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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47 Summer 2015 Proceedings Alaska to transmit critical navigation information to mari- ners within the Arctic region, which will include virtual ATONs in locations that are inaccessible or impractical for physical ATONs. This partnership allows each partner to leverage the other's resources in a common research effort for mutual beneft. Moving Navigation Technologies Forward To that end, the Research and Development Center will con- tinue to support the transition to an optimized mix of phys- ical and electronic ATONs that support mariners' needs. AIS technology is still maturing and evolving and must be guided by national and international standards to ensure current and future technologies can interoperate. The RDC's subject matter experts in these standards are keeping a watchful eye on AIS technology and are working with the standards bodies to ensure standards are staying ahead of technical developments. The Research and Devel- opment Center is also investigating expanded application- specifc messages use, as a method to relay critical naviga- tional information to mariners. Lessons learned in ASM dissemination and management will be applied to future e-Navigation efforts. It is also expected that the RDC will be heavily involved in the expanded use of virtual and synthetic ATONs and devel- oping infrastructure required to manage and monitor them in an operational environment. The RDC will use the tools and lessons learned from devel- oping past navigation technologies and its role in adapt- ing the current nationwide AIS for use in felding the Coast Guard's 21 st century maritime aids to navigation system under the Navigation 2025 program. About the author: Mr. Fletcher joined the USCG Research and Development Center in 2003. He has managed various technology development projects supporting the Coast Guard's missions, and in 2008, he became the branch chief of the Envi- ronment and Waterways Branch, supporting the investigation and develop- ment of navigation aids technology. Endnote: 1. As referred in the undated USCG Navigation Center Special Notice to Mariners titled, "U.S. Coast Guard to Test Automatic Identifcation System (AIS) Aids to Navigation (ATON)" regarding authorized agencies transmitting AIS ATON mes- sage and marine safety information via AIS for testing and evaluation. As with any information technology, e-Navigation equip- ment must have rules and standards to allow them to com- municate and work together seamlessly, regardless of the manufacturer or geographic location. Standards Development The RDC is leveraging its technical knowledge to help develop international and national standards related to AIS and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technologies. With an eye toward continued implementation of these tech- nologies into the nation's ATON system, the Research and Development Center has represented Coast Guard and U.S. government interests at standards-setting bodies. Today, the Coast Guard is completing the next phase of AIS equipment deployment, and the RDC is utilizing its past research to develop the Coast Guard's capability to trans- mit critical information to mariners via shore-based AIS stations. The RDC has also begun testing methods for for- matting information, transmitting the information to the mariner, and displaying that information on electronic navi- gation equipment as application-specifc messages (ASMs). Tests and Results Equipment manufacturers have provided upgrades that have allowed ASMs to be displayed on vessel navigation equip- ment. Other government agencies, such as the National Oce- anic Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, have provided hydrographic and weather information that has been formatted and transmitted as ASMs to mariners operating in the test areas. Although only limited information has been transmitted during these tests, feedback from the users has been positive. Encouraged by the initial tests, the RDC has begun plan- ning a larger, more complex feld test involving areas of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. This will incorporate les- sons learned in managing and formatting navigation and electronic ATON (eATON) information, transmitting that information, and maintaining the infrastructure used to monitor, manage, and transmit the information. This will also be the frst test where both application-specifc mes- sages and eATONs will be transmitted to mariners from the same AIS shore station. For this test, no physical ATONs will be removed from the rivers; synthetic ATONs will overlay existing ATONs. The test is expected to begin in 2015 and will run for at least a year. During this time, researchers will gather data on the test system's performance, and collect feedback from river pilots to gauge displayed navigation information usefulness. Concurrent with this test along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the RDC is partnering with the Marine Exchange of For more information: Chronology and statistics courtesy of USCG Research and Development Center. See www.

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