Tallinn Joins STM Validation Project

VTS operators in Tallinn discussing the new STM-enabled monitoring. Photo: Wärtsilä
VTS operators in Tallinn discussing the new STM-enabled monitoring. Photo: Wärtsilä

By The Maritime Executive 2018-10-18 19:58:52

The STM Validation project said increased the number of participating shore centers from five to six with the joining of Tallinn VTS in Estonia.

STM connects and updates ships and ports in real time and facilitates efficient information exchange. The system has been developed in three consecutive E.U.-projects running 2010-2018. In August last year, the STM Validation project successfully installed the first STM compatible bridge systems, connecting ships with shore based services. The ships equipped were Stena Germanica and two rescue vessels from Swedish Sea Rescue Society. Stena Germanica, while on route from Gothenburg to Kiel, automatically shared her route with the two rescue vessels, and at the same time received their routes and displayed them on the ECDIS. The route message format used, developed as a part of the STM Validation project, was transmitted to other ships over ordinary AIS. 

“There are three major landmarks in the history of VTS,” says Anders Johannesson, Swedish Maritime Administration, coordinator of the validation of VTS services in the STM Validation project and explains further, “Radar is telling us that something is coming. AIS is telling us who is coming. And STM will tell us the intentions of the ships coming towards us, which will take VTS to a totally new level.”

The STM test bed will include 300 ships, 13 ports and at least five shore centers. The STM Validation Project encompasses 39 partners (private, public and academic) from 13 countries and with a total budget of EUR 43 million ($45 million). The first five shore centers that have been STM-enabled are Gothenburg, Sweden, the Danish national surveillance center, the VTS in Horten and Kvitsöy, Norway and VTS Tarifa in Spain overlooking traffic in the Strait of Gibraltar. 

Saab, Navicon, Kongsberg and Wärtsilä are the four suppliers of STM-enabled systems. In Tallinn, Wärtsilä installed a stand-alone system for the STM functions. A big screen displays the STM-enabled system in the VTS center.

Are Piel, Head of VTS Department, Estonian Maritime Administration, said: “If we can predict possible conflicts between vessels early enough, it is much easier to rearrange traffic safely and smoothly. It also allows providing more accurate time of arrival thus implement just in time concept which reduces sailing expenses. For the implementation of unmanned vessels in future, STM-enabled systems is a must to have to provide grounds for smooth and safe vessel traffic.”