There has been some discussion to what makes a great Satellite AIS system so I wanted to throw in my opinion on the topic. AIS is designed for collision avoidance for ships, an undisputed fact. But once we start collecting AIS signals from space from all those thousands of ships, means we’ll have LOTS of slot overlap and signals competing with each other. The two methodologies for processing AIS signals are On-board processing (OBP) which can not separate AIS messages that collide in a slot and Spectrum Decollision Processing (SDP) which can. Research has shown that OBP just can not process the signals like SDP, especially in dense shipping areas with more than 1,000 ships in the vicinity. With SDP, Satellite AIS systems achieve better First Pass Detection rates, every time, maximizing the number of ships detected in every satellite pass.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) recently met to shape the Polar Code, a legally binding set of rules for shipping in Polar Regions. The target completion date for this Polar Code was initially 2012, but now has been moved to 2014/15 at the earliest. Although the final Polar Code won’t be adopted this year, recommendations made now will strongly influence the environmental provisions of the final Code.
exactEarth recently signed up to assist in a new vessel routing program run by the European Union. The MONALISA project aims at giving a concrete contribution to the efficient, safe and environmentally friendly maritime transport. The initial focus is on the major navigational areas in Swedish and Finnish waters in the Baltic Sea which will contribute to improving overall safety and optimization of ship routes.
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.
After my experience tracking my container, mentioned in my last blog, I started thinking about Location Based Services (LBS) in the Maritime World. In the worlds I’ve operated in to date (land-based) LBS is pretty common place – although I do wonder sometimes if we all mean the same thing when we use the term.
Joining exactEarth has been an exciting time, not just for me, but for my wife and whole family as it has meant moving from our home deep in rural Wiltshire in the UK to Cambridge, Ontario. For those of you who have, like me, done this before you will know this is a stressful time to say the least! No small part of this is watching all your worldly goods disappear down the road inside a huge sealed container with no more than a promise (and a carefully worded Insurance Certificate) that they’ll safely re-appear at some estimated date in the future across the other side of the world. My sympathetic colleagues here at exactEarth even tried to cheer me up by sending me pictures like the ones below with articles full of helpful statistics like 10,000 containers are lost per year worldwide!!