IALA

Products & Projects

e-Navigation

accseas

  • Name of testbed: ACCSEAS – Accessibility for Shipping, Efficiency Advantages and Sustainability
  • Location of testbed: North Sea Region, Europe
  • Time period: April 2012 – February 2015
  • Status: Completed
  • Contact person(s): Alwyn Williams Alwyn.Williams@gla-rrnav.org (Project coordinator)
  • Web site: http://www.accseas.eu/
  • Organisation(s):
    • General Lighthouse Authorities of UK and Ireland;
    • Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden;
    • Danish Maritime Authority;
    • Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration, Germany;
    • Rijkswaterstaat , Ministerie Infrastructuur en Milieu, The Netherlands;
    • Swedish Maritime Administration;
    • Norwegian Coastal Administration;
    • SSPA Sweden AB;
    • Flensburg University of Applied Sciences, Gemany;
    • NHL Hogeschool Leeuwarden, Maritiem Instituut Willem Barentsz, The Netherlands
    • World Maritime University.
  • Research Program: EU INTERREG IVb North Sea Region Programme

 

Description


ACCSEAS developed and implemented an innovative e-Navigation Test-bed to prototype key concept solutions to advance shipping accessibility in the North Sea Region

Executive Summary


ACCSEAS, a three-year part EU-funded project, ended in February 2015 having successfully demonstrated the potential for e-Navigation in the North Sea Region. With 11 partners from 6 countries, the project was able to show that transnational co-operation is possible to improve maritime navigation in this important region for transportation within Europe.

Starting with a review of the present and future situation with regards to the use of the sea space, it quickly became clear that the existing sea routes were being squeezed to allow more room for energy extraction (e.g. wind farms). At the same time, an increase in traffic and vessels sizes is predicted, meaning that the complex nature of navigating the North Sea will become more problematic if solutions are not presented in time to mitigate the risks.

Using solutions based on Resilient Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT), and effective e-Navigation services, ACCSEAS has been able to show how they can improve the efficiency, accessibility and safety of navigation in the North Sea Region. Innovative solutions include the use of ranging-mode DGPS service, absolute radar positioning, “no-go” area, route exchange and integrated Maritime Safety Information services. Information services are harmonised through the use of the Maritime Cloud – a secure, standardised means of accessing data by the mariner and bridge systems. The demonstrations also use existing services such as eLoran, and show that seamless transition between positioning sources is possible with the Multi-Source Position Receiver developed within the project.

The project shows that there is much more work to be done, but the principle and the advantages of using e-Navigation is made clear, and that Europe is leading the way for harmonised information and navigation systems onboard vessels.

 

Testbed Information


Type of user groups involved in the test:

  • Shipboard users
  • Shore-based users
  • SAR users

Details of e-navigation gaps considered for the testbed:

IMO gap ID IMO description ACCSEAS service/solution
111-Gte01 Lack of harmonized data formats for the transfer of information received via communication equipment (e.g., Maritime Safety Information, MSI) to the navigational systems for presentation. MSI/NM(T&P)

Exchange of intended route

Route suggestion

No-Go Area

FAL reporting

Vessel Operations Coordination Tool (VOCT)

IVEF information exchange

111-Gte02 There are no standardized data formats established for ship reporting. FAL reporting
111-Gte05 Lack of technical solutions for processing, filtering of information exchanged via communication equipment. Filtering functionality in:

MSI/NM(T&P)

Exchange of intended route

111-Gre01 Lack of international standards for navigation data formats.

Lack of real-time environmental information (current, tide, weather) received automatically.

Lack of international standards for navigation data formats and water level and current information as well as a standard for dates.

No-Go area
112-Gte01 Lack of effective and harmonized means for assessment of the accuracy and plausibility of indicated information.

Lack of effective ways to indicate levels of reliability.

Resilient PNT
112-Gop01 Lack of assessments to quantify reliability parameters (e.g., specific assessment of electronic position fixing systems). Resilient PNT
113-Gte02 Lack of timely delivery of ENCs and updates via internet.

Lack of real-time tidal data, AIS data and ENC updates.

No-Go Area
120-Gte03 Lack of systems for source and channel management for communication equipment.

Lack of seamless and communication mean dependent protocol for exchanging navigation information between ships

Insufficient techniques and procedures for exchange of data between ship shore and on board.

The Maritime Cloud
132-Gte01 Insufficient reliability of position fixing systems. Resilient PNT
134-Gte04 Lack in presentation of manoeuvring information/data(engine-room telegraphs) on navigational display. Dynamic predictor
Upon receiving real-time Maritime Safety Information (MSI) and other navigational warning/broadcasts relevant for the
vessel’s navigation, there is no appropriate and suitable interfacing technique that could allow these data/information to be available (visible) in real-time to the mariner.Lack of technical solutions for processing, routing, and filtering of information received via communication equipment to enable transfer of the information to navigational systems.Lack of technical solutions for presenting communication information/Maritime Safety Information (MSI) on navigational displays.Lack of presentation of warning broadcasts on navigation displays.Insufficient means for sorting and display of Maritime Safety Information (MSI) such as NAVTEX, SafetyNET.Lack of user-selectable and task oriented presentation of information received via communication equipment (including MSI) on navigational systems.Insufficient network of storage, sharing and distribution of MSI.Unless having prior subscription, the current system does not allow for Maritime Safety Information (MSI) and other navigational warnings/broadcast, etc., to be received in real-time mode and be integrated with the navigation display.

Unavailability of information in real-time with possible presentation on the navigational display to support bridge
operation.

Lack of integrated secondary screen option for digital publications and MSI.

Lack of interface messages between sender and receiver for monitoring of local/coastal warning  broadcasts/watching GMDSS system (NAVTEX, NAVAREA message).

Primarily MSI/NM(T&P)

and

The Maritime Cloud

140-Gt01 With the exception of Polling, current system does not provide provision for automatic ship reporting. FAL reporting
140-Gte02 Lack of automated and standardized ship reporting function. FAL reporting
140-Gte04 Insufficient means for ship reporting. FAL reporting
211-Gte01 Lack of a common maritime information/data structure harmonizing the policies for the security and use of data.

Insufficient identification of harmonization needs for standards, formats and protocols.

Lack of protocols, formats and data structure that enable shore based authorities to exchange information with other authorized shore based users.

No standardized format for data exchange between VTS centres and other e-Navigation stakeholders.

The Maritime Cloud
220-Gtr01 Lack of international guidance on security of data and its sharing The Maritime Cloud
235-Gte01 Insufficient delivery and presentation of maritime information that shore based authorities are required to provide to ships.

There are no standard data formats for on board capture and presentation that cover the entire scope of information provided by a VTS

IVEF information exchange
310-Gte01 Lack of mechanisms to provide SAR (RCC) function with the full range of relevant e-navigation information in digital format.

Hardware: Resources and capability available for infrastructure can be lacking and therefore tools needed for accessing digital data may not be available. Lack of data in digital format.

Vessels Operations Coordination Tool
320-Gte01 Lack of an automated data network connecting all stakeholders in SAR intervention, including improved communication between RCC and shore-, land-, sea- and air-based entities.

Lack of access to the details of all relevant on-board communication and capabilities for SAR authorities.

Limited resources for communication infrastructure in SAR operation

Vessels Operation Coordination Tool

and

The Maritime Cloud

Further gaps identified for the Resilient PNT solution:

User Field and Category Gap Notes on Solution
Shipboard/Information/Data Management/Improved Reliability and Indication/Technical Lack of effective and harmonized means for assessment of the accuracy and plausibility of indicated information The development of a Resilient PNT integrity equation to calculate an estimated  Horizontal Protection Level (HPL)
Shipboard/Information/Data Management/Improved Reliability and Indication/Technical Interoperability of systems and sensors is not realized A Multi-Source Receiver was produced which demonstrates the interoperability of sources of PNT.
Shipboard/Information/Data Management/Improved Reliability and Indication/Technical Lack of self-checking functionality of the electronic equipment. The development of a Resilient PNT integrity equation to calculate an estimated Horizontal Protection Level (HPL). The demonstration of alerts to the mariner upon failure of a source of PNT to produce a plausible output
Shipboard/Information/Data Management/Improved Reliability and Indication/Technical Insufficient reliability of position fixing systems A Multi-Source Receiver was produced which demonstrates seamless and automatic provision of Resilient PNT, the monitoring of the performance of each source independently of another, and reporting on the navigation solution quality.
Shipboard/Information/Data Management/Improved Reliability and Indication/Operational Lack of assessments to quantify reliability parameters (e.g. specific assessment of electronic position fixing systems). The development of a Resilient PNT integrity equation to calculate an estimated  Horizontal Protection Level (HPL)
Shore-based/Traffic/Traffic Monitoring/Technical Lack of procedures that enable shore based authorities to monitor quality of navigation systems on board as well as quality of information and effectiveness of communication The navigation solution  accuracy estimate provided by the on-board HPL computation, in addition to alerts pertaining to change of PNT source may be transmitted to shore side users through the Maritime Cloud.

 

Category of e-Navigation Gaps considered in testbed

  • Technical
  • Regulatory
  • Operational
  • Training

Details of e-Navigation solutions considered in the testbed

  • S2: Means for standardized and automated reporting
  • S3: Improved reliability, resilience and integrity of bridge equipment and navigation information
  • S4: Integration and presentation of available information in graphical displays received via communication equipment
  • S9: Improved Communication of VTS Service Portfolio

Category of e-navigation solutions considered in the testbed

  • Technical
  • Regulatory
  • Operational
  • Training

 

Testbed Methodology


Please refer to the ACCSEAS Final Report and the Service Descriptions for details of the testing carried out during the project.

 

Testbed Results


Please refer to the ACCSEAS Final Report and the Service Descriptions for details of the testing carried out during the project.

 

Conclusions and recommendations


Conclusions

The ACCSEAS project started by looking at the challenges to maritime accessibility in the North Sea Region. In particular, the impact of increasing traffic density and larger ships in reduced sea-space was considered and explored. As a result of this work, the solutions detailed earlier in this report were proposed in the ACCSEAS Baseline and Priorities Report, first published end of 2013. Now in its third edition, it covers the IMO’s work on the Sustainable Maritime Transport System and the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for the e-Navigation concept that underpins all the solutions in ACCSEAS.

As shown in the previous chapters, each solution has been able to demonstrate its ability to improve spatial awareness or information integrity for both the mariner and shore-based authorities.

Improved Spatial Awareness

Improving the spatial awareness of the mariner and shore-based authorities will allow those users to get a better understanding of the current situation around them. The Baseline and Priorities Report highlighted the potential issue of increased traffic in tighter shipping lanes created by windfarms, particularly in the southern North Sea. There will be an increased reliance on ship systems to navigating through these areas to ensure that the risk of collision and grounding remain low.

Through demonstrating e-Navigation services such as the Tactical Route Exchange, No-go Areas and the Augmented Reality Head-up Display, ACCSEAS has shown that solutions can be developed that will allow users either to receive information they cannot yet get or is more difficult to obtain. This information will enable the mariner, and shore-based authorities, to understand their immediate and near future environment in a more clear and intuitive way. The demonstrations have shown that users are enthusiastic about the improved view of the environment that the ACCSEAS solutions provide.

By improving the spatial awareness, the users of the Region will gain a better understanding of how to traverse the Region with more confidence, efficiency and safety. This can only serve to gradually increase accessibility in the North Sea Region.

Improved Information Integrity

Information integrity is crucial in informing all uses of the situation in the maritime space. It underpins the acceptance and ultimate success of e-Navigation as an emerging driver for improved safety and efficiency. It is therefore unsurprising that a number of the solutions demonstrated in ACCSEAS have the aim of ensuring that the information presented to both the mariner and shore-based authorities is accurate and delivered in a timely manner.

Good examples of such services are Resilient PNT (improved integrity of positioning and navigation information), MSI/NM (improved and more reliable maritime safety information delivery), Vessel Operations Co-ordination Tool (faster and more reliable delivery of search and rescue information) and Inter-VTS Exchange Format (improved shore-based visualisation of the sea-space).

The impact that improved information integrity has on accessibility is very clear. By ensuring that the mariner and shore-based authorities get reliable information, the decision making can be more certain and less likely to cause collision and grounding. Reliance on unreliable information, whether deliberate or not, can only cause an increase in the risk to the vessels and the environment. The solutions, demonstrated in ACCSEAS to real users of the North Sea Region, has the real potential to minimise the informational errors and increase confidence, safety and efficiency in the North Sea Region.

Impact on Training

The ACCSEAS project has demonstrated solutions that will have an impact on accessibility to the North Sea Region and its ports. The solutions would be of limited value if the users were not suitably trained on the using the services to maximum benefit. The Training Needs Analysis and the Use of Simulators in e-Navigation Training and Demonstrations Reports highlight the need for robust training of users in the new technology and its application in navigating the seas. It is here that the training and research institutes play a critical role in covering the human factor of e-Navigation services and solutions.

Without this, the solutions developed in the ACCSEAS project will not achieve the intended outcome of improving accessibility in the North Sea Region, and even has the possibility of causing collisions or grounding due to misunderstanding or too little training on the systems. As e-Navigation solutions develop, including the ones demonstrated in ACCSEAS, it is imperative that training and the human factor is a key aspect at all stages of implementation to ensure that maximum benefit, including improved maritime accessibility, is realised.

ACCSEAS has gone a long way to investigate the human factor of e-Navigation technology, and has proposed further work to ensure that as the concept evolves, the training evolves alongside it. This will give e-Navigation the best opportunity to provide the maritime users of the North Sea Region, and beyond, much needed tools to tackle the challenges of the future.

Recommendations

Please refer to the ACCSEAS Legacy Report for a table of recommendations.

 

Publications


Reports

Communication Material (Videos on YouTube)