This paper surveys and projects the potential of currently available technology to improve the safety of navigation of merchant vessels. The inherent capabilities and limitations of new navigational safety systems (proposed or under development) are summarized and ways of overcoming some of the limitations are suggested. The discussion covers both shipboard and shore based systems to aid navigation, including harbor advisory radar systems, bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone systems, shipboard collision avoidance systems, and marine traffic control systems. Emphasis in the discussion of these new systems is placed on the necessity to retain full on-board autonomy as one navigational mode and on differences between theoretical capability and performance likely to be obtainable in actual operation at sea. The authors conclude that none of the developmental or proposed systems is a panacea and that many are too sophisticated for the near universal use that will be required to significantly improve overall safety at sea. Accordingly, they urge development of systems that fall somewhere between the almost completely manual systems of today and the extensively automated systems that may be acceptable in the future. As an essential ingredient of this middle-ground approach the development of a specialized transponder beacon is proposed. This beacon would permit exchange of course, speed and identity information with other beacon equipment ships or shore installations and the beacon-derived information could be used either manually or automatically for collision avoidance or piloting. A conceptual block diagram and estimates of cost and performance capability are provided. The research upon which this paper is based was supported as an in-house project by Stanford Research Institute.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the April 24-26th 1972 New Orleans RTCM Assembly Meeting. Volume 1-Papers AA and A thru F-Marine Traffic Systems, Volume 2-Papers G thru L-Safe Ship Operations, Volume 3-Papers M thru Q-Maritime Satellite Systems, Volume 4-Papers R thru Z-Trends in Maritime Communications. SOLD ONLY AS A COMPLETE FOUR VOLUME SET $10.00 PER SET.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Radio Technical Commission for Marine Services

    P.O. Box 19087
    Washington, DC  United States  20036
  • Authors:
    • Chastain, J A
    • Cline, J F
  • Publication Date: 1972-4-24

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00033709
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Radio Technical Commission for Marine Services
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 15 1973 12:00AM