Hydrographic Survey for Straits of Malacca and Singapore Underway

 charts, ECDIS, ENC, navigation, news  Comments Off on Hydrographic Survey for Straits of Malacca and Singapore Underway
Mar 102010

image A key hydrographic survey within the Traffic Separation Scheme, TSS, of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore is now underway, as part of the Marine Electronic Highway Demonstration Project, a regional project that IMO is carrying out for the Global Environment Facility World Bank. The purpose is to produce an updated electronic navigation chart of the area.

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Do Polar Cruises Pose Titanic Risks?

 Accident, capsize, casualties, cruise liner, navigation  Comments Off on Do Polar Cruises Pose Titanic Risks?
Feb 272010

M/V Explorer - a Titanic problem?

With the launch of Part One of The Case of the Little Red Ship
MAC’s UK correspondent looks at polar cruises. Anyone looking for comfort will find little warmth.

Complacency and hubris are the birthing pools of marine tragedies and it seems one such icy pool will soon claim another major victim if fears over cruise ship polar voyages are realized.

Cruising is big business and deservedly growing fast in popularity but where money rules safety and caution often take a back seat. In Greenland waters alone there were 36 cruise ship visits last year, two with over 4,000 on board. This has led to concern in the Danish navy, which polices Greenland’s vast waters with only two heavier vessels. It has warned of a Titanic-style disaster as cruise ships stray too close to the region’s icebergs.

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Shoal Thing -ENC Producers Didn’t Get It

 Chart, ECDIS, ENC, navigation, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Shoal Thing -ENC Producers Didn’t Get It
Feb 262010


Your ECDIS may not display significant shoals and may not set grounding alarms automatically because some ENC producers did not understand the importance to safety of a bulletin issued by the International Hydrographic Organisation.

A lucky visit by a maritime delegation to the UK Hydrographic Organisation has sparked a flurry of urgent messages and updates in the electronic chart community after the delegation noticed that a significant shoal was missing from the ENC chart on the screen and no grounding alarm was set on the ECDIS. The was being reviewed prior to issue and the problem was only noticed because the visitors were familiar with the area displayed.

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Federal Kivalina Grounding – Bridge Team Lost Control – No Passage Planning

 Accident, Accident report, charts, ENC, grounding, navigation, passage plan, pilot, pilotage  Comments Off on Federal Kivalina Grounding – Bridge Team Lost Control – No Passage Planning
Feb 252010

Federal Kivalina aground

Bulk carrier Federal Kivalina ran aground at 0510 hours on 6 October 2008 at Årsundøya in Møre and Romsdal county, Norway, while under pilotage as the ship’s electrician analysed an alleged fault in the AIS. Norway’s Accident Investigation Board highlights bridge team management, passage planning and the master-pilot exchange as vectors in the incident.

After boarding the vessel the pilot tried to connect his laptop computer to the ship’s AIS using the pilot plug but failed and reported the problem to the master. The master called the ship’s electrician who attempted to locate the fault.

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GPS Hacking May Sink Ships

 AIS, ECDIS, navigation, news  Comments Off on GPS Hacking May Sink Ships
Feb 232010

22km difference - results of a jammed GPS

On the left is a picture from an experiment carried out in 2008 by Alan Grant of the UK’s General Lighthouse Authorities. A vessel’s GPS receiver is reporting its position 22km away from its true position because it has been jammed by a device almost anyone can buy off the internet.

The question is probably not will a major incident involve a GPS jammed vessel but when. It highlights the need for seafarers to be familiar with, and competent in, traditional methods of navigation.

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The Sun Has Got His Spat On…

 ECDIS, maritime safety, navigation, news  Comments Off on The Sun Has Got His Spat On…
Feb 122010

NASA's SDO ready for launch

And coming out to play with your satellite navigation, and possibly satcoms, too, so the launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory scheduled for today is timely.

After years of such quiescence since the Sun’s last maximum activity in 1985 that some astronomers muttered about a new Maunder Minimum*, the sun has suddenly woken up. Within the next few years we’ll be licked by solar flares and a variety of phenomenae that will reach out and touch the constellations of satellites on which we now depend and nobody really knows what’s going to happen.

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The Electronic Navigators

 AIS, ECDIS, ECDIS, ENC, navigation, parallel index, VTS  Comments Off on The Electronic Navigators
Feb 042010

Captain S. Pullat

Electronic navigation isn’t the future, it’s now, but are today’s navigators too complacent and trusting? Is eNav a threat to good seamanship?

MAC contributor Captain S Pullat sends up some signals.

What paradigm shifts through couple of generations from total visual navigation to complete electronics dependence! Ask practitioners and what is surmised is that Radar, VHF, ARPA, AIS, Integrated Bridge, VTS and the rest put together has precipitated so, COSCO BUSAN a sad example.

From the days of single locked Radar to S-mode for safe-n-quick user friendly switching, the navigators have come a long way! And given the 25yr or so lifespan of ships with grandfather leniencies, one can be sure that all and sundry systems and practices sail side by side; the navigators on contract switching between such diverse technologies.

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Galileo Contracts For SatNav Sats And Stuff

 navigation, news  Comments Off on Galileo Contracts For SatNav Sats And Stuff
Jan 122010

imageThree of the six contracts for the procurement of the initial operational capability of the European satellite navigation system, Galileo,have now been awarded by the European Commission. The remaining three procurement contracts, for the ground mission infrastructure, the ground control infrastructure and the operations should be awarded by mid-2010.

Galileo will provide an alternative to the US-owned Global Positioning System, GPS. Many satellites in the GPS constellation are beyond their designed lifespan and others are approaching it, while budget cuts have delayed replacement leading to concerns regarding degradation of the GPS system and the possibility that there may eventually be too few satellites to provide adequately accurate fixes.

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So Long LORAN-C, At Least In The US

 navigation  Comments Off on So Long LORAN-C, At Least In The US
Jan 122010

LORAN Station Malone, Malone, Florida Great Lakes chain (GRI 8970)/Southeast U.S. chain (GRI 7980)

If you’re able to navigate in North America with LORAN-C after 8 February 2010 you’ll have Canada and the Russian Federation to thank. After 52 years the US will lose Loran-C coverage as part of cost-cutting measures and electronic navigation will be limited to GPS, itself causing concern in some quarters, until the European Gallileo system come online, scheduled for 2014.

LORAN-C was originally developed to provide radio-navigation service for US coastal waters later expanded to include complete coverage of the continental US as well as most of Alaska. Twenty-four US LORAN-C stations work in partnership with Canadian and Russian stations to provide coverage in Canadian waters and in the Bering Sea.

Five stations will remain live to meet bilateral agreements with Canada and Russia.

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