for mariners. The Research and Development Center also developed the initial reference station integrity 21 st Century Waterways Navigation A Research and Development Center initiative. by Mr. JAMeS e. fletCher Environment and Waterways Branch Chief U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center Technology A solar-powered ATON. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offcer Ron Mench.

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