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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.'

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.

European Project tests new SAR tools
31 August 2017

A screenshot taken during the simulation - © EfficienSea2

Through sharing of data between vessels, new tools developed to enable more digital communication can make Search and Rescue operations both faster and better.
When navigating a ship through the less busy routes of the world, for example in Arctic waters, the ability to share data could take on increased significance in coming years. By using a new service developed with funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers and supported by the EU EfficienSea2 project, seafarers will be able to automatically exchange and coordinate vessel positions and search patterns while conducting SAR operations. The free service, available for all ships sailing through Arctic waters, only requires a functional internet connection and a log-in to the map-based platform ArcticWeb. It has just been successfully tested at simulations in Gothenburg by Chalmers University of Technology and the Swedish Maritime Administration.

Africa and ME aviation security
29 August 2017

In his address, ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu stressed that ICAO's new Global Aviation Security Plan sets out key priorities where ICAO, States, and others should now focus their urgent attention, resources and efforts at the global, national and local levels.

A high-level Ministerial Conference on Aviation Security held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, during week commencing 20 August endorsed a new Africa and Middle East Aviation Security Roadmap to align future programmes and targets with ICAO's new Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP). This was reported from ICAO in Montreal at the week's end.
In his address to the 27 attending Ministers and 35 Directors General of Civil Aviation, representing some 45 African and Middle Eastern Member States, ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu stressed that ICAO's new Global Aviation Security Plan sets out key priorities where ICAO, States, and others should now focus their urgent attention, resources and efforts, as well as corresponding actions at the global, national and local levels.

RAF Typhoons hand over duties to Canada
28 August 2017

On 28 August four RAF Typhoons left Romania ending the UK's five-month leadership of NATO's air policing mission in the country. - photo: Sgt Daren Kraus RCAF / © 2017 DND-MDN Canada.

On 28 August four Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 fighter aircraft departed Romania ending the UK's five-month leadership of NATO's enhanced air policing mission in the country. Since April the Typhoons - from 3(F) Squadron, RAF Coningsby - had spent alternate weeks on high-readiness standby to defend NATO's airspace over the Black Sea, augmenting the Romanian Air Force's existing air defence capability. The Royal Canadian Air Force is now preparing to assume responsibility for the NATO mission, while two of the RAF's Typhoons proceed to Estonia to join NATO training with the British Army.

Deployed near Constanta, as part of Operation BILOXI, more than 300 regular and reserve RAF personnel, supported by Royal Engineers, were involved in the mission. - photo: Sqn Ldr Andy Wasley RAF / MOD Crown Copyright©

More than 300 regular and reserve RAF personnel from 16 RAF units - supported by Royal Engineers - were involved in the mission. Typhoons launched once in response to Russian air activity over the Black Sea and flew more than 280 sorties to support NATO training with Romanian, Hungarian and Bulgarian armed forces. Towards the end of 135 EAW's tour of duty, eight of its personnel were awarded the Romanian Air Force's highest peacetime honour for their work in the country.

Hurricane Harvey
26 August 2017

© European Space Agency. Copyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

The Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite saw the temperature at the top of Hurricane Harvey on 25 August at 0406 GMT as the storm approached the US state of Texas. The brightness temperature of the clouds at the top of the storm, some 12-15 km above the ocean, range from about -80°C near the eye of the storm to about 20°C at the edges.
Hurricanes are one of the forces of nature that can be tracked only by satellites, providing up-to-date imagery so that authorities know when to take precautionary measures.

USS John S McCain collides with merchant ship
24 August 2017

Official US Navy file photo of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) - photo: USN ©

The guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain (DDG 56) has arrived at Changi Naval Base following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on 21 August. The collision was reported at 0624 Japan Standard Time. Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms. Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding.
There are currently ten Sailors missing and five injured. Four of the injured were medically evacuated by a Singapore Armed Forces helicopter to a hospital in Singapore for non-life threatening injuries. The fifth injured Sailor does not require further medical attention.
Search and rescue efforts continue in coordination with local authorities.

News updates here.

The Northern Sea Route
20 August 2017

According to a report issued by the Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia, Canada, in its news round-up of 19 August a new speed record for reaching the North Pole has been set by Russia's nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy, which made the passage from Murmansk to the North Pole in just 79 hours. It was reported that during the transit, the vessel hosted a conference dedicated to Arctic issues with a key topic being the economic worth of developing yearround navigation on the Northern Sea Route.

Sites to watch #4
20 August 2017

These documents are issued by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and are a series of informative notices addressed to the Shipping Community including Owners, Managers, Masters and Agents.
A collection of active Marine Guidance Notes dating from April 2000 is available here.
A collection of active MINs dating from May 2004 is available here.
MSNs from February 1963 onward are available here.
A collection of M-notices (MGNs and MSNs) relevant to the transport of dangerous goods by sea is available from March 1999 here.
Legislation relevant to Merchant Shipping Notices can be found here.

Carmanah closes purchase of Vega Industries Limited
18 August 2017

Photo: SABIK OY / Kystverket ©

Early in August it was announced from Victoria BC, Canada, that Carmanah Technologies Corporation had closed its previously announced transaction to acquire New Zealand-based Vega Industries Limited. The purchase price is NZD $12.0 million (USD $9.0 million) subject to certain adjustments and escrow holdbacks, it is understood.
This acquisition brings together Sabik Marine, Carmanah, Ekta, and Vega to create a global leader in the marine aids to navigation market. Integration plans, with a specific focus on providing marine aids to navigation customers comprehensive single-source solutions, are expected to be implemented over the coming months.

ESA's Large Space Simulator
17 August 2017

© ESA - G. Schoonewille, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO, Id 382542

An external view of Europe's largest vacuum chamber, the Large Space Simulator, which subjects entire satellites to space-like conditions ahead of launch. This 15 metre-high and 10 metre-diameter chamber is cavernous enough to accommodate an upended double decker bus, it has been reported.
Satellites are lowered down through a top hatch. Once the top and side hatches are sealed, high-performance pumps create a vacuum a billion times lower than standard sea level atmosphere, held for weeks at a time during test runs. A 121-segment mirror array reflects simulated sunlight into the chamber, at the same time as the internal walls are pumped full of -190°C liquid nitrogen, together recreating the extreme thermal conditions prevailing in orbit.

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives at home port
17 August 2017

Photograph kindly provided by the Ministry of Defence - MoD Crown Copyright 2017 ©

Britain's future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed into her home port of Portsmouth for the first time on 16 August. Greeted by thousands of people lining the Portsmouth seafront, the 65,000-tonnes displacement carrier was met with the warmest of welcomes as she arrived in her home port on the morning. Sailors lined the flight deck of the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy as she passed Portsmouth's Round Tower. HMS Queen Elizabeth was also greeted with a flypast from the Fleet Air Arm, including Wildcat and Merlin helicopters and Hawk jets.

Japan Coast Guard Global Summit
15 August 2017

The Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa (left) and Admiral Satoshi Nakajima, commandant of the Japan Coast Guard (right), at the press conference. - photo kindly provided by the Nippon Foundation©

The Nippon Foundation and the Japan Coast Guard held a press conference on 18 July to announce the Coast Guard Global Summit, a forum of senior maritime safety officials to be held in Tokyo on 14 September, with a total of 40 countries, territories, and institutions expected to participate. This summit is also expected to issue a joint statement calling for cooperation that transcends existing bilateral and regional frameworks.
At the press conference, Admiral Satoshi Nakajima, commandant of the Japan Coast Guard, referred to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's message delivered to the launch ceremony of the Umi-to-Nippon Project (The Ocean and Japan Project), held on Japan's Marine Day public holiday (17 July). In his message, Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance of global-level cooperation among institutions on the front line of maritime safety issues, along with diplomacy, toward achieving free and safe seas.

Sweltering southern Europe - the ESA Sentinel mission
11 August 2017

© ESA; contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA, Id 382392, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Southern Europe is in the grip of a relentless heatwave, fuelling wildfires and water shortages. Information from the Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite has been used to map the sweltering heat across the region.

The Sentinel missions mark a new era in Earth observation focusing on delivering a wealth of operational data for decades to come. The six different missions carry a range of state-of-the-art technologies to supply a stream of complementary imagery and data tailored to the needs of Europe's environmental monitoring Copernicus programme. ©ESA

The main objective of the Sentinel-3 mission is to measure sea surface topography, sea and land surface temperature, and ocean and land surface colour with high accuracy and reliability to support ocean forecasting systems, environmental monitoring and climate monitoring. The mission is jointly operated by ESA and EUMETSAT to deliver operational ocean and land observation services.

UK Space Agency seeks international partnerships
08 August 2017

The Amazon Basin - © ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

At the end of July it was announced by the UK Space Agency that it is working with research institutions, industry and non-profit organisations to develop strong international partnerships to help tackle economic, societal and environmental issues using satellite technology.
It is understood that the Agency will award funding through its International Partnership Programme (IPP), which is designed to partner UK space expertise with overseas governments and organisations. This is part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), which aims to support cutting-edge research and innovation that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.
Ten small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and research organisations have been given a total of £338,000 to use to establish partnerships in countries including Zambia, Ethiopia and Vietnam.

Vega liftoff
07 August 2017

On 2 August 2017, Vega flight VV10 lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana to deliver two Earth observation satellites, Optsat-3000 and Venµs, into their planned Sun-synchronous orbits - photo ID: 382075, reproduced by kind permission of ESA©

On the morning of 2 August Arianespace launched a Vega rocket carrying two Earth observation satellites for Italy, France and Israel encased in Vega's lighter protective fairing.
Liftoff of Vega's tenth mission from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana came at 0158 GMT (0358 Central European Summer Time) or 2258 local time on a mission lasting 97 minutes to deliver Optsat-3000 and Venµs into their planned orbits. Optsat-3000 will provide Italy's Ministry of Defence with global high resolution images. With a mass of 368 kg, it was the first to be released after about 42 minutes. The 264 kg Venµs was released 49 minutes later. Venµs (Vegetation and Environment monitoring on a New Micro Satellite) sponsored by France and Israel will study vegetation and the environment, and demonstrate a new electrical propulsion system.
Optsat-3000 has a design life of seven years and Venµs four and a half years.

ICAO President urges cooperation in airspace management for unmanned aircraft
07 August 2017

The President of the ICAO Council, Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, stressed the need for a global regulatory framework for unmanned air traffic in his opening address of the ICAO Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Symposium - African and Indian Ocean in Abuja on 17 July 2017 - photo credit: Ariyo Akinfenwa©

Opening the ICAO Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Symposium (RPAS) in Abuja on 18 July, ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu stressed the importance of a globally coherent regulatory framework for the management of unmanned air traffic. He remarked: 'If you consider a company envisaging a global drone fleet to enhance its deliveries, the value of having a myriad of domestic national regulations aligned via globally harmonized international standards becomes clearly apparent.'
President Aliu also stressed the complexity of this task, notably in terms of the tremendous diversity of types and applications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and the need to place safety first.

Aviation priorities for Brexit negotiations: The Air League's view
05 August 2017

On 30 May at St James's Palace in London, members attended the Air League's Annual Reception in the presence of its Patron HRH the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, seen here with Chairman Christopher Walkinshaw - Photo kindly provided by the Air League ©

Founded in 1909, The Air League's mission is to enhance national understanding of the importance to the UK of aviation and aerospace. The Air League's vision is to ensure continued recognition by leaders in the UK that a strong aviation and aerospace sector is essential to the economic prosperity and security of the UK.

At the Annual Reception a number of individuals and organisations were recognised for their remarkable achievements. Certificates and badges were awarded to scholarship and bursary recipients in the presence of sponsors, family and friends. Here the Billy Deacon Search & Rescue Award was presented to Gary Robertson - Photo kindly provided by the Air League ©

At the end of July the League published a second briefing paper on Aviation and Brexit. This document seeks to contribute positively to the debate to help ensure the continued contribution the sector makes to the prosperity, employment, global connectivity, and economic development of the UK.
Working within an EU framework has helped the UK aerospace and air transport sectors to develop and prosper with a minimum of cross-border restrictions in Europe, operating to common standards, facilitating market access, free from customs and tariff restrictions.

Simulation makes perfect
03 August 2017

Captain Mike Johnson, Tug Master, in the HR Wallingford simulator - Photo reproduced by kind permission of HR Wallingford ©

At 488metres loa Shell's Prelude FLNG facility was always going to represent a formidable challenge even for the skilled tug masters who were charged with towing the facility from the shipyard in the Republic of Korea where it was constructed, and delivering it to its final destination, a remote gas field 475 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia. This was reported by HR Wallingford, UK, on 1 August.

The Prelude tow with POSH tugs - Photo reproduced by kind permission of Shell ©

Practice makes perfect, and HR Wallingford, using its Australia Ship Simulation Centre in Fremantle created an accurate and detailed navigation simulation of Prelude for Shell, which was used to prepare the Tow Masters, Tug Masters and Pilots, allowing them to familiarise themselves with a realistic simulation of Prelude manoeuvres at sea. On 25 July Prelude arrived safely at its destination in the East Browse Basin.

SeaRobotics and autonomous hydrographic survey vehicles
01 August 2017

SeaRobotics Corporation (SeaRobotics) reported on 31 July that it had delivered two complete autonomous 2.5 metre unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to a government hydrographic service. These USVs, built by SeaRobotics, are complete hydrographic systems providing multibeam echo sounders (MBES), support sensors, a cast winch, deployment carts, and road trailers.
This contract reinforces the commitment government and commercial entities are making to take unmanned surface vehicles out of the laboratory and research environment and integrate them into the world of professional surveyors.
Efficiency and cost effectiveness of each application will be reviewed, and a profile of high-productivity, cost-reducing activities will be developed. Both traditional survey tasks and previously denied areas that remain unsurveyed will be evaluated, it is understood.

El Niño events
27 July 2017

CSIRO's research vessel Investigator. This vessel supports Australia's atmospheric, oceanographic, biological and geosciences research from the tropical north to the Antarctic ice-edge with the waters of the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans to:
- undertake deep sea oceanography;
- map and study the geology of Australia's marine estate to underpin resource exploration;
- monitor and better understand Australia's fisheries, and
- learn more about Australia's weather patterns and large ocean processes.

The frequency of extreme El Niño events is projected to increase for a further century after global mean temperature is stabilised at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Research published on 24 July in Nature Climate Change by an international team shows that if warming was halted to the aspirational 1.5°C target from the Paris Agreement, the frequency of extreme El Niño events could continue to increase, due to a continuation of faster warming in the eastern equatorial Pacific.
CSIRO researcher and lead author Dr Guojian Wang said the growing risk of extreme El Niño events did not stabilise in a stabilised climate.

The 19th IALA Conference Best Practices Competition
26 July 2017

The 19th IALA Conference will be held in Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 27 May to 2 June 2018. The theme will be Successful voyages, Sustainable planet.
As part of the Conference a Best Practices Competition will be held there on 31 May 2018. This is to encourage individual working groups, teams, or organisations to share their best operational and managerial practices, process, systems, and initiatives, and learn from the experience of others. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams who have been responsible for creating and/or managing the introduction and deployment of best practices.

More information.

US assesses mitigation tactics against jamming
26 July 2017

Nearly 100 federal, state, and local public safety and private organizations gathered in week ending 22 July to test tactics and technologies to identify, locate and mitigate illegal jamming of communications systems, such as GPS, radio and wireless systems.
The 2017 First Responder Electronic Jamming Exercise (JamX 17) was hosted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) from 16-22 July, at the Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

2018 Israel Navigation workshop and exhibition
26 July 2017

The Israel Navigation Workshop and Exhibition (INWE18) is a biennial event organized and sponsored by the Israel Association for Automatic Control (IAAC), a Member Institute of IAIN.
INWE18 will be a one-day event dedicated to technical talks in navigation systems ranging from fundamental research, to applications and to field test results.
Topics of interest include positioning, navigation 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 there will be hosted a technical exhibit in which navigation equipment manufacturers and systems suppliers will have the opportunity to show their current products and most recent technical innovations.

26 July 2017

In the US the Position Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS) is a biennial technical conference that occurs in the spring of even numbered years. Aim of the symposium is to provide a forum to share the latest advances in navigation technology.
The PLANS conference is a four day event with one day dedicated to tutorials and three days to technical sessions. Tutorials provide delegates with the opportunity to learn about navigation technology from well-known industry experts. Twenty-four half-day technical sessions are offered over a three-day period, with four sessions running simultaneously each morning and afternoon. At the technical sessions scientists, researchers and engineers from around the world present their latest work in the field of navigation.

Updated Drone Assist app to propel responsible flying
23 July 2017

Illustrations kindly provided by NATS ©

Drone Assist, the drone safety app launched by the (UK) National Air Traffic Service (NATS) in December 2016 and developed in partnership with Altitude Angel, has undergone a number of changes and improvements to make it even more user-friendly for commercial and recreational drone pilots. This was reported by NATS on 19 July.

Created to help drone pilots fly responsibly, one of the most significant changes to the app is the Fly Now feature. Drone pilots can now plan their flights ahead of time, for any location in the UK, whereas previously this could only be done in the location being flown at the time of flight. This update better supports commercial drone operators as well as any drone operator operating with limited connectivity and means that pilots can now plan ahead.

EfficienSea2: smart buoy deployed in Polish waters
21 July 2017

Illustration kindly provided by the Maritime Office in Gdynia, Poland and EfficienSea2 ©

The European project EfficienSea2 is testing a new Smart Buoy which will enable vessels to have improved navigational services and to receive data in support of operations when reaching port.
The Maritime Office in Gdynia, Poland, is testing a newly developed Smart Buoy which will allow port authorities and ships to collect information about weather, wave height and depth of water and then share that information with nearby users in a completely autonomous system. Development of the Smart Buoys has been based on user requirements from pilots and VTS officers, and aids to navigation administration staff.
These Smart Buoys, which include an AIS/GPS module, hydro-meteorological sensors and GSM/radio hardware able to connect to cellular networks, have already been laboratory tested. They are now ready to be subjected to a marine environment.

Partners in Innovation: HM Land Registry and Ordnance Survey
20 July 2017

A new strategic partnership between HM Land Registry (HMLR) and Ordnance Survey (OS) to help propel the UK towards becoming a global leader in the land and property market.

This pilot partnership, announced on 19 July, will see HMLR join OS at its Geovation Hub to encourage and support innovation and property technology (PropTech) businesses.
Geovation is based at a dedicated location-data lab in London that supports and enables open innovation and collaboration across many sectors. The Geovation mission is to expand the use of location and land and property data in the UK's innovation business community.
(UK) Business Minister Lord Prior said: 'The Geovation Hub is already making important contributions to a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, energy, transport and water management. Location-based data has a crucial role in future technology development and innovation from driverless cars to the Internet of Things.'

The ION (US) journal Navigation experiences significant growth
13 July 2017

On 11 July the (US) Institute of Navigation announces that its quarterly journal Navigation experienced significant growth in the Journal Impact Factor measurement tool.
The Journal of The ION, reflected in the latest Journal Impact Factor (JIF) report. The JIF of an academic journal is a measurement tool used to calculate the yearly average number of citations to recent articles published in a journal and is an indication of the relative importance of the journal within its field. It is generally recognized that journals with higher impact factors are deemed more important than those with lower ones due to its citation rate.
Navigation's Journal Impact Factor is now 1.604, an increase from 0.979 last year and 0.562 the year before. Total citations have increased by more than 270% over the past two years.

GNS and Cybersecurity
13 July 2017

From the GB-based Global Navigation Solutions comes news that mariners have been advised to exercise extreme caution when sailing in the Black Sea after a major cyber incident occurred in June. Confirmed reports have shown that numerous vessels were affected with their GPS signals being interrupted causing some confusion onboard.
This incident and the recent cyber attack on shipping giant Maersk demonstrates that the risk to mariners in respect of cyber security is significantly increasing.

GNS has produced six simple steps to help the user mitigate cyber risk.

Anholt Lighthouse under restoration
10 July 2017

Photo kindly provided by the Danish Maritime Authority©

Renovation work on Anholt Lighthouse has begun and is expected to be completed in late October. During this time attention will be paid to the station's brickwork, windows and doors. This was announced by the Danish Maritime Authority on 6 June.
Anholt Lighthouse is one of Denmark's oldest. It was established in 1561 following a Royal Resolution of 1560 when it was decided to construct four strategic lighthouses in Denmark. It therefore represents an important part of the Denmark's maritime cultural past. The first brick-built lighthouse on the island of Anholt was established in the years 1785-1788.

Denmark to host major international maritime conference
10 July 2017

Photo by Mads Claus Rasmussen ©, kindly provided by the DMA

The Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) announced that in 2024, Denmark will be hosting European Maritime Day with more than 1,000 participants. With its maritime surroundings, the city of Svendborg will be the setting of the conference.

Alert! Compendium - educational resource launched
10 July 2017

A vital global educational resource on the human element was launched on 12 July for the benefit of the whole maritime industry. Lloyd's Register Foundation and The Nautical Institute have joined together in producing a special limited edition bound set of all 40 issues of Alert! the human element bulletin.
It is understood that enough have been produced for every maritime training college in the world to have a copy so all will have access to the topics and case studies covered by the project over its 14-year history.
The volume acknowledges the enduring significance of these topics and the continued role of Alert! bulletins in helping to improve safety at sea, said Professor Richard Clegg, Foundation Chief Executive, Lloyd's Register Foundation, which has funded the project.
As a result of the project some 2.5 million of the four series of Alert! bulletins comprising 350 articles had been distributed around the world; 21 innovative videos were produced for free download and a reference library of 250 papers has been made available online.

Efficiensea2 Workshop at IALA
08 July 2017

The Maritime Cloud is a communications framework that enables efficient, secure, reliable and seamless electronic information exchange among all authorized maritime stakeholders across available systems.
This framework is currently under development in collaboration between different projects: EfficienSea2 (EU), Sea Traffic Management - the STM validation project (EU) and the SMART Navigation project (Republic of Korea).
As a partner in the EfficienSea2 project, IALA is participating in the work on maturing the Maritime Cloud, in order to assess its potential as the generic communication framework for e-Navigation at large.
It is in this role of being a partner in the EfficienSea2 project that IALA is organising and hosting this workshop.

Information and registration.

Sites to watch #3
03 July 2017

The Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation (RNT Foundation) is a non-profit, public benefit corporation that helps protect critical infrastructure by promoting resilient navigation and timing worldwide. The Foundation has strong views on GPS and GNSS.

Other sites featured are: the United States Coast Guard Navigation Center, the Norwegian Armed Forces Forum website and particularly this page reporting the demolition of Loran aerials in Norway, this wonderful collection of material on hydrographic and related topics, a free subscription to receive regular breaking maritime news and IALA-AISM's Annual Report for 2016.

The Nautical Institute launches the Ice Navigator Scheme
03 July 2017

On 3 June The Nautical Institute launched the Ice Navigator Training and Certification Scheme. This is the latest in the Institute's expanding series of professional training schemes and has been developed in response to rapidly growing demand for officers with proven expertise in handling ships in ice.
Captain Duke Snider FNI, (photo), President of The Nautical Institute: 'Operating ships within any ice regime requires specialist knowledge, skills and a level of awareness beyond those of the majority of mariners. This course will help to equip ships' officers to meet the unique challenges posed by navigating in ice.'

eMaritime Group Bridge Team ECDIS Audits
01 July 2017

The eMaritime Group (eMG) offer a range of services including onboard Bridge Team ECDIS audits. In recent months, their navigation auditors have been sent widely abroad including to Spain, Italy, The Netherlands and Malta.
Aim of the audit is to provide the shipmaster, management company or operator with an objective assessment of the state of the bridge team and associated administration and equipment. The intense one-day procedure can be conducted worldwide, it is understood, be it alongside or underway and includes the whole bridge team and highlights every aspect of navigation.

page last revised Oct 5, 2017