Afew years ago, we were introduced to the term “e-navigation.” It seemed a sim- ple concept at the time, even if the details would be complex. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the definition at left, which was origi- nally developed by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA). As its name implies, IALA’s interest was in
applying technology to aids to navigation and other navigation services. But the original broad
strategic vision presented to IMO in 2006 was to incorporate the use of new technologies in a
structured way and to ensure that their use is compatible with the various navigational communication technologies and services that are already available. The aim is to develop an overarching accurate, secure and cost-effective system with the potential to provide global coverage for
ships and boats of all sizes. Though conceived for commercial vessels, any vessel equipped with
AIS and a modern bridge suite should be able to take advantage of the wealth of information
on weather, waterway conditions, and nearby traffic that is and will be made available.
A conceptual e-navigation system architecture was developed early in the process by IMO
and IALA, and although there have been changes, the basic concept has remained the same. As
shown in the diagram on page 33, the ship environment and the shore environment are connected with physical communications links, such as terrestrial radio or satellite communications. As the e-navigation concept has developed over the past 10 years, the amount of information that the shore authorities would like to provide and collect has continued to grow.
Achieving its far-reaching goal will have big impacts
BY BOB MARKLE
A US Coast Guard Vessel Traffic System operator
keeps tabs on a range of activities. As the e-navigation
concept has developed over the decade, the amount of
information that shore authorities would like to provide and collect has also grown.
E-navigation is the harmonized collection, integration, exchange, presentation and analysis of marine information onboard and ashore by electronic
means to enhance berth to berth navigation and related services for safety
and security at sea and protection of
the marine environment.