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IALA seminar on arctic navigation - report
15 December 2017

IALA hosted a seminar on Arctic Navigation from 9 to 10 November 2017 at its HQ in St Germain-en-Laye, 78100, France. This event was following-up a meeting held in February 2010 at IALA attended by Arctic nations where a number of actions were agreed by participants.
In this further meeting (9-10 November 2017) on Arctic navigation the views on the challenges of ensuring safe navigation in Arctic waters of all Arctic nations and international organizations having an interest in the field were discussed. Thirty-eight delegates, representing eight countries and six Sister organisations attended and the seminar was structured with presentations on relevant topics.
See the full report.


European Navigation Conference 2018 - call for papers
12 December 2017

The European Navigation Conference 2018 will be held in the technology-rich city of Gothenburg on the campus of Chalmers University of Technology on Sweden's west coast from 14-17 May 2018.
The ENC is the premier conference in Europe in the fields of positioning, navigation and timing, with special emphasis on the European Galileo and EGNOS. Through a peer-reviewed manuscript selection process, it will showcase state-of-the art and innovations in the field of terrestrial and satellite-based navigation and its applications. Implementation of new technologies will be demonstrated through an industry exhibition arranged in parallel to the conference.
The conference will comprise technical session, poster sessions, invited keynotes, and a best paper award. The conference strongly emphasizes a quick turn-around time and high quality of the published papers.


19th IALA Conference 2018
11 December 2017

The 2nd Announcement for this four-yearly event has been issued. The 2018 IALA conference will be hosted by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea with IALA. The conference will be held from May 27 to June 2, 2018.
The theme will be: Successful voyages, sustainable planet - A new era for marine aids to navigation in a connected world.
The Conference includes a broad technical programme of cross-disciplinary presentations by world-class experts and an industrial exhibition providing first-hand viewing of the latest R&D, innovative aids to navigation products and services, and related exhibits of contemporary interest and future promise. A novel feature of the Conference will be a Heritage Exhibition which will showcase the unique cultural significance of lighthouses around the world.


ION ITM PTTI 2018
10 December 2017

The early bird registration deadline is approaching for the US ION's co-located (ION) International Technical Meeting (ITM) and the Precise Time and Time Interval (PTTI) 2018.
The ITM is the ION's winter meeting with peer-reviewed technical papers related to positioning, navigation and timing and includes the ION Fellows and Annual Awards presentations.
The PTTI is the technical conference designed to disseminate and coordinate PTTI information at the user level; review present and future PTTI requirements; inform government and industry engineers, technicians and managers of precise time and frequency technology and its problems; and provide an opportunity for an active exchange of new technology associated with PTTI.
Delegates are invited to attend the complimentary Cognizant Autonomous Systems for Safety Critical Applications (CASSCA) workshop on 29 January 2018 from 0830 to 1730 at the Hyatt Regency Reston in Reston, Virginia. The workshop is complimentary but registration is required to attend.


Efficiensea2 Maritime Connectivity Platform (MCP) workshop
10 December 2017

Delegates at the Efficiensea2 Maritime Connectivity Platform (MCP) workshop held at IALA HQ.

A workshop on How to Run the MCP (Maritime Connectivity Platform) was hosted by IALA on behalf of the EfficienSea 2 Project on 21 / 22 November 2017. The workshop was attended by 52 delegates, representing 19 countries.
Noting that the EfficienSea2 project funding from the EU ends in April 2018, the objective of the workshop was to address the implementation of the MCP with a focus on identifying preferred governance and business models and preparing a related exploitation plan for global information exchange. Legal and Liability issues were also explored.
The workshop produced a report, including 35 conclusions and recommendations.


Israel Navigation Workshop and Exhibition
05 December 2017

The Israel Navigation Workshop and Exhibition (INWE18) is a biennial event organized and sponsored by the Israel Association for Automatic Control (IAAC).
Following the huge success of previous events, the 2018 edition of the Israel Navigation Workshop and Exhibition has been scheduled for January 29, at the Daniel Hotel in Herzliya.
INWE18 will be a one day event dedicated to technical talks in navigation systems, ranging from fundamental research, to applications, to field test results. The topics of interest include navigation, positioning and timekeeping in all their variations, sensors, systems, optimal integration of multiple sensors, and novel or emerging technologies in the field of navigation.
In parallel with the talks INWE18 will host a technical exhibition in which navigation equipment manufacturers and suppliers will have the opportunity to show their current products and most recent technical innovations. You can expect to see the latest, most innovative navigation products and services from top navigation companies.
Finally, the event will bring together the large community of researchers, suppliers and users in the navigation area in Israel, making it a unique opportunity to meet all the who's who in the navigation field in the country.


Boston (UK) Barrier simulation
05 December 2017

Marine Pilot Mark Murrison navigates the Boston Belle passenger vessel through the Boston Barrier in a simulation at HR Wallingford's UK Ship Simulation Centre in Oxfordshire.
A simulation of a fishing boat passing the Boston Barrier downriver

A Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) for the Boston Barrier (England, East Coast) has received approval, giving the Environment Agency the goahead to proceed with the construction and operation of a £100 million flood defence scheme to better protect Boston's homes and businesses from the risk of tidal flooding.
As part of a public enquiry, HR Wallingford's UK Ship Simulation Centre worked with Mott MacDonald and the Environment Agency to create a virtual navigation simulation to help river users better understand what navigating the river would be like, both during the construction phase and when the barrier is in place.


OC 617 Squadron RAF flies F-35B
03 December 2017

Wing Commander J.R. Butcher, OC617 (Dambusters) Squadron, taxiing an F-35B Lighting aircraft at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, after completing his first flight in the aircraft. - photo: US Marine Corps ©
Wing Commander J.R. Butcher, OC 617 Squadron being congratulated by a fellow RAF pilot after conducting his first flight in an F-35B Lighting at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. - photo: US Marine Corps ©

The new Officer Commanding Number 617 Squadron, Wing Commander John Butcher, Royal Air Force, has taken his first flight in an F-35B Lightning, the UK's new multi-role stealth combat aircraft. 617 Sqn (The Dambusters) is designated as the first front line UK F-35B Lightning squadron and will return to RAF Marham in Norfolk next summer. The flight was made at the US Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.
Wg Cdr Butcher said: 'This was a memorable day and climbing into the cockpit for the first time felt really familiar as the simulator in which I have been training is so realistic.' This first flight followed weeks of ground school training and during his flight Wg Cdr Butcher flew over the Atlantic Ocean where he was able to explore how manoeuvrable the aircraft is before conducting some approaches at Beaufort.


IMO Council 2018-2019
03 December 2017

IMO announced on 1 December that the Assembly had elected the following States to be Members of its Council for the 2018-2019 biennium:
Category (a) 10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services: China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.
Category (b) 10 States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates.
Category (c) 20 States not elected under (a) or (b) above, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world: Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.

The Council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organization. Between sessions of the Assembly, the Council performs all the functions of the Assembly, except that of making recommendations to Governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.


Space technology to drive autonomous ships
02 December 2017

Autodocking systems use additional sensors to assess proximity to harbour structures such as moles at the entrance, and distance to the berth. The propulsion system is adjusted by the system to bring the ferry safely and with minimum energy consumption to and from the docks. - photo © Rolls-Royce Plc; Id 387300
ESA will improve satellite-based ship identification and tracking in partnership with the European Maritime Safety Agency and exactEarth to meet the requirements of users, particularly those of government agencies such as coastal administrations. - photo © ESA; Id 313773

It was reported by the European Space Agency (ESA) from Paris on 30 November that Director General Jan Wörner had signed a Memorandum of Intent with Rolls-Royce, as the two entities agree to investigate how space technology can be used to develop autonomous and remote-controlled ships. The partners will pool their expertise to analyse and implement space-enabled services for autonomous and remote-controlled shipping, which reduces the opportunity for human error and allows ships' crews to concentrate on more valuable tasks. It is understood that the plan is to study the applications of various space assets to autonomous shipping, such as satellite-based positioning, better situational awareness using Earth observation data, and satellite communications (satcom) services for improved onboard connectivity.


CSIRO publishes ocean science book
30 November 2017

In Australia the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation` (CSIRO) has launched Oceans: Science and Solutions for Australia, a book bringing together the latest science to explain the crucial role oceans play in the lives of all Australians. CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Director Dr Tony Worby said Australia faced several opportunities and challenges, with three of the world's four major oceans in its marine estate. He commented: 'Australia's oceans cover almost 14 million square kilometres, nearly twice the area of our land, and hold the key to our climate, weather, economy, international security, and social well-being.' 'Our oceans do the heavy lifting with respect to carbon dioxide and heat absorption and their capacity to continue to do these things is one of many areas we are focused on through our climate research.' Oceans editor and CSIRO Chief Research Scientist Dr Bruce Mapstone added: 'Importantly, this book takes complex and detailed research and translates it into clear English that can be understood by policy makers and just as importantly students, some of whom are Australia's future marine scientists.'


12th Arctic Shipping Summit
21 November 2017

The 12th Arctic Shipping Summit will be held on 21-22 February, 2018, in Montreal, Canada, under the heading of 'Developments in Arctic Shipping Operations & Infrastructure'.
Early Bird Discount of £200.00 is offered until 30 November 2017. In the words of the organisers: 'Sign up now and pay only £1,395 instead of £1,595.'
The two day conference will consist of a number of informative presentations followed by interactive Q&A sessions, panel discussions and an open discussion to further involve the delegates. These talk will give insight on the views shared from the different aspects of Arctic Shipping. We will explore and discuss current regulations and requirements from the IMO & the Coast Guard, examine commercial aspects, infrastructure and promising changes in cruise operations as well as the insurance challenges that are increasing ongoing. Also we'll be looking into training requirements and ship design options to help aid in the future of Arctic operations.


The Israel Navigation Workshop and Exhibition
21 November 2017

The Israel Navigation Workshop and Exhibition (INWE18) is a biennial event organized and sponsored by the Israel Association for Automatic Control (IAAC).
INWEI18 will be a one day event dedicated to technical talks in navigation systems, ranging from fundamental research, to applications, to field test results. Topics of interest include navigation, positioning and timekeeping in all their variations, sensors, systems, optimal integration of multiple sensors, and novel or emerging technologies in the field of navigation.
In parallel IAAC will host a technical exhibit in which navigation equipment manufacturers and system suppliers will have the opportunity to show their current products and most recent technical innovations.
Finally, the event will bring together the large community of researchers, suppliers and users in the navigation area in Israel, making it a unique opportunity to meet all the players in the navigation field in Israel.


UK Parliamentary Committee publishes aerospace industry Brexit evidence
21 November 2017

On 20 November the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEISC) of the House of Commons (Lower House) of the Westminster Parliament published the written evidence for its Brexit inquiry on the British aerospace industry.
Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the BEISC, said: 'The evidence we have received suggests the impact of Brexit and increased customs checks could mean a potential £1.5bn in added costs for the UK aerospace sector. That is extremely worrying.'
One section of the evidence is that concerning navigation systems: 'Post-Brexit, the UK should seek full and unfettered access to EU Research and Innovation programmes post 2020, continuing to contribute as full and voting members of strategic programme committees. Such access should include ongoing participation of UK businesses to existing EU and Horizon 2020 projects, the planned European Defence Research Programme, as well as EU coordinated Space programmes such as Copernicus and Galileo. In addition, reciprocal rights for researchers to move freely across Europe to engage, participate and lead EU funded research projects in which the UK is involved, would be vital.'


The Nautical Institute Command Seminars
15 November 2017

Training and professional development needs to be addressed at the highest level if we are to continue to improve maritime safety, concluded attendees at The Nautical Institute's 2017 Command Seminar series. At the most recent event, held in Cyprus, attendees emphasised that it is important to ensure continuity in the maritime profession, making sure that seafarers make the most of new technology, while maintaining existing skills and knowledge.
Over the course of 2017, more than 500 people from a broad spectrum across the industry, from cadets to sailing Masters and senior industry figures, have attended The Nautical Institute's five Command Seminars.


Terma in contract with Tata India Surface Surveillance Radar
15 November 2017

It was announced from Aarhus, Denmark on 15 November that Danish aerospace, defence, and security company Terma, in partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL), India as Prime contractor has been awarded a contract to execute the Indian Navy's Surface Surveillance Radar (SSR) project for 31 radars. It is understood that the SSR programme is the first procurement by the Indian Ministry of Defence under the Buy and Make (Indian) category of the Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP). This project involves delivery, installation, and commissioning of radar systems in Indian Navy vessels as well as delivery of simulators, establishment of depotlevel facilities, and integrated logistics support with deliveries spread over ten years. Furthermore, the radar is being manufactured in India with Transfer of Technology from Terma, Denmark.


EfficienSea2 Announces Final Conference
09 November 2017

On 5-6 April 2018 the 32 partners behind the EfficienSea2 project will showcase their results at a conference taking place in Copenhagen. It is understood that the conference will be a mix between real-life demonstrations, forward-looking ideas and presentations on innovative maritime solutions. During the two half days, the focus will be on highlighting the 15 new or improved maritime services, the web-based platform BalticWeb for displaying them on tablets or computers, work on the so-called VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) and the centrepiece of the project: The Maritime Connectivity Platform (MCP) - formerly known as the Maritime Cloud.


HK Civil Aviation Wins CANSO Award
09 November 2017

David Harrison, Safety Director at NATS and CANSO Safety Standing Committee Chair (left) congratulates Mr Simon Li, DGCA, CAD Hong Kong, on winning the CANSO Global Safety Achievement Award 2017 - photo CANSO©

On 8 November it was announced from Sydney that CANSO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, has awarded the CANSO Global Safety Achievement Award 2017 to the Air Traffic Management Division and Air Traffic Engineering Services Division of the Civil Aviation Department Hong Kong. This organisation was commended for commissioning a new air traffic management system (ATMS) in Hong Kong and further enhancing air navigation safety and efficiency in the Hong Kong flight information route (FIR).


Helicopter Flight Simulation Centre
09 November 2017

The helicopter flight simulator at RAF Benson - photo MoD Crown Copyright 2017©

On 23 October the (UK) Ministry of Defence announced an over £90 million investment in a world-leading helicopter simulation centre to help train the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy helicopter pilots of the future. Simulators put pilots through their paces, replicating extreme real-life scenarios, from flying in blizzards or under enemy fire to dealing with power failures and electronic warfare.
It is understood that this will sustain 70 jobs at the Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility based at RAF Benson in South Oxfordshire.


INC2017 - Latest programme now available
09 November 2017

As well as the latest technical innovations and technology updates, the conference will cover the legal, ethical, human cognitive and regulatory issues associated with realising new opportunities. The presentations, exhibition and networking at RIN INC2017 are designed to broaden knowledge and provide a range of perspectives on topics as diverse as artificial intelligence, authentication, privacy, machine learning and augmented reality in location applications. In addition, on 27 November the Resilient PNT Forum will meet in the afternoon, in partnership with RIN INC2017, following the very well attended meeting at RIN INC2016.

See the latest programme.


US Navy releases collision report
06 November 2017

USS Fitzgerald (top) and USS John S McCain - photos reproduced by kind permission of the US Navy ©

On 1 November the US Navy released a report detailing the events and actions that led to the collision of USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan on 17 June and the collision of USS John S McCain (DDG 56) and merchant vessel Alnic MC on 21 August this year.
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson said: 'Both of these accidents were preventable and the respective investigations found multiple failures by watch standers that contributed to the incidents. We must do better.'
The collision between Fitzgerald and Crystal was avoidable and resulted from an accumulation of smaller errors over time, ultimately resulting in a lack of adherence to sound navigational practices.
The collision between John S McCain and Alnic MC was also avoidable and resulted primarily from complacency, over-confidence and lack of procedural compliance.


US Navy's Fleet Comprehensive Review
06 November 2017

On 2 November the US Navy released the report of the Fleet Comprehensive Review conducted by Commander, US Fleet Forces Command, Admiral Phil Davidson.
Collisions between USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and mv ACX Crystal and between USS John S McCain (DDG 56) and mv Alnic MC, along with other similar incidents over the past year, indicated a need for the US Navy to undertake a review of a wider scope to better determine systemic causes. The US Navy's Comprehensive Review of Surface Force Incidents, completed 26 October represents the results of this effort. This review represents a summary of significant actions needed to fix the larger problems and their causes leading up to these incidents.


HMS Queen Elizabeth sea trials
02 November 2017

HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed on 30 October from Portsmouth Naval Base for the next set of sea trials to test the £3 billion ship's capability. She is expected to be at sea for this month and will be delivered to the Royal Navy by the end of the year. - photo MoD Crown Copyright 2017 ©

On 30 October HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed from Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time since arriving at her home port in August. The Royal Navy's future flagship has embarked on the next set of sea trials to test her capability.
Captain of Portsmouth Naval Base, Captain Bill Oliphant said: 'HMS Queen Elizabeth has been in Portsmouth Naval Base for two months of planned maintenance to allow her to sail to complete her sea trials today (30 October). This period at sea will mark an extremely significant milestone in the life of the ship leading towards her acceptance into the Royal Navy at her commissioning later this year, back in her home port of Portsmouth.'


IMO on enhancing fishing vessel safety
28 October 2017

When it comes to fishing vessel safety, the mission is clear, says Sandra Allnutt of the IMO: enhance safety to save lives. Ms Allnutt, Head of Maritime Technology in IMO's Maritime Safety Division commented: 'We want to reduce loss of life in one of the most dangerous professions in the world, and we want to enhance safety on board fishing vessels.'
She was speaking following a regional seminar in Cape Town to promote ratification and implementation of a key fishing vessel safety treaty known as the Cape Town Agreement of 2012. She added: 'This Agreement, once fully ratified, in force and implemented, will be an internationally binding agreement which will facilitate better control of fishing vessel safety by flag, port and coastal States. It will also contribute to the fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.'


A statement from the Secretary-General of IMO
26 October 2017

Recent media reports have questioned the transparent, inclusive approach adopted by all stakeholders with an interest in addressing the threat of climate change through the IMO, the global regulator of shipping, and the body most able to deliver uniform, global solutions in the spirit of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Indeed, IMO's efforts to reduce harmful air emissions from ships spans decades, and continues this week with the second meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships. 57 IMO Member States and 21 Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in consultative status are participating in this week's meeting.
As is the case in other UN agencies of a technical nature, the make-up of national delegations to IMO is entirely a matter for the countries themselves, and those countries who wish to include industry technical experts or others may do so. Neither the IMO Convention, nor any of the Rules of Procedure for individual meetings limits, in any way, Member States' ability to structure their delegations as they consider most appropriate in order to carefully onsider the issues before them.


Danelec Marine VDRs for Indian Government vessels
26 October 2017

It was announced from Birkeroed, Denmark, on 25 October that maritime technology company Danelec Marine had engaged in a new partnership with the government of India. The deal, struck by a Danelec local distributor, is the first Indian government contract for the company. The deal entails fitting out newly-built ships with Voyage Data Recorders or VDRs (see illustration), including 12 Indian Coast Guard patrol boats, and retrofitting in six Indian Navy frigates. With production beginning in 2018 to be completed by 2019, the contract paves the way for future partnerships and a continued presence in the region.


First Galileo user assembly
25 October 2017

One year after the launch of Galileo Initial Services, the 1st Annual User Assembly will take place in Madrid on 28-29 November. Spread over two days the Assembly will include four fora: Transport, Mass Market, Professional and R&D - with the theme User Consultation Platforms, giving European GNSS users the opportunity to discuss their needs and experiences and provide feedback on Galileo performance.
The 1st Galileo User Assembly will also provide:
- An update on the Galileo programme;
- Presentations on Galileo Initial Services performance, the Galileo Services Roadmap and the Galileo User Interfaces;
- Opportunity to participate in the Galileo User Satisfaction Survey.
Participants will also have the opportunity to take part in the networking reception and tour the premises of the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC).

Take a look at the program.


VSTEP to provide UAE bridge simulators
25 October 2017

It was announced from The Netherlands on 24 October that the Rotterdam based VSTEP has been awarded a contract from CAE to provide a suite of custom-built ship bridge simulators for the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Naval Training Centre (see illustration).
VSTEP was selected to provide the Full Mission Bridge Simulators after an extensive evaluation process. The visual quality, the hydrodynamic fidelity and extendibility of VSTEP's new NAUTIS 3 simulation platform were important criteria. Some of the bridge simulators will be reconfigurable for the different vessels of the UAE Navy to allow for vessel-specific training capabilities.


Standing by to launch two more Galilieo satellites
24 October 2017

Galileos 21 and 22 being unloaded from their 747 cargo aircraft at Cayenne - Félix Eboué Airport in French Guiana, 17 October 2017 - ©ESA-P. Muller
Inside the aircraft being delivered - ©ESA-P. Muller
Computer-generated illustration showing Galileo satellites in orbit - ©GSA

Two more Galileo satellites have reached Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, joining the first pair of navigation satellites and the Ariane 5 rocket due to launch the quartet into orbit this December. Galileos 21 and 22 left Luxembourg Airport on a Boeing 747 cargo jet on the morning of 17 October, arriving at Cayenne - Félix Eboué Airport in French Guiana the same day.
Resting within distinctive white air-conditioned containers, the satellites were driven to the cleanroom environment of the preparation building within the space centre. Waiting for them there were Galileos 19 and 20, which arrived in September.
The four satellites will be launched together in mid-December by a customised Ariane 5, the elements of which reached French Guiana last month (September) by sea.


MAIB Report on the grounding of Muros
22 October 2017

mv Muros - photo ©www.gov.uk/maib-reports / MAIB

In the early hours of 3 December 2016, the bulk carrier Muros ran aground on Haisborough Sand and the Master's attempts to manoeuvre the vessel clear were unsuccessful due to a falling tide. Damage to the rudder necessitated the vessel, refloated six days later, being towed to Rotterdam for repair. There is increasing evidence first generation ECDIS systems were designed primarily to comply with the performance standards required by the IMO, as these systems became a mandatory requirement on ships, with insufficient attention being given to the needs of the end user. As a consequence, ECDIS systems are often not intuitive to use and lack the functionality needed to accommodate accurate passage planning in confined waters, leading to seafarers using ECDIS in ways which are at variance with the instructions and guidance provided by the manufacturers and/or expected by regulators.


ION (US) extra workshop
19 October 2017

The (US) Institute of Navigation informs that it will hosting a Cognizant Autonomous Systems for Safety Critical Applications Workshop on 29 January at the Hyatt Regency, Reston in Reston, Virginia.
The workshop is complementary but registration is required to attend and it is being held in coordination with the ITM/PTTI 2018 conference and in parallel with the PTTI tutorials.


NAV CANADA reports September traffic figures
19 October 2017

Traffic figures for the month of September 2017 were announced from Ottawa on 16 October by NAV CANADA. These monthly figures are measured in weighted charging units for en route, terminal and oceanic air navigation services, in comparison to the prior fiscal year.
Air traffic in September 2017 increased by an average of 5.4% compared to the same month in 2016. September represents the first month of NAV CANADA's fiscal year which runs from 1 September to 31 August.


IEEE/ION PLANS 2018 23-26 April, 2018
19 October 2017

The biennial PLANS conference, co-sponsored by the ION and IEEE AESS, features researchers and engineers from around the globe who present their latest work in positioning and navigation technologies. Presentations range from fundamental research, to applications, to field test results with a particular emphasis on inertial navigation. Technical sessions cover a range of subjects for both beginners and seasoned professionals.
Abstracts for the IEEE/ION Positioning, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS) are due Monday, 30 October 2017.


INC 2017 - Innovations in autonomous & resilient PNT
15 October 2017

London-based Royal Institute of Navigation informs that as well as the latest technical innovations and technology updates, INC2017 will cover the legal, ethical, human cognitive and regulatory issues associated with realising new opportunities.
Presentations, an exhibition and networking at RIN INC2017 are expected to broaden knowledge and provide a range of perspectives on topics as diverse as artificial intelligence, authentication, privacy, machine learning and augmented reality in location applications. In addition, on 27 November the Resilient PNT Forum will meet in the afternoon, in partnership with RIN INC2017, following the very well attended meeting at RIN INC2016.


African land cover as seen by satellite
15 October 2017

African land cover as seen by satellite - Id335300 -©ESA/ATG Medialab. Copyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2015-2016), processed by Land Cover CCI, ESA.

From the barren Sahara to lush jungles, the first high-resolution map classifying land cover types on the entire African continent has been released by the European Space Agency (ESA). This map was created using a year's worth of data from the Sentinel-2A satellite and as can be seen it shows Africa's diverse landscapes from grasslands to croplands, water bodies to deserts.
Land-cover mapping breaks down the different types of material on the Earth's surface. This information is important for understanding changes in land use, modelling climate change extent and impacts, conserving biodiversity and managing natural resources.

The Sentinel-2 satellite over Italy and the N Mediterranean - photo ESA©

The map released early in October comprises 180,000 Sentinel-2A images representing 90 terabytes of data captured between December 2015 and December 2016. Considering the size of the map - about six gigabytes - a web interface was developed to visualise the data.


World's first NINOX remote tower ATC system installed: Røst Airport, North Norway
11 October 2017

On 11 October Kongsberg reported that at Røst airport in the north of Norway, the world's first NINOX remote tower air traffic control system has been installed and begun testing.
The NINOX remote towers programme is said to be the world's largest remote tower programme with more than 15 airports designated for Remote Tower Systems. The illustration here shows the structures as installed.
Following the announcement in 2015 of Norwegian airport operator Avinor's agreement with KONGSBERG and Indra Navia to develop and install the world's largest remotely operated air traffic control system, the first system has now been installed and is under test. Installation and approval of the next 14 airports will be accomplished through to 2020, it is understood.


Hamburg Pilots' Choir annual concert
08 October 2017

According to Captain Dieter Wulf, the Hamburg Pilots' Choir will perform their Annual concert in St Ansgar's Church / Kleiner Michel in Michaelisstrasse 5, Hamburg (S-Bahnhof Stadhausbrucke) on Thursday 2 November 2017 at 1900.
It is understood that tickets cost € 12,00.


ION ITM PTTI - a reminder
06 October 2017

The deadline for submitting abstracts for the ION co-located International Technical Meeting (ITM) and the Precise Time and Time Interval (PTTI) Systems and Applications Meeting is Tuesday 10 October, 2017. Abstracts may be submitted online for the ION ITM/PTTI 2018 conference that will take place 29 January - 1 February, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Reston, Reston, Virginia.


Welcome to NAV Canada
05 October 2017

At IAIN we welcome NAV CANADA to Associate Membership and look forward to carrying their news from time to time. May their stay be long and fruitful.
NAV CANADA, the country's civil air navigation services provider, is a private sector, non-share capital corporation financed through publicly-traded debt. Furthermore, it is the company that owns and operates Canada's civil air navigation service (ANS). It manages 18 million square kilometres of Canadian and oceanic airspace. With 40,000 customers and 12 million aircraft movements a year NAV CANADA is the world's second-largest air navigation service by traffic volume.


The Navigator #16
05 October 2017

Pilots and their relationship with bridge teams is the focus of the latest edition of The Navigator, the magazine available for free to all seafarers from The Nautical Institute.
Issue 16 examines how best to support a pilot's skills when they come on board a vessel and how to maintain an excellent relationship with them, both during and after their manoeuvres into and within the port.
Emma Ward, Editor of The Navigator, said: 'The relationship between pilots and bridge teams is unique. It relies on teamwork, co-operation and smart risk assessment skills on both sides. Being able to share best practice and discuss the opportunities and challenges surrounding pilotage is crucial, which is why we have concentrated on the topic for this issue of The Navigator.'


Latest Galileo delivery
02 October 2017

Galileos 19 and 20 arriving at Cayenne - Félix Eboué Airport in French Guiana on 18 September 2017. - photo ©ESA-P Muller
Europe's Galileo navigation satellites orbit 23,222 km above Earth to provide positioning, navigation and timing information all across the globe. - photo ©GSA

Europe's next two Galileo navigation satellites have been delivered to Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana ahead of the launch of a quartet by Ariane 5 at the end of this year. Galileos 19 and 20 left Luxembourg Airport in a Boeing 747 cargo jet on the morning of 18 September, arriving at Cayenne - Félix Eboué Airport in French Guiana that evening. Safely cocooned within protective air-conditioned containers, the pair were offloaded and driven to the cleanroom environment of the preparation building within the space centre. This building will remain their home as preparations for their launch proceeds, with the next two Galileos due to join them later this month (October).


2017 (US) Institute of Navigation Kepler Award Professor Terry Moore FRIN
01 October 2017

We send our congratulations to Professor Terry Moore, FRIN, of Nottingham University (Vice-President of the (UK) Royal Institute of Navigation on winning the ION Kepler Award for significant contributions to navigation.
The full citation reads: 'In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of satellite navigation through a sustained and distinguished professional career devoted to research and teaching.'
Professor Terry Moore has over 30 years of research experience in surveying, positioning and navigation technologies, and is a consultant and advisor to UK and European government organisations and industry. He has taken a leading role in national and European initiatives aimed at integrating academic research and teaching activities in GNSS and interacting closely with industry.


Exercise Dynamic Monarch concludes
27 September 2017

To find a distressed submarine, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) were used as well as ship- and helicopter- based sonar. - photo: NATO MARCOM ©

It was reported by NATO from Marmaris Naval Base in Turkey on 22 September that the NATO-led submarine Exercise Dynamic Monarch was concluded that day following two weeks of multi-national training and practice in Submarine Escape and Rescue (SMER) procedures. Centred around the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO), an organization created in the wake of the Kursk tragedy as an international hub for information and coordination on submarine rescue, this exercise had been designed to demonstrate multi-national submarine rescue cooperation and interoperability as well as to share SMER-related knowledge amongst worldwide partners.
Nine NATO Allies participated in the exercise this year with equipment or personnel being provided by Canada, France, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, observers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom took part in various portions of the exercise.


Sites to watch #5
26 September 2017

Much of the world depends upon satellite systems for precise navigation and timing services. These are exceptionally accurate and dependable, yet jamming, spoofing, and other forms of interference appear to be growing in frequency and severity. Neither are space systems immune to severe space weather or cyber-attack. This has the potential for devastating effects on our lives and economic activity.
There has been an opportunity to stay the destruction of Loran-C antennae in Europe thus retaining the back up to GPS in the event of failure or interference with transmissions.
See the website of the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, particularly the news page with reports of activities in Norway.


The 8th International e-Navigation Underway Conference 2018
26 September 2017

The International e-Navigation Underway Conference is a global destination for discussion and debate about the many different challenges facing e-Navigation around the globe, both in its sessions and in the range of networking opportunities it affords. Featuring some of the top maritime leaders in their fields and covering a wide breadth of topics, the Conference is the place in which to explore new strategies and to chart future technological progress.
Following the successful formula of previous years, The 8th International e-Navigation Underway Conference departs from Copenhagen on 24 January 2018 in mv Pearl Seaways.
To take advantage of the Early Bird Discount of 10% readers are invited to book before 15 November 2017.
This event is organised by the Danish Maritime Authority and IALA with the support of IHO, BIMCO, NI and CIRM.


Changes to UK aviation security
25 September 2017

Restrictions have been lifted on carrying large phones, laptops and tablets in the cabin on all UK-bound flights from the following airports in Turkey and Tunisia: Antalya, Bodrum, Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen and Izmir in Turkey; Tunis-Carthage International in Tunisia.
Passengers on flights where restrictions have been lifted will now be able to take large phones, laptops, tablets and accessories into the cabin with them. Normal cabin baggage restrictions will continue to apply.
Restrictions have also been lifted on a number of individual airlines operating from other airports. The vast majority of carriers operating out of Turkish airports are no longer subject to these restrictions. However, passengers should contact their airlines for advice about whether their flights are affected.


OMC's DUKC® technology taught at Melbourne U.
25 September 2017

Aerial image of Port Hedland which has an operational DUKC Series 5 system. - photo by kind courtesy of OMC Int.©

Case study examples of OMC International's DUKC® technology are being taught for the first time at the University of Melbourne as part of a continuing partnership that recognises OMC's expertise as a world leader in real-time Under Keel Clearance (UKC) management. University of Melbourne's Ocean Engineering Professor Alexander Babanin said DUKC® content is being taught as part of an intensive week-long postgraduate port engineering unit developed with the support of Ports Australia and input from the maritime industry.
Professor Babanin said 'Under Keel Clearance is the single most important issue of shipping in ports, channels and shallow areas, which is not taught in standard engineering programs at universities and so it is a must for this port engineering course. DUKC® is state of the art and we are lucky to have OMC International in Melbourne who help us to teach this specific application.'


ION ITM PTTI 2018
24 September 2017

Readers are invited to submit abstracts online for the co-located ION ITM/PTTI 2018 conference that will take place from 29 January to 1 February, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Reston, Reston, Virginia. The deadline for abstracts submission is 10 October, 2017.
ITM is the ION's winter meeting with peer-reviewed technical papers related to positioning, navigation and timing and includes the ION Fellows and Annual Awards presentations. PTTI is the annual technical conference designed to disseminate and coordinate PTTI information at the user level; review present and future PTTI requirements; inform government and industry engineers, technicians and managers of precise time and frequency technology and its problems; and provide an opportunity for an active exchange of new technology associated with PTTI.


EUROCONTROL celebrates Bosnia and Herzegovina Civil Aviation Directorate at 20
24 September 2017

Frank Brenner, Director General EUROCONTROL, (left), and Đorđe Ratkovica, Director General BHDCA. - photo kindly provided by courtesy of EUROCONTROL©

At Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina, on 12 September Frank Brenner, Director General of EUROCONTROL, joined distinguished guests from European Air Traffic Management (ATM) to celebrate 20 years of the Directorate of Civil Aviation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHDCA). Brenner noted that in that time, Bosnia and Herzegovina had joined EUROCONTROL to become its 32nd member in 2004, playing a key role in European ATM within an organisation that now counts on 41 Member States as well as two Comprehensive Agreement States in the shape of Israel and Morocco.
Looking back on a highly successful partnership Brenner congratulated BHDCA for its tireless work in developing a regulatory and safety framework, and for its achievement in creating FABCE, a Functional Airspace Block Central Europe, aimed at jointly improving performance, which has seen the successful introduction of Free Route Airspace above flight level 310 (31,000ft).


The Maritime Cloud becomes Maritime Connectivity Platform (MCP)
20 September 2017

From Efficiensea2 has come news that the team behind the Maritime Cloud has decided to change the name of the communication framework. Maritime Connectivity Platform, MCP, has been chosen to provide clarity and support e-Navigation going from testbed to real life implementation.
The reason for the change is twofold explained Thomas Christensen: 'MCP is at a level of maturity where we are ready to take it from our project spheres into operational mode. However, before taking that step we felt a strong need to clarify exactly what is being offered and what is being offered is a connectivity platform - not a storage cloud.'
Despite the new name, the ambition of MCP remains the same. The three partners aim to provide the maritime world with a communication framework that connects all maritime actors through the use of secure identities and trustworthy services.


(US) Institute of Navigation requests GNSS software defined radio (SDR) metadata standard
19 September 2017

It was announced from the US Institute of Navigation's HQ in Manassas, Virginia, on 15 September that its GNSS Software Defined Radio Metadata Standard working group is seeking public comment on the standard up until 31 December, 2017.
There has been a proliferation of software defined radio (SDR) data collection systems and processing platforms designed for GNSS receiver applications or those that support GNSS bands. Post-processing has been a cumbersome and error-prone process because of the datasets of various formats, the subtleties of which are often lost in translation.
This GNSS SDR Metadata Standard defines parameters and schema (configuration) to express the contents of SDR sample data files and is designed to promote the interoperability of GNSS SDR data collection systems and processors. The metadata files are human readable and in XML format.

Comments are being accepted through to 32 December 2017 and may be made here.


Functional definitions for the ship's stay in port
16 September 2017

The International Harbour Masters' Association (IHMA) is delighted to have participated in the development of functional definitions for port information describing the ship's stay in port. Accurate and reliable port information will enhance the safety, efficiency and sustainability of ports and shipping across the world and benefit local, national and international economies.
This initiative's priority is to improve communications between ships and ports using clear and authoritative definitions for the various terms used in daily operations. The definitions have been sourced from existing standards within the shipping industry. Only when no applicable definition could be found was a new one introduced and published via the glossary of the UKHO's Mariners Handbook (NP100). These definitions have been collated in an intermediate document and will be incorporated in the next version of the Mariners Handbook (NP100) to be published in August 2018. The Port of Rotterdam will begin using these definitions in 2017.

Terms for vertical measurement of vessels, depths and elevations.

IHMA's President, Capt. Kevin Richardson: 'Harbour Masters recognise the huge value of agreeing and promulgating definitions that will make the ship's stay in port safer and more efficient. We applaud the efforts of all organisations that have worked co-operatively on this important project which will have long-term value for ports around the world.'


Autonomous ships and the human element
15 September 2017

As vessels become more and more autonomous consideration has to be given to the human element of future vessel operations, according to David Patraiko (illustrated), Director of Projects at The Nautical Institute.
Speaking on 11 September at the Autonomous, robotics and loT - exploring the potential and human impact conference organised by WISTA-UK (Women in Shipping and Trading Association) as part of London International Shipping Week, he said the human element in developments could not be ignored.
Pointing out that the existence of autonomous vessels is a reality with hundreds working today, Patraiko said they will be increasingly interacting with manned vessels. The NI's work was of importance in ensuring relationships between the autonomous vessels and humans.


US Navy leads international effort to deploy buoys into the Arctic Ocean
13 September 2017

An Air-Deployable Expendable Ice Buoy is deployed on 7 September in the high Arctic near the North Pole from a RDAF C-130 aircraft operating out of Thule Air Force Base in Greenland, as part of the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP). - US Navy photo by John F Williams/Released, ©USN
Lt-Cmdr John Woods, ONR, reserve component, and Ignatius Rigor, UoWashington, prepare an Air-Deployable Expendable Ice Buoy for deployment near the North Pole from a RDAF C-130 aircraft as part of the IABP. - US Navy photo by John F Williams/Released, ©USN

On 12 September the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy and Office of Naval Research and US National Ice Center (USNIC) Public Affairs reported that with the Danish Joint Arctic Command, Environmental and Climate Change Canada and University of Washington deployed buoys into the Arctic Ocean during a joint mission. This joint mission was conducted to collect weather and oceanographic data to enhance forecasting and environmental models thereby reducing operational risk for assets in the Arctic.
In the words of Commander Ruth Lane, USNIC CO: 'Polar lows are like hurricanes of the north and the data collected from these buoys will help us with numerical weather prediction, which will help to keep our and our partner forces safe. For example, when Hurricane Irma was approaching the Caribbean Islands, once the hurricane was within the range of NOAA's Hurricane Hunter aircraft they flew out and dropped buoys through the hurricane. The surge of observations returned improved the track and intensity models. Forecast accuracy improves tremendously from the surge of local observations. Our goal with these Arctic buoys is a similar return on investment.'


RFA Mounts Bay delivers vital aid to Caribbean islands
10 September 2017

Photographs © Crown Copyright 2017

On 8 September the (UK) Ministry of Defence reported that RFA Mounts Bay had delivered six tonnes of emergency aid to Anguilla, the British Overseas Territory devastated by Hurricane Irma, and was due to steam to the British Virgin Islands to provide further support within hours.
The naval auxiliary has been deployed in the Caribbean since July in preparation for the hurricane season, ready to provide support at a moment's notice. Tasked by the Royal Navy, she was the UK's first military response to the Caribbean. The ship carries a specialist disaster relief team - drawn from the Royal Engineers and Royal Logistics Corps (see troops illustrated) - as well as heavy plant for lifting and shifting and emergency kit and shelters (illustrated) provided by the Department for International Development. Also on board are the Royal Navy's Mobile Aviation Support Force - aviation specialists, meteorological advisors and flight deck crews.


Communication is key during an evacuation
10 September 2017

US Navy photo courtesy of the NRL/Released, USN ©

US Navy Region Southeast Public Affairs reported from Jacksonville, Florida, on 9 September that many Navy personnel have evacuated to safe havens in advance of Hurricane Irma. At the same time the USN issued the image here.

A GOES satellite image taken on 8 September at 0945 EST shows Hurricane Irma, centre, in the Caribbean Sea, Hurricane Jose, right, in the Atlantic Ocean, and Hurricane Katia in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Irma is a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 155 mph and is approximately 500 miles southeast of Miami, moving west-northwest at 16 mph. Hurricane warnings were issued for South Florida, as the storm was expected to make landfall in Florida Saturday/Sunday.


Hurricane Harvey relief
04 September 2017

US Air Force Personnel from the 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron load supplies and equipment on a C-5 as part of Total Force efforts at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas - USAF© photo by Ismael Ortega

In the US Air Mobility Command (AMC) directed allocation of its airlift, aeromedical evacuation and contingency response assets to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, as requested by US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) on 30 August.

At Joint Base, Charleston South Carolina Senior Airman Justin Hampton hangs the Texas state flag prior to takeoff of a disaster relief mission - USAF© photo by Senior Airman Thomas T Charlton

AMC C-17, C-130, C-5 and KC-10 aircraft from continental US AMC wings, elements of the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and various support personnel are deploying to affected areas of Texas to support ongoing FEMA- and USNORTHCOM-led efforts to provide relief to residents affected by the recent storm.


US Coast Guard and Hurricane Harvey
04 September 2017

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command Center monitor search and rescue cases - USCG© photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn/Released

In a report from Portsmouth, Virginia, over the weekend 2/3 September it was learnt that US Coast Guard Atlantic Area personnel stationed in the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area continue to respond to the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. Local Coast Guard units providing support include the Fifth Coast Guard District, Force Readiness Command, Maritime Security Response Team, USCG Communications Command, Incident Management Assistance Team and members assigned to Base Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Federal Building.

USCG Lt-Commmander Sarah Ernst and Lt-Commander David Twomey (left) working to support Hurricane Harvey response efforts - USCG© photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn/Released

A primary responsibility for Atlantic Area Command is to mobilize people and assets as well as provide command oversight. More than 250 Coast Guard members are actively participating in a response effort here in the Tidewater Area, and an additional 70 locally-sourced surge staff are scheduled to join the effort. More than 50 active duty and reserve personnel from the Tidewater Area are deployed to the affected areas in Texas and Louisiana. The Coast Guard expects this response to continue for an extended period, and to rotate personnel as necessary for clean up and port assessments. The search and rescue portion of the response is slowly winding down, with more than 10,600 lives saved so far.


The US anti-missile missiles
03 September 2017

US Navy photo by Latonja Martin/Released. USN ©

On 29 August it was reported that a medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, during Flight Test Standard Missile-27, Event 2. The target was successfully intercepted by SM-6 missiles fired from the guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53).

Historical note: USS John Paul Jones is the fifth US warship to bear this name and honours the Father of the American Navy. Born in Scotland, Commodore John Paul Jones earned the undying respect and admiration of his countrymen by his extraordinary courage, tactical genius and audacity during the American War for Independence. John Paul Jones is best remembered for his heroic defeat of the British 50-gun frigate Serapis on 23 September 1779.


page last revised Dec 5, 2017