New e-Navigation technologies developed by the ACCSEAS (Accessibility for Shipping, Efficiency Advantages and Sustainability) project could improve the safety and efficiency of ships across the notoriously busy shipping lanes of the North Sea Region, following successful trials.
ACCSEAS successfully completed its first demonstration of e-Navigation techniques on board a working passenger ship in the North Sea. The prototype equipment was installed on the bridge of P&O’s Pride of Hull vessel and at Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Humber.
Working with P&O Chief Officer, Joop Loonstra and Deputy VTS Manager, Shane Winterton, the ACCSEAS team set up a live communication between the ship and VTS Humber on the approach to Humber Estuary and compared the e-Navigation services with more traditional platforms.
The trials were successful and have demonstrated that e-Navigation technologies have the potential to transform the way that data is delivered to mariners by collating all information into one display and ensuring back-up mechanisms are in place. The suite of solutions will not only increase the safety and efficiency of navigation, but also allow better interaction with VTS centres. The team on board also showed how e-Loran seamlessly took over when the ship’s GPS signal was lost demonstrating the benefit of Resilient Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT).
Shane Winterton, Deputy VTS Manager, Humber said: “ABP Humber Estuary Services has been proud to assist ACCSEAS in the development and testing of their new electronic navigation system here upon the Humber. ACCSEAS has created a well designed and resilient system, with valid functions of real worth to the wider navigational community.”
Improved navigation techniques are particularly important in the North Sea region where an increase in shipping traffic, vessel size and competition for marine space is putting growing pressure on the North Sea’s marine areas. These issues pose serious safety and environmental concerns, whilst impacting the economic prosperity of the shipping industry. With over 90% of all goods transported by sea, the safety and efficiency of vessel traffic movements significantly impacts the industry’s economic efficiency and carbon footprint.
Winterton continued: “The enhanced safety of vessel movements within confined waters provided by the system is achieved through a thoughtful process of route exchange and dynamic no go area under keel clearance modelling. ACCSEAS should be congratulated on the very successful trial of their system which they tested in real world scenarios between the P&O ferry Pride of Hull and VTS Humber on one of the busiest and most important estuaries in the UK.”
Alwyn Williams, Project Manager of ACCSEAS said: “The results of this trial show a successful outcome for the ACCSEAS programme, but more importantly, a significant step for the application of e-Navigation within the industry. Mariners can be confident that these systems will provide them with quicker, more accurate information and allow shipping to become more adaptive in an environment that can often be fast-changing.”
These technologies will be demonstrated at the final ACCSEAS Conference “Navigating the North Sea Region into the Future” in February 2015. The conference aims to build upon the success of the second ACCSEAS Annual Conference held in Edinburgh earlier this year and will bring together a global audience to explore the implementation of the ACCSEAS e-Navigation test-bed services and present the concluding results of this engaging North Sea Region project.
Technologies tested included:
- No-Go Area Service – No-Go Area is an on board service that would provide vessels a live picture of where it cannot safely go along its intended route, highlighting concerns such as environmentally protected areas and shallow stretches of water
- Resilient Position Navigation Timing (PNT) – A robust service that provides, primarily, the mariner with their position and navigation – Using back-up systems that mitigate the vulnerability of GNSS.
- Tactical Route Exchange & route suggestion – This service allows mariners to communicate their intended routes with each other and Vessel Traffic Services. It will also allow VTS centres to suggest the most efficient/safe routes to the vessel
- Inter-VTS Exchange Services – This is a harmonised means of sharing VTS information between different operators, possibly in different countries, to give Vessel Traffic Service a greater situational awareness
- Maritime Safety Information/Notices to Mariners Services (MSI/NM) – This service provides the mariner with this information in an electronic form for quick display on an ECDIS.