Between March 5 and 7, I’ll be attending a meeting hosted by the United States Coast Guard in San Francisco. It is a joint intercessional of the IALA e-NAV subcommittees: WG3 - Communications and WG4 – AIS. The purpose of the meeting is to advance the work on next generation AIS that was started in Rotterdam in 2009 by the AIS technical working group.
The Communications group began defining the spectrum requirements in 2009 to prepare for the ITU World Radio Conference held last month. The conference was very successful and the AIS system now has two channels allocated for satellite communication and an open agenda item to explore additional spectrum required for AIS.
This meeting will begin to explore the technical solutions necessary to support the communications required for e-NAV. The next generation of AIS offers a single box solution for e-NAV communications that will allow AIS to be capable of much more just AIS communications.
Many of the requirements have long been defined and understood but how much AIS will participate in the future of GMDSS is still under debate, and although it will be the IMO who ultimately decides the future of GMDSS, the e-NAV communications box must have the capability to support GMDSS.
Small vessel tracking is a source of growing concern for very large populations. The discussions for possible solutions and how alternate protocols might be integrated into the e-NAV communications box should be very interesting.
For more information on the IALA e-NAV committee, click here.