Press Release

Safer harbour operations with EGNOS

By SpaceRef Editor
December 24, 2002
Filed under ,

It will soon be much safer for ships to enter and move around
narrow harbours with help from a system that will enable
accurate navigation information to compliment radar signals.

Ships currently enter harbours relying on just radar images
and verbal information from the team on the adjacent tug
boats. Recently a harbour in Hamburg, Germany tested a new
system called MARLET (the Maritime LOPOS EGNOS Test Bed)
developed by Lopos Technologies GmbH, who initiated the
project with sponsorship from the European Space Agency (ESA).

The demonstration of MARLET showed the usefulness of EGNOS
(the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System) and
Galileo for vessel operations in the harbour of Hamburg and
on the river Elbe. MARLET greatly improves the quality of
the AIS standard — the Automatic Information System for
international shipping — which is driven by the Global
Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

AIS is an independent, self-organising system. AIS equipment
onboard each (commercial) ship permanently broadcasts a
vessel identifier, direction, speed and other information
to all other ships and coastal stations within reach of a
maritime VHF communications link.

When implementing EGNOS quality standards on all positioning
sensors in AIS, one of the sources of uncertainty in AIS is

With accurate (better than 1 metre) GNSS-positioning
information, combined with a controlled communication link,
it is possible to have a Vessel Traffic Management and
Information System (VTMIS) in which ultimately radar and
electronic chart images can be combined, for the benefit
of safer manoeuvres in confined waters.

A number of test runs aboard tugs have been performed. In
early December the large passenger ship MAXIM GORKIY was
supported with EGNOS technology during the most demanding
port manoeuvre: tug-assisted turning and docking. In
addition, a synthetic aperture GNSS antenna has been
developed, showing much improved position accuracy.

Follow-on studies are to elaborate a standard for an
enhanced AIS system that will be usable for harbour
operations and also probably inland waterway navigation.


* What is EGNOS?

* How does EGNOS work?

* Who’s involved in EGNOS?

* Who benefits from EGNOS

* Interoperability

* Satellite navigation today

About Galileo

* What is Galileo?

* Why Europe needs Galileo

* Who’s involved in Galileo?

* Costs and how to finance Galileo

* Galileo, the European Programme for Global Navigation Services
(.pdf 797 Kb)

Related links

* Lopos Technologies


[Image 1:]
EGNOS navigation information will compliment radar signals.
Credits: Lopos Technologies

[Image 2:]
GPS/EGNOS Plot of Maxim Gorkiy (different positions during
vessel turning).

SpaceRef staff editor.