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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

STM takes e-navigation a step further for ferry safety

Mon 29 Jan 2018 by Martyn Wingrove

STM takes e-navigation a step further for ferry safety
Pearl Seaways demonstrated STM voyage data transmissions to shore centres in Norway and Sweden

Regional e-navigation development took another step forward last week as transfers of ship route information were demonstrated on a DFDS ferry. Pearl Seaways is part of the Sea Traffic Management (STM) validation project operating around Denmark, Sweden and Norway, in the North Sea and Baltic Sea.

Officers on the ferry use a Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum bridge system to send the ferry’s voyage plan to the vessel tracking service (VTS) centre in Norway. The route was also sent by the Wärtsilä ECDIS Pilot to a shore centre in Sweden.

This was demonstrated during the International e-Navigation Underway conference that took place on Pearl Seaways on 24-25 January. The information was processed by the Konsgberg-supplied systems at the Norway VTS and on the Saab-provided computers in Sweden.

These systems and data transfers use the Maritime Connectivity Platform and follow the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) guidance using globally harmonised digital services.

Data was transferred using machine-to-machine communications supported by standardised information services developed by the STM validation project team.

Route information sent from the shore centres includes recommended arrival time, navigational warnings and route suggestions. This information is displayed on onboard navigational systems, while route information is sent to shore.

Pearl Seaways shared sections of its voyage plan with nearby ships using the automatic identification system (AIS). If these other ships are STM-enabled, they can view up to seven route segments of the ferry’s total voyage plan.

Bridge officers on Pearl Seaways use AIS to identify nearby vessels and STM devices to predict planned intentions of other ships, to determine points of approach and avoid potential collisions.

STM project managers expect this trial to be expanded, with the STM testbed eventually including 300 ships, 13 ports and five shore centres.

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