A standardized data exchange guideline potentially covering all technical e-Navigation services has been agreed by an international committee under the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA). The guideline can stand alone, but it is also compatible with the Maritime Cloud.
Currently, digital solutions are developed for specific equipment and for a limited geographical area. The solutions' coverage could potentially be expanded, but this often requires a major technical transition of the platform.
The new guideline is expected to facilitate the harmonization of services globally in the future by providing a common language on how to deliver digital data services and by making it possible to use the same digital data stream across equipment and regions.
The E.U. EfficienSea2 project led by the Danish Maritime Authority has played the lead role in developing the guideline along with partners, the Korean SMART Project and the STM Validation Project.
The guideline will now be shared with other international organizations that will then have a change to give feedback on the proposal. Once input is received and incorporated into the guideline, it will be presented for final approval by the IALA Council in December 2017.
Thomas Steen Christensen, Work Package Leader for EfficienSea2 and Senior Advisor at the Danish Maritime Authority, says: “This is the guideline that has been needed in e-Navigation ever since the work first began in 2006. There are so many great forces working to achieve the global roll-out of e-Navigation, but in order to succeed, it is essential to have a shared reference. The guideline will serve as that reference in the future.
“The specification guideline is very general and will be applicable to all kinds of technical e-Navigation services. It will provide a tremendous boost to global harmonization by making it both easier and more economical to develop a service in for example Korea that will then be transferable to a service provider operating in other parts of the world,” Christensen says.
EfficienSea2 assisted IALA in drafting the proposed guideline and has ensured that the Maritime Cloud is compatible with future service specifications. This will mean service providers using the guideline will find it simple to share their solutions through the Maritime Cloud.
For the Maritime Cloud this represents a big step forward, says Christensen: “The Maritime Cloud is all about getting the best solutions to as many mariners as possible. A global adoption of the guideline makes that goal easier to reach and is a significant milestone for all of us in e-Navigation working to increase safety at sea.”