e-Navigation Underway 2012 - update

By Brian at January 20, 2012 12:27
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Unfortunately, I had trouble with the on-board internet during the conference which ended today, so I was unable to tweet or post to the blog. I took copious notes, which I will try to summarize and post in a few installments over the next few days.

In the meantme, EfficienSea is posting video of all the presentations; though they haven't got around to mine yet. But you get to listen to the dulcet Icelandic-accented tones of my good friend Omar Frits Eriksson and the other presenters at the beginning of the conference.

Now, a final evening in Copenhagen then return to the States tomorrow.

EfficienSea e-Navigation Underway 2012

By Brian at January 16, 2012 16:43
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I'm on my way to the EfficienSea e-Navigation Underway conference in Copenhagen. I attended this event last year and it was one of the best e-Nav events I've been to. I look forward to more of the same for this year: e-Navigation developers and practitioners exchanging experiences and ideas aboard a vessel where e-Navigation concepts are being tested.

I'm presenting on day 2 of the conference and plan to cover the following topics, although my presentation is a work in progress and will be informed by the presentations on the first day of the conference:

  • Brief overview of the U.S. e-Navigation Strategy
    • Stakeholders and their contributions to e-Navigation
    • Identification of areas that require coordination
  • Test beds and coordinated efforts:
    • Data standardization and information sharing
    • Within the federal government
    • Between government and industry
    • Public-private partnerships
  • Leveraging capabilities on the inland waterways
    • Ohio River test bed
    • Data exchange
    • Coordinated use of communication technologies
    • AIS
    • Web services
  • Lessons learned
  • Future plans
    • River Information Services


I plan to blog during the conference and will be tweeting as @maritimespatial - along with many others if last year is any indicator.


VTS 2012 Symposium - First Announcement

By Brian at October 12, 2010 14:44
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The first announcement has been issued for the 2012 IALA Vessel Traffic Services Symposium, to be held in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2012.  They have also posted their website with preliminary information.

The Symposium topic areas include:

- VTS Role in Maritime Domain Awareness

- Provision of VTS in International Waters

- VTS and e-Navigation

- The Role of VTS in Port/Waterway Efficiency

- VTS Developments in Polar Regions

I hope to attend - with luck by then we will have significantly advanced our e-Navigation and River Information Services (RIS) efforts here in the US.  Perhaps a presentation on "RIS and VTS in the US" or an update on the development of AIS application specific messages that may be useful for VTS would be possible.

eNav8 group photo

By Brian at September 22, 2010 06:17
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Here are the 80+ 98 attendees of the IALA e-Navigation committee, 8th Session on the plaza outside IALA HQ in St. Germain en Laye on a beautiful September morning:

I'm right in the middle - good luck trying to pick me out among the crowd...

eNav8 AIS coverage definition

By Brian at September 22, 2010 05:58
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EfficienSea submitted an input paper with a suggested definition of AIS coverage.  They recognized a need for a definition as they work to provide e-Navigation services through their test bed in the Baltic Sea area.  If you advertise the availability of services, you need to be able to determine the level of service you can provide.  For services depending on AIS, coverage is a key part of the level of service - you cannot provide AIS-based services outside of your AIS coverage area.
The definition EfficienSea came up with is:

where QAIS is:

We provided a variety of comments, in summary:

-    Recommended that the definition be separated to define “AIS receive” (i.e., receipt ashore of AIS messages from ships) and “AIS transmit” (i.e., ship receipt of AIS messages transmitted from shore stations).
-    Another definition of coverage area may be needed to measure ship-to-ship AIS coverage, as this would be critical to preserve the navigation safety aspect of AIS.
-    Levels of AIS service should be matched with the specific services provided;  e.g., the level of service for provision of traffic organization services  would be higher than that required for information services.
-    Coverage may be measured using a variety of criteria, including:
AIS receive:
•    AIS report rate, i.e., the frequency of receipt of reports from vessels by a base station
•    Distance traveled between reports, i.e., the distance travelled by a vessel between receipt of AIS reports
•    Percentage of receipt, i.e., AIS reports received by a shore station vs. number of reports expected to be received from vessels based on their speed, rate of turn, etc.
AIS transmit:
•    Probability of receipt of a message transmitted by a base station by a vessel within a defined distance from the base station
•    Basic coverage area should be determined using calculation of the expected RF coverage area, given a defined power level, antenna height, etc.
-    It was noted that receive coverage will vary based on the AIS installation on the vessel (e.g., height of antenna, quality of installation, power of transmitter), and the type of AIS (i.e., Class A vs. Class B)

This input will be provided to EfficienSea as they continue their work, and the final definition will ultimately be included in the appropriate IALA recommendation or guideline (possibly the draft IALA guideline “An Overview of AIS” which we are also working on this week).

8th Meeting of the IALA eNav Committee this week

By Brian at September 20, 2010 07:08
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Attending the IALA eNav8 meeting in St. Germain en Laye, France this week.  Here's the draft agenda, version 3 (it's already been revised to version 4).  You can see there is a lot to be done in 4.5 days.  Obviously I won't be able to keep up with or participate in everything, but I plan to focus on items related to AIS and data standards and interchange.

Photo of the 1st day plenary session, just before we got started - anticipating 80+ attendees:

IALA AIS Technical Working Group Meeting

By Brian at June 08, 2010 17:27
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The IALA e-Navigation Committee AIS Technical Working Group (AIS TWG) is meeting this week in Ottawa.  The TWG was presented with a variety of input documents and tasks, including:
1.    Response to an IEC liaison note asking for input on how AIS units handle “garbled” slots and the control of transmission of message 27 (the new “satellite AIS” message) by base stations.
2.    Consideration of a discussion paper covering issues driving AIS usage and development that the AIS TWG may need to address in the near future.
3.    A proposal for an “AIS AtoN local station controller” to manage a local network of AIS AtoN units and provide base station-like functionality, without the need for a full base station.
4.    A proposal for a new MMSI scheme that would use alphanumeric characters to increase the number of available MMSIs to several trillion (from the millions now available).
5.    Continuing work, including revision to Recommendation A-124 on AIS Shore networks, drafting a new draft IALA AIS guideline to update and supersede existing outdated guidance and other miscellaneous issues.

After plenary on Monday, the TWG broke into smaller groups to address the tasking:
Group 1:  New IALA AIS guideline
Group 2:  Update to IALA Recommendation A-124 to transform it to “e-Navigation conformity” in line with the developing e-Navigation Architecture
Group 3:  Response to the IEC and ITU liaison notes on AIS slot garbling, satellite detection, and control of message 27; as well as to develop an annex to Recommendation A-126 (use of AIS for AtoN) developing the concept of an AIS AtoN station controller

I’m sitting in with Group 3, and we’ve made substantial progress in responding to the liaison notes and development of requirements for an AtoN station controller, but much work remains to be done.

Here’s a composite photo (taken with my iPhone; merged in Photoshop) of our break-out group diligently working:

Believe it or not, this is in my room at the hotel - it’s the biggest suite I’ve ever seen, with two full baths in addition to a bedroom, kitchen, sitting room and huge meeting table.  Pretty nice…