Page 31: of Marine News Magazine (June 2022)

Combat & Patrol Craft Annua

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Comms its white paper, GTMaritime refers to

VDES as an automatic identi? cation system (AIS) “on steroids.” Develop- ment was started by the International

Association of Lighthouse Authori- ties’ e-NAV Committee.

VDES will make it possible to send broadband data without a satellite link, making communication more economical. However, service would be limited to near coastal waters, say, within 50km from the nearest land- based equipment. Still, if a vessel works solely in Sea Area 1, and doesn’t need global connectivity, VDES will provide upgraded communication and naviga- tion without increasing costs. GTMar- itime writes that “VDES is capable of facilitating numerous applications for safety and security of navigation, pro- tection of marine environment, ef? - ciency of shipping and others.”

Jan Safar, PhD and Alan Grant, PhD are researching VDES with the R&D arm of the General Lighthouse Author- ities of U.K. and Ireland. In September 2021 they presented a paper – “VHF

Data Exchange System on-air trials:

The journey so far” – to the Institute of Navigation conference in St. Louis.

In reply to email questions, Safar and Grant said they expect that with a “high power” setting, VDES cover- age should extend to about 22 n-miles, at least from their working reference point (Harwich, UK, on the North Sea coast). Noise levels – from machinery to other radio equipment – remain an issue. Research continues in 2022.

Safar and Grant were asked about interference from wind energy tow- ers. They said that “in brief, we saw an impact due to re? ections from the rotating windmill blades but only in MN 31|

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