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Shipboard Automatic Identification System Displays: Meeting the Needs of Mariners - Special Report 273 Appendix B Report on Committee Subgroup Trip to Europe, July 25–August 4, 2002 Two members of the committee and one staff member visited locations in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Sweden between July 25 and August 4, 2002. The members were Douglas Grubbs and Bob Moore, and the staff member was Peter Johnson. All three took part in site visits and meetings with officials in northern Germany for 3 days—July 29, 30, and 31. Bob Moore had meetings with Captain C. K. D. Cobley, Secretary-General of Comité International Radio-Maritime (CIRM); Mr. Michael Rambaut, Deputy Secretary-General of CIRM; and Mr. C. Julian Parker, Secretary of the Nautical Institute, in London before this visit. Doug Grubbs went on to Sweden after the German trip. Discussions with Captain Cobley and Mr. Rambaut focused on the goals and progress of International Electrotechnical Commission Working Group 13 and the pros and cons of establishing parameters for data transmitted by automatic identification systems (AIS). The latter discussions included comments about the work of the International Association of Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Committee and the results of their work as published in IALA’s Guidelines. It was clear that manufacturers would seek to incorporate unique features in their shipboard AIS displays but that both industry and maritime users would benefit by regulatory measures that established the limits, or meets and bounds, for the AIS data to be transmitted—particularly by shore stations. By implication, efforts such as those of Working Group 13 and establishment of AIS data parameters would drive displays toward a commonality of presentation that would improve safety. The chief topic discussed with Mr. Parker was the AIS seminar held in London jointly by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and IALA in July 2002. The discussion included a review of comments submitted to the Nautical Institute about the seminar by various individuals. On the basis of the discussion and the written comments reviewed, it seems clear that active mariners have little knowledge of AIS or of the intentions of governmental agencies for its use, particularly as a vessel
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Shipboard Automatic Identification System Displays: Meeting the Needs of Mariners - Special Report 273 traffic management tool. As a result, there had been little input from users concerning the data to be transmitted by AIS or traditional data sources that should not be changed. There appeared to be some feeling that implementation of AIS beyond ship-to-shore applications should be delayed until data content and display requirements were established. FACILITIES VISITED AND MEETINGS HELD WITH GERMAN OFFICIALS In Kiel at the Waterways and Shipping Directorate for Baltic and North Sea coastal areas and ports and river entrances (for Kiel, Kiel Canal, Travemunde, Warnemunde, Rostock, Hamburg and River Elbe, Bremen and Bremerhaven); with Jan-Hendrik Oltmann, deputy head of division, and Hendrik Eusterbarkey, engineer. Had presentations on the organization of the waterways agencies and their mission, the recent AIS conformity trials in the Baltic Sea, issues and concerns about AIS implementation in Germany and the development of the complete system, and the status of AIS implementation in Germany. In Warnemunde at the entrance to Rostock harbor. Visit to the newest German vessel traffic center (VTC) under the waterways and shipping directorate in Warnemunde. Had presentations on the operation of the VTS and integration of AIS data with radar data from certain vessels on traffic monitoring and control; had discussions with operators. In Warnemunde at ship training simulator center for the new institute there under the Wismar University of Technology. Saw demonstrations of the simulators and training technology. Presentations by Dr. Christoph Felsenstein, director of the institute, described simulator technology and training programs. In Hamburg at the German Federal Hydrographic and Maritime Agency (BSH), the agency that oversees the approvals of shipboard technical equipment (AIS and displays) to meet IMO standards and that experiments with shipboard technology improvements. (This agency also incorporates the equivalent of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ocean Survey.) Presentations by Dr. Ralf-Dieter Preuss and staff addressed AIS equipment testing by this office, work on integrating radar (ARPA) with AIS displays, and philosophy regarding overall approach to bridge
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Shipboard Automatic Identification System Displays: Meeting the Needs of Mariners - Special Report 273 navigational displays. Also visited the laboratory where AIS equipment undergoes type testing. In Brunsbuttel at the VTC for managing traffic in the Kiel Canal. A presentation by Mr. Heesch described the new system incorporating AIS technology being developed and implemented by Kiel Canal traffic management. All vessels will carry AIS; those not equipped with it will be lent a unit for canal transit. Visited traffic center under existing operation and discussed new system with operators. MAJOR ISSUES AND POINTS RELATED TO AIS DISPLAY STUDY FROM GERMAN VISIT Regarding AIS introduction in general, there are concerns about total system integration, the integrity of all units on board vessels and on shore, and the need for repeaters and knowledge on message conformity. At present there are no plans in Germany to require anything other than minimal IMO onboard display. German waterways now have extensive radar coverage; AIS will supplement but not replace radar—total system facilitates traffic and efficiency. Germany plans to use AIS to enhance traffic monitoring. German VTS operation now has no problem with voice communications. Pilots are used within VTCs and aboard vessels. With AIS, there are concerns about the fact that the receiver of information has no control over the quality of information sent; therefore, VTC must monitor integrity of all transmitted information. There is a need to design the entire AIS with attention to source, sink, and links; much work is needed to complete system implementation. At Warnemunde VTC modern radar coverage is available, and AIS signals can be integrated within radar displays. At long distances (20 miles) there is a significant difference between radar and AIS location. At BSH, the laboratory performs tests and certification of all AIS devices (type approval) with the manufacturer contributing the equipment for
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Shipboard Automatic Identification System Displays: Meeting the Needs of Mariners - Special Report 273 these tests and covering the cost of the tests. It is not clear whom the U.S. Coast Guard will use to perform similar approval work in the United States. The position of the German authorities is that the minimal IMO display is not suitable for shipboard navigation or other functions but is useful only for checking the operability of the system. For any navigation or collision avoidance function, a more sophisticated display will be necessary. The BSH authorities believe that AIS is usually displayed in electronic chart format because that is the easiest solution at present. However, for a display to be useful to the mariner, it should be either a close-in collision avoidance device or a longer-range strategic voyage-planning device. Two displays may be best (one for each purpose). The close-in display might integrate ARPA and AIS data to show other vessel locations, ID, tracking, and so forth. The strategic display might incorporate electronic charts with long-range traffic data. BSH is now experimenting with techniques for integrating AIS and ARPA data in one display.
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