As VTS or (Vessel Traffic Service) relies on traffic knowledge gained through surveillance techniques, up to now it has operated only in coverage of Port or Coastal AIS and Radar. Previously, the lack of surveillance techniques was an obstacle to extend VTS coverage into remote coastal areas and further offshore. By extending VTS, safety of navigation and the maritime environment will benefit from proactive measures to mitigate convergence and bottlenecks as well as better spatial planning for marine traffic.
During the latest session of the IMO NAV subcommittee routing, ships equipment and e-navigation were on the agenda. E-navigation continues to evolve with particular emphasis on gaps in current equipment, safety and training practices and operations between ship and shore in general.
As the ice levels lower in the Arctic allowing for increased shipping traffic to pass through, many experts are looking to understand the implications to the ecosystem as well as the importance now placed on being able to track vessels traversing these waters.
The Government of Canada is getting ready to participate in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012 combined and joint exercise taking place near the Hawaiian Islands from June 29 to August 3. RIMPAC is the world’s largest multi-national exercise and is designed to prepare military forces from Pacific Rim nations to work together in missions ranging from providing humanitarian aid to full-combat operations.
The US FCC has recently approved transmissions by AIS SART devices. These devices were originally designed for SOLAS class ships as an alternative to radar SARTs for carriage on life boats, but the efficiency of design has encouraged applications down to man-over-board devices. I started to question how this new large population of AIS devices could best be tracked.
Last week, I attended a joint WG3 and WG4 (communications and AIS) e-NAV subcommittee meeting to define e-Navigation communications.
In light of the recent horrible events off the coast of Italy with the Costa Concordia cruise ship, I began to think about what Satellite AIS could do to possibly prevent such a tragedy in the future.