New Harbor Navigation System Designed To Increase Operating Revenue And Safety

There is a growing interest throughout the industry lately in a new navigation system, the VIEWNAV™ System which can increase the number of days a vessel is able to operate each year. It also facilitates safe navigation in crowded harbors and waterways, even in conditions of marginal visibility or severe ice. Navigation Sciences of Bethesda, Md., developer of this proprietary, microprocessor- based navigational tool reports, "The VIEWNAV System usually pays for itself in increased operating revenue alone in less than a year." The VIEWNAV System is enjoying widespread use in a variety of applications. Authorities in Florida are using the System to help State pilots navigate Tampa Bay and to prevent accidents. The U.S.

Coast Guard uses it to position and set buoys in both New York and Baltimore harbors. The VIEWNAV System's ability to help prevent collisions and groundings is making navigation safer, easier and more productive for Sonat Tugs of Philadelphia, Staten Island Ferries in New York and countless other vessels around the world. Its rather unique capabilities also give it unusual applications which are now beginning to be explored. For example, Talmadge Brothers, a major oyster fishing company, is using VIEWNAV to locate and manage their underwater inventory; The New York/New Jersey Pilot's Association utilizes a land-based system to monitor New York's harbor anchorages; British Petroleum is installing a system on an oil platform in the North Sea to monitor and control surrounding vessel activity.

VIEWNAV is an interactive computer system which precisely fixes the position of the equipped vessel to an accuracy of 15 feet by correcting variations in Loran. This system includes a comprehensive Electronic Chart with constantly updated NOS information on a large, full-color video screen; radar images of other ships and waterborne targets surrounding the vessel are superimposed and visible on the same screen and easily seen, even in daylight.

The VIEWNAV System provides a single, integrated display on the ship's bridge of own vessel's position in relation to radar targets and land masses, as well as steering and planning information.

Own ship is shown to scale moving on the Electronic Chart, to which waterborne radar images are added. The system can be used in harbors, rivers, and narrow channels in all weather and in all seasons.

Own ship position repeatable accuracy of 15 feet results in a precise display of current position on the Electronic Chart. Radar land images are blocked by the chart, increasing clarity and limiting radar echoes to just waterborne targets The VIEWNAV System displays three distinct features: an Electronic Chart that is digitized precisely from a U.S. Government NOS chart; accurately superimposed radar images; and a true motion display with exact positioning of own ship.

Own ship position and waterborne radar targets are presented against the background of a precise, multi-colored Electronic Chart.

Land masses, bridges, breakwaters, and pier faces are clearly identified. Bare shoals are shown in light blue and shoal water is indicated by a darker blue. Channel boundaries are shown as dotted lines on the blue water areas.

Buoys are indicated in their natural colors; lights and other aids are also clearly marked.

The VIEWNAV System shows a true motion display on which vessels move while the chart remains stationary. Digitized and stored in the system's computer, the charts are automatically displayed and advanced to successive charts as the trip progresses.

Navigation Sciences has customized Electronic Charts for each harbor which display the following: • Depth contour that mark safe operating routes for specific combinations of vessels and tows; • The actual size of vessel (and tow) drawn to scale on the Electronic Chart; • Specific routes marked to minimize fuel and time consumption, and to overcome any lack of familiarity in new harbors; • Additional features, such as Mercator grids, object names, and prominent onshore landmarks can be added.

All of the data relating to the location, presence, status, or characteristics of aids to navigation are continuously maintained by NSI and updated on board the user's vessel as required.

The left hand side of the VIEWNAV display is reserved for alphanumeric navigation data, including, distance, bearing, and time to next waypoint; ship's (gyro) heading; course made good; ship true speed; distance and bearing to a movable cursor which may be positioned over any feature or other vessel on the chart.

For further information and a free color brochure on the VIEWNAV System, Circle 35 on Reader Service Card

Other stories from September 1984 issue


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