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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

Developments in e-navigation through collaboration

Sun 11 Jun 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Developments in e-navigation through collaboration
ChartCo’s PassageManager combines different data sets for voyage planning

ChartCo has acquired Marine Position and is collaborating with KVH, which is working with C-Map, while Nautisk has used Marine MTS’s product on its NaviPlanner

Suppliers of e-navigation services are collaborating more closely with satellite communications and e-document providers. This is in reaction to the greater numbers of merchant ships required to carry and use ECDIS and electronic navigational charts (ENCs).

ChartCo is the latest supplier of ENCs to sign deals to expand the services it provides and link them to the mechanism for getting them on board ships. In May it acquired environmental information provider Marine Position to complement its electronic chart business. ChartCo said this deal extends its core product strategy of providing a centralised digital platform on board vessels which is linked to key shoreside activities.

Marine Position provides maritime environmental regulations and compliance services covering local, national and international requirements. ChartCo has promised to invest in the Swedish office of Marine Position to expand these services and integrate them with its own. The two companies have been working in partnership for a year providing EnviroManager technology to several major fleets including:

  • VShips
  • Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement
  • NYK Line
  • Northern Marine
  • Mideast Shipping
  • DS Norden

ChartCo chief executive Martin Taylor said ship operators were already benefitting from the environmental legislation compliance information. “This acquisition will allow us to further integrate our EnviroManager service into our PassageManager software, delivering many enhanced customer benefits,” he said.

The benefits include pre-voyage environmental planning, shoreside visibility of compliance and integration with digital log books. Following this latest acquisition, ChartCo now provides digital data products and services to over 13,500 vessels worldwide. The portfolio has been recently expanded through the acquisition of Regs4ships and Docmap.

Regs4ships is a searchable database of digital maritime regulations including flag state compliance documentation combined with IMO and EU legislation. Docmap provides health, safety, environmental and quality software to shipowners and managers for onboard and onshore applications.

KVH Industries announced a link-up with ChartCo during the Nor-Shipping exhibition in Lillestrřm, Norway in May. ChartLink for ChartCo will deliver ENCs, digital publications, weather forecasts, notices to mariners for chart corrections and navigation warnings to ships over KVH’s IP-MobileCast content delivery service.

"Owners need confidence that ships have the latest ENCs and that they are updated with notices to mariners"

Ships using this service will have the latest ENCs and e-navigation documents on board automatically, said KVH director of IP-MobileCast services Robert Hopkins. “Owners need confidence that ships have the latest ENCs and that they are updated with notices to mariners,” he said. “Our service will also deliver flag and port authority regulations that ships require to sail in those waters for port state control compliance. And environmental regulation information can be displayed.”

Weather forecasts from the MetManager service are transmitted through ForecastLink, which combines the information with StormGeo’s Bon Voyage service. Mr Hopkins said more services will be added in the future following ChartCo’s acquisition of Docmap and Marine Position.

KVH still offers ChartLink for C-Map and can also deliver Transas’ ENC service. C-Map has introduced a new integrated suite of navigation and voyage optimisation software. This is an onboard application platform that integrates navigation and fleet management programs with machine learning and customised ship performance models

C-Map said its integrated maritime suite can generate optimised routes that meet the commercial objectives of a voyage while minimising fuel consumption and maintaining safety. It combines weather routeing and voyage planning with ENCs and digital publications, and integrates these with C-Map’s shoreside fleet management tools.

The suite uses predictive analytics with hydrodynamic ship models and 15-day weather forecasts. With this information the suite can recommend speed and heading changes to manage ship performance and avoid heavy weather. It can accurately predict the ship’s motion, engine and propeller characteristics and identify the most efficient ocean route and can react to changing conditions.

Further collaboration has been demonstrated by UK-based Marine MTS as it secured a partnership with Norway-headquartered Nautisk. The arrangement involves Marine MTS supplying key components and communications protocols that will enable the delivery of live and automatic updates to ECDIS. Nautisk is using these protocols in its new voyage planning suite, NaviPlanner.

Nautisk introduced NaviPlanner as a voyage planning station with a touchscreen display and ENCs loaded from a cloud service run on the Microsoft Azure platform. Nautisk head of product development Kjetil Bentsen said NaviPlanner was designed to make the operational task of planning and managing voyages simpler and more effective.

“Using compliant navigational chart data and digital publications, NaviPlanner allows bridge officers and shore-based staff to utilise the latest in navigation technology whilst being assured that all data is up to date and compliant,” he said. “Using big data, crowdsourcing and machine learning we are able to create this innovative voyage planner.”

"Using big data, crowdsourcing and machine learning we are able to create this innovative voyage planner"

The deal with Marine MTS means that real-time chart updates, which were not available with existing ECDIS, will be loaded on NaviPlanner. The secure service comes with antivirus software. It converts and encrypts data for transmission and is compatible with all current ECDIS. NaviPlanner also displays critical navigational data, piracy threats, weather and navigation warnings.

Danelec Marine developed an intelligent remote management platform to host software and internet of things applications. The DanelecConnect telematics platform hosts third-party applications that capture and analyse data from shipboard systems and sensors.

*Hamburg, Germany-based Hanseaticsoft is one of the first to integrate its cloud-based fleet management programs with the DanelecConnect application programming interface. Shipboard data is fed to the Danelec onshore server and into Hanseaticsoft’s analytics platform. The DanelecConnect vessel remote server module is a small electronic interface box that connects with the ship’s voyage data recorder and other data sources. It collects and processes the required datasets for transmission through the ship’s satellite communications system to a Danelec server.

*Hatteland Display has introduced the HT B30 fanless computer for bridge equipment. This has the latest Intel chipset and Skylake processor platform and solid state drives. It has the same system architecture as Hatteland’s Series X panel computers, with considerable processing speed and graphical performance improvements.

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