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TARGET TRACKING DEVICES

TARGET TRACKING DEVICES


A VIDEOTEL PRODUCTION
AUTHOR

Sheila Brownlee

84 NEWMAN STREET, LONDON W1T 3EU TELEPHONE +44(0)20 FACSIMILE +44(0)20

7299 1800 7299 1818 mail@videotelmail.com www.videotel.co.uk

TARGET TRACKING DEVICES


A VIDEOTEL PRODUCTION
THE PRODUCERS WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE ASSISTANCE OF
THE MASTERS, OFFICERS AND CREWS OF PRIDE OF CANTERBURY AND MAERSK DUNKERQUE ExxonMobil Shipping Co Ltd International Maritime Organization (IMO) Lairdside Maritime Centre Liverpool John Moores University Norfolkline BV Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine P&O Ferries Ltd SpeedFerries Ltd The Maersk Company Ltd The Nautical Institute (NI) Captain Derek Richards RTM Star Centre

CONSULTANT: Dr Andy Norris PRODUCER: Peter Wilde WRITER/DIRECTOR: Michael Cain PRINT AUTHOR: Sheila Brownlee

Diagrams and charts on pages 18, 19, 20, 25 and 27 supplied courtesy of Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

WARNING Any unauthorised copying, hiring, lending, exhibition, diffusion, sale, public performance or other exploitation of this video is strictly prohibited and may result in prosecution. COPYRIGHT Videotel 2006 This workbook and accompanying video/DVD training package is intended to reflect the best available techniques and practices at the time of production, they are intended purely as comment. No responsibility is accepted by Videotel, or by any firm, corporation or organisation who or which has been in any way concerned, with the production or authorised translation, supply or sale of this video for accuracy of any information given hereon or for any omission here from.

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CONTENTS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 INTRODUCTION WHAT RADAR DOES TARGET TRACKING DEVICES AT WORK TRIAL MANOEUVRE CHECKING INFORMATION GROUND AND SEA STABILISATION TARGET ACQUISITION AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS (AIS) SYSTEM INTEGRATION 4 5 7 13 15 16 18 23 26 27 29 32 33 34

10 IMO PERFORMANCE STANDARDS 11 SAFETY FIRST 12 GLOSSARY AND ACRONYMS 13 FURTHER READING AND RESOURCES 14 ANSWERS

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INTRODUCTION
New International Maritime Organization (IMO) performance standards come into force for radar equipment on new ships constructed after 1 July 2008. Under these standards, all radar equipment must be capable of displaying Automatic Identification System (AIS) information, and the term ARPA (Automatic Radar Plotting Aid) will be replaced with target tracking device. There is a wide range of target tracking devices now available on the market, and personnel will need to be given equipment-specific familiarisation training when boarding.

This book accompanies the Target Tracking Devices video. It is aimed at navigation officers as a way of reinforcing target tracking learning for cadets, and as a reminder for junior and senior officers about the issues involved in target tracking for collision avoidance and what they should be finding out when they join a new ship.

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WHAT RADAR DOES


BACKGROUND
With basic radar, mariners had to track the movement of other ships by manually plotting their positions over time. They had to calculate the course, speed and aspect of other vessels by constructing vector triangles. This approach was slow and laborious, and computer technology has speeded up the process.

RADAR
Maritime radar enables the ship to pinpoint other vessels and find its own position in relation to landmarks. Beamed pulses of radio waves are sent out, and the returning echoes amplified, processed and displayed, allowing the operator to see vessels which may not be visible to the naked eye, either because of fog or mist, or because they are unlit at night. However, some targets do not return a strong enough echo to be displayed, and some are obscured by unwanted clutter' from waves and rain. Today, mariners have a number of tracking devices available to them, which use radar, VHF (Very High Frequency) and/or satellite navigation systems. Radar and other tracking devices must be used with care.

AUTOMATIC RADAR PLOTTING AIDS (ARPA)


Manual radar plotting was developed and implemented from the 1960s, following several collisions, including the sinking of the cruise liner Andrea Doria off the coast of Massachusetts after it had collided in dense fog with the Stockholm in 1956, despite the fact that both ships had radar. Later, with the introduction of computer technology, Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA) were developed, to monitor many vessels at the same time, processing the data in seconds. These are computers with a radar component, and use vector analysis to calculate each targets course and speed. Current IMO performance standards state that radar tracking devices must identify a vessels motion trend within a minute and predict its track within three minutes of acquisition.

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WHAT RADAR DOES


AUTOMATIC TRACKING AIDS (ATA)
Automatic Tracking Aids (ATA) are more basic than ARPAs. They have fewer features and are used on smaller ships or as extra plotting devices on larger ships.

AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS (AIS)


An Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a VHF radio system which continuously exchanges navigational information between stations, i.e. ships, shore stations and navigational marks such as lighthouses, offshore platforms and large navigational buoys. It helps not only with target tracking but also with the identification of vessels and assists with situational awareness. From 1 July 2008, all vessels of more than 300 tonnes will have to be fitted with AIS.

ELECTRONIC CHART DISPLAY AND INFORMATION SYSTEM (ECDIS)


An Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) shows information from Electronic Navigational Charts and satellite navigation systems. It integrates with AIS, bringing everything together in one display.

A COMMON TERM FOR ALL


New IMO performance standards now use the term Target Tracking Devices for ALL ARPA, ATA and AIS.

QUESTION

1A

Performance standards state that radar tracking devices must identify a vessels motion trend within: A. 1 minute? B. 2 minutes? C. 3 minutes?

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TARGET TRACKING DEVICES AT WORK


There are important choices to be made in setting up and using radars and target tracking devices.

ORIENTATION: NORTH UP AND SHIPS HEAD UP


There are two basic displays, either north up (north on the compass at the top of the screen) or ships head up which makes it easy to relate the information to the area around the ship. North up makes the screen easy to relate to the chart.

All north up displays are stabilised using an input from the ships gyro compass. When the ship turns, the heading line moves to the new course and north stays at the top of the screen. Bearings taken are true bearings. With unstabilised displays, the ships head remains at the top of the screen and the radar picture rotates. Bearings taken are relative bearings. They should not be used in collision avoidance assessments. Using the bearing and range, a target tracking device monitors targets, works out their past relative track and from this predicts their Closest Point of Approach (CPA) and Time to Closest Point of Approach (TCPA). It also calculates each targets course and speed, using vector analysis. This uses the input of own ships course and speed from the ships gyro and speed log or other device such as Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). If these inputs contain errors, the results will be wrong.

RELATIVE MOTION AND TRUE MOTION


Radar and target tracking devices offer a choice of relative and true motion:

With relative motion, own ship stays at one position on screen and other objects move past. With true motion, own ship tracks across screen. The screen needs an occasional reset, which may be automatic or manual.

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TARGET TRACKING DEVICES AT WORK


RELATIVE VECTORS AND TRUE VECTORS
Radar and target tracking devices offer a choice of relative and true vectors:

Relative vectors predict the movement of targets in relation to own ship. They show risk of collision very clearly. The prediction depends on the fact that neither your own ship nor the target alters course or speed. True vectors predict the true motion of targets and your own ship. They make it easier to assess the overall traffic situation, but more difficult to assess the risk of collision. They depend upon accurate inputs of own ships course and speed.
Note: The accuracy of relative vectors depends mainly on the accuracy of heading only, i.e. the gyro. The accuracy of true vectors is dependent on the accuracy of the gyro and log.

RANGE SCALES
The new IMO performance standards state that there should be at least three display range scales 3, 6 and 12 nm though many target tracking devices will have many more than that. The range scale selected should be indicated at all times.

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TARGET TRACKING DEVICES AT WORK


VECTOR TIME LENGTH
The operator can see how a situation will develop by adjusting the vector time length. The longer the vector at any given timescale, the faster the ship is travelling. With relative motion, any vector pointing to own ship represents a collision risk. The example in the video shows how, by extending the predictive timescale, it is possible to see that the target and own ship will collide in ten minutes unless avoiding action is taken.

Selecting true vectors helps the operator to gain a more complete picture of what is going on. On the other hand, the possibility of a collision is not represented as clearly. It is only by increasing the timescale that we can see the tracks coming together.

TIMESCALES FOR HIGH SPEED CRAFT


In the case of high speed craft travelling up to 60 knots and operating in busy shipping lanes there is less time to make decisions. Extending the timescale is obviously inadvisable and shorter timescales should be selected. Depending on the distance of CPA and TCPA, the devices alarms can be set to identify threats to the ship, so that navigation officers are alerted when a target comes within the set distance and time limits.

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TARGET TRACKING DEVICES AT WORK


TRAILS
The new IMO performance standards stipulate that historical information should be available in the form of symbols that show at least four equally time-spaced positions over the past eight minutes. This might either be dots or variable length trails, or both. For example, if dots are drawing further apart, this indicates that the target is accelerating, and similarly, if they are closer together, the target is slowing down. Trails on the other hand are represented by a synthetic afterglow and, in most manufacturers equipment, may be displayed as either relative or true, sea or ground stabilised. A trail simply gives an instant view of where a target has been, whereas its history gives more intelligence as to what the ship is doing.

INFORMATION PROVIDED ON TARGETS


Target tracking devices and ARPAs will always provide six key pieces of information on tracked targets.

TARGET TRACKING DEVICES AND ARPAS WILL ALWAYS PROVIDE SIX KEY PIECES OF INFORMATION ON TRACKED TARGETS

1A 2 3 4 5 6

Predicted Closest Point of Approach (CPA) Predicted Time to Closest Point of Approach (TCPA) Bearing Range True track Speed

Some manufacturers also provide Bow Crossing Time and Distance and/or Relative Course and Relative Speed. If an ARPA is ground stabilised, the information displayed on targets could be COG (Course Over Ground) and SOG (Speed Over Ground) as opposed to heading and speed, but CPA is not affected.

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TARGET TRACKING DEVICES AT WORK


CLOSEST POINT OF APPROACH (CPA)
CPA is a prediction based on the past history of tracked targets. True track and speed are calculated by vector analysis and are subject to an understanding of the course and speed of own ship, through GPS (Global Positioning System), manual, log, and echo reference. Unfortunately, even with the most advanced equipment, CPA calculation errors of more than 0.5 nm can occur in some situations such as converging traffic where there is a reasonably low relative speed. Overreliance on data should be avoided, and cross checking should be performed.

TYPES OF INTERFACE
Most pieces of equipment are operated using a computer mouse and joystick, though some systems have a tracker ball instead of the joystick. Some devices have a touch-screen function, but this is not ideal as targets can be located extremely close together and finger tips may be too large for the purpose. There are many adjustable controls for contrast, brilliance, focus, tuning, clutter, pulse length, and so on.

ECDIS (ELECTRONIC CHART DISPLAY AND INFORMATION SYSTEM)


Radar data can be transferred into ECDIS but these systems are not designed for collision avoidance so may not be the best option. Only radar is recognised in IMOs ColRegs (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea) as being an aid to collision avoidance. In the future, most radars will have the capability of accepting electronic navigational charts, as GNSS and ECDIS are integrated with ARPAs.

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TARGET TRACKING DEVICES AT WORK


QUESTIONS

What are the three required display range scales for ARPAs: A. 6, 12 and 24 nm? B. 12, 18 and 36 nm? C. 3, 6 and 12 nm? History is indicated on displays by: A. a vector? B. dots or synthetic afterglow? The prediction for CPA is based on the past history of tracked targets. True or false? Which of the following pieces of information is not provided by ARPAs on tracked targets: A. CPA? B. TCPA? C. vessel length? D. bearing? E. range? F. true track? G. speed? ECDIS is recognised by IMO as an aid for collision avoidance. True or false?

3 4

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TRIAL MANOEUVRE
Another facility designed to help officers navigate through traffic is the trial manoeuvre or simulation facility. This enables the operator to try out a planned alteration of course and see what its effect will be on all the tracked targets, before actually performing the change.
It is an IMO requirement for all target tracking devices on vessels over 10,000 gt to include a trial manoeuvre facility.

EXAMPLE
Using the example from the video of a target approaching from the starboard side on a collision course, we can see that a large change of course of 25 to starboard will ensure that the target will pass clear ahead. When the other ship is well clear, the prediction facility can be used to determine when to resume own ships course.

ACTING ON THE TRIAL MANOEUVRE INFORMATION


Course alterations must be large enough to be detected on other vessels radar, so that they do not take unnecessary avoiding action.

COLREGS RULE 8A AND B (ACTION TO AVOID COLLISION) SPECIFIES THAT:

1A 2A

Any action taken to avoid collision shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship Any alteration of course and/or speed to avoid collision shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be large enough to be readily apparent to another vessel observing visually or by radar; a succession of small alterations of course and/or speed shall be avoided

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TRIAL MANOEUVRE
DISABLING THE TRIAL FUNCTION
After the trial has been completed, the trial function should be disabled in order to avoid possible confusion between trial and reality, though equipment defaults back to normal mode if no adjustments are made by the operator after a certain period of time. The screen will have a T or Trial to indicate that it is in trial manoeuvre mode. Some manufacturers equipment offer additional graphics such as symbols to show PCPs (Potential Collision Points) in true vectors and CPAs in relative vectors.

QUESTION

1A

The IMO requires there to be a trial manoeuvre facility included in all target tracking devices on: A. ships over 500 gt? B. ships over 10,000 gt? C. no ships: it is just an optional extra?

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CHECKING INFORMATION
Target trackers comprise of an impressive array of features and alarms, which can lull the operator into a false sense of security. The truth is that target tracking devices are only one source of information and cannot make a decision for you. They are only as good as the data fed into them from other systems, and can create a false picture.

For example, how accurate are the speed or the gyro readings, particularly when displaying true vectors? If the operator is in doubt about speed input, using relative vectors will give a more accurate determination of risk of collision.
Target tracking devices should be used with care, cross checked with information from other instruments and backed up with the visual evidence of what can be seen from the ship.

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GROUND AND SEA STABILISATION


One of the issues that needs taking into account with target tracking devices is speed input. All data, including log and gyro errors, are passed on to the ARPA and will form part of its calculations. Because the ARPAs display changes slowly the underlying cause may be far from obvious to the operator.
One method of overcoming these errors is to reference own ships position to the ground.

GROUND STABILISATION
Ground stabilisation can be done in coastal waters by selecting a fixed radar conspicuous target or through input from GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) such as: the Global Positioning System (GPS); the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System GLONASS; or when it is fully operational the European system, Galileo. Ground stabilised true vectors are ideal for navigating around fixed objects, such as land, buoyed channels etc. This is especially useful when the vectors are overlaid on to ECDIS or other map functions. The down side of ground stabilisation is that all tracking is based on own ships track over ground. Targets will show their ground tracks, not their headings and aspect, and this can be misleading for collision avoidance purposes. However, it should be noted that relative vectors are identical in both ground and sea stabilised modes, so that relative vectors can be viewed with confidence in every mode. In the example from the video (below), tidal flow is read by a target tracking device as part of an approaching targets course and speed. Although it looks as if the target will pass down the starboard side, the two ships are crossing on a near collision course.

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GROUND AND SEA STABILISATION


SEA STABILISATION
Sea stabilisation shows own ship and all targets referenced to the sea, using gyro heading and single axis log water speed or manual speed inputs. By selecting sea stabilisation display mode, the true headings and aspects of target vessels are shown. This ensures the correct interpretation of ColRegs in a collision situation. The recommended procedure is to cross check continually using sea stabilisation and ground stabilisation to gain a better understanding of the situation. Checking the situation with relative vectors is also good policy because these are not affected by course and speed errors other than during short updating periods.

QUESTIONS

1 2

Ground stabilised true vectors are ideal for navigating around fixed objects. True or false? Sea stabilisation shows own ship and all targets referenced to the sea, using input from satellite navigation systems. True or false?

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TARGET ACQUISITION
The ARPA process starts with the acquisition of a target. This is done either manually, by using a screen marker controlled by a joystick, or automatically, where the computer is set to acquire targets which enter specified boundaries.
When a target is acquired, the computer starts collecting information about it. There are two prerequisites for effective tracking, neither of which can be relied upon:

1. A CLEAR RADAR SIGNAL Heavy rain, waves or even storm clouds can block and distort radar signals. A target can
be lost when it manoeuvres, because its radar return will fade.

2. THE COMPUTER HAS TO UNDERSTAND THE DATA IT IS RECEIVING There are various instances when target tracking devices become confused by the incoming information. If two targets pass close by each other, the ARPA can swap tracks, lose one track altogether or give two tracks to the same target. The alarm will warn the operator if it loses a target, but may not if it has confused two tracks.
The operator will need to be vigilant to ensure that tracking is working well.

MANUAL ACQUISITION
Manual acquisition is recommended for restricted coastal waters or in bad weather conditions.
Pressing the acquire button will enter the target into the computer memory and pressing cancel will delete it, after the risk of collision has passed. It must be appreciated that using manual acquisition requires more radar display observation time by the operator.

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TARGET ACQUISITION
AUTOMATIC ACQUISITION
The automatic acquisition facility is best used in open waters and good weather conditions, when it can help to ensure that no target is missed in zones specified by the operator. Note however that, because of its limitations, it will never constitute maintaining a safe lookout. Any target deleted in this area
Automatic acquisition should always be used with care because small targets can still be missed. It can also collect clutter, noise and interference, which will cause alarms to go off unnecessarily. This can happen almost continually, which is why there are only a few occasions when it will be of any real use. As the target tracking system has a finite number of targets that it can plot and monitor, a further risk is that, if you use the automatic acquisition option, this finite number can be reached and some targets which might be important will not be acquired. Manual deletion of unimportant targets is an essential part of automatic acquisition.
will be acquired and will also activate an alarm

The facility for auto acquisition of targets is required for all ships or craft of more than 10,000 gt.

GLOBAL AND ZONAL AUTOMATIC ACQUISITION ZONES


Automatic acquisition zones may be Global or Zonal. With global automatic acquisition, the search area is all around own ship, with its dimensions adjustable by the operator. All targets entering this area are acquired automatically.

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TARGET ACQUISITION
With zonal automatic acquisition, targets are only acquired when they enter specific detection zones.

THE GUARD ZONE


Most target tracking devices incorporate guard zones, whereby a target entering the zone activates an alarm which both makes a sound and shows up on screen with a flashing symbol or other means of display.
There are usually up to two zones available and their arc and depth are defined by the operator. Consideration must always be given to the possibility of radar returns from small targets (e.g. a yacht or small fishing vessels). These can appear inside the inner limit of a guard zone and subsequently will not set off any warning alarms.
Zones remain relative to ships head, even when course is altered

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TARGET ACQUISITION
OPERATIONAL WARNINGS
GUARD ZONE VIOLATION
When a target enters a zone, the target tracking device should warn the operator with an alarm which may be visual and/or audible. However, it should be possible to de-activate this capability if required. Most operators set up the equipment with two zones: one which is pre-set, and another which can be customised as required. It is unwise to rely too heavily on a guard zone. Vessels, especially high speed ones, may miss the zone and still be on a collision course. Similarly, a target may not be acquired at all if it is hidden behind another vessel, or if it has a poor radar return.

PREDICTED CPA/TCPA VIOLATION/DANGEROUS TARGET


The equipment can be set to trigger an alarm if both the specified CPA and TCPA are violated.

LOST TARGET
If a tracked target fails to return an echo, the ARPA continues to search for it. If no target is detected after five out of ten scans, the target lost warning is activated.

TRACKING LARGE NUMBERS OF TARGETS


All new radars fitted from 2008 on ships over 10,000 gt must be able to track 40 targets at the same time.

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TARGET ACQUISITION
QUESTIONS

1 2

Manual acquisition is recommended for restricted coastal waters or in bad weather conditions. True or false? How many targets should radars fitted on ships over 10,000 gt from 2008 be able to track: A. 10? B. 20? C. 40? In a guard zone, the arc and depth are pre-set by the manufacturer. True or false?

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AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS (AIS)


AIS is a Very High Frequency (VHF) radio system which can be used in conjunction with target tracking devices. It not only helps with target tracking but also:

Identifies vessels Assists in situational awareness Simplifies safety-related information exchange between vessels and between vessels and the shore
AIS is mandatory on all SOLAS vessels over 300 gt and they must have Class A AIS equipment onboard. Class B standard has been agreed for other vessels.

HOW AIS WORKS


AIS systems operate on two separate channels in the VHF band. The ships equipment consists of two VHF receivers and one transmitter which alternates its transmissions between the two frequencies. There is also a GNSS receiver which fixes position and timing. The AIS system continuously exchanges navigational information between own ship, other vessels, and shore stations. The information it exchanges includes:

Static parameters such as MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identification) number, vessels name, call sign, IMO number, type, length, cargo, position of aerials, draught and route plan Dynamic data including position, heading and SOG
The MMSI number is used by AIS receivers to link the static data from targets sent every six minutes, with the dynamic data sent several times in a minute. When a target is first picked up by AIS it will probably be showing only MMSI number and dynamic data.

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AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS (AIS)


BENEFITS OF AIS
The information exchanged helps identify the target and simplify communications when required. This is invaluable when vessels need to agree on what action to take to avoid a collision, such as in narrow channels. The information about the targets length and the position of antennas allows other vessels to decide on a safe passing distance. Navigating ports and coastal waters also becomes easier with AIS partly because it can display the targets length and partly because it more accurately predicts a targets path by taking into account its rate of turn during course changes. Because positioning data is acquired through GNSS, clutter and bad weather does not affect it. AIS is also less affected by line-of-sight obstructions, because it uses VHF frequencies. AIS systems are increasingly used in tandem with moving chart displays from stored digital charts.

LIMITATIONS OF AIS
AIS is a useful tool for providing additional information for collision avoidance. However, it has some limitations. It cannot help with some of the main causes of collisions, i.e. driving too fast in conditions of poor visibility, not keeping a proper lookout, making small reductions in speed or minor alterations of course when the ship should slow right down or make a drastic alteration of course.

Other disadvantages are:


The receiver has no control over the information, because it does not originate from their ARPA which has been calibrated to own ship, and so there is no way of knowing whether the information is accurate or not The quantity of extra data can cause information overload The Master of the transmitting vessel may decide to turn the AIS off in port or for security reasons No AIS information is transmitted by obstructions such as lost containers, buoys or small vessels
Radar on the other hand searches out targets and tracks them. Information can be checked on the ARPA by switching display modes. Taking all these issues into account, AIS should be considered complementary to radar and not a replacement for it.

Note: Most ships do not yet have a graphical display or integrated radar display, but an AIS text screen not much larger than a mobile phone, called a MKD (Minimum Keyboard Display). This makes it an ineffective tool for identifying other ships, and most of the advantages of AIS do not apply to navigators on these ships. The situation will very slowly improve from 2008 as new installations will need to have radar/AIS integration.

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AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS (AIS)


COMPARISON OF ARPA/ATA AND AIS DATA FOR ANTI-COLLISION PURPOSES
ARPA/ATA radar derived data Overall accuracy (see Chapter 9) Similar to AIS at close range but accuracy reduces linearly with range, due mainly to bearing accuracy Relative to ship Derived by calculation and depends on accurate knowledge of own ships course and speed through water Takes several minutes AIS/VHF derived data Positional errors 10-30 metres

Framework for calculations Derivation of aspect

Ground based Obtained directly from compass of target ship (when available) Immediate (when compass available) as soon as gyro starts to change. Otherwise will be apparent when ground track changes Good, if static data is transmitted GPS systems Sensors on other vessels Programming on other vessels Only if fitted with AIS Not significantly weather dependent No Unlikely Unlikely Unlikely Typically 20 40 miles depending on aerial heights and environmental factors A possibility

Detection of changes in target course and speed

Identification of target size Reliance on other equipment

Can be misleading All necessary equipment on own ship Requires compass and log

Reliability of detecting other vessels in the vicinity Target swap Interference and false echoes Reduced coverage due to own-ship obstructions Reduced coverage due to land mass obstructions (thefjord effect) Range

Dependent on echo strength and weather conditions Possible A possibility Can occur depending on aerial position Line of sight only Typically 10 20 miles, depending on aerial heights and environmental factors Unlikely

Transmission and target response density causing overload

QUESTIONS

1 2A

AIS is mandatory on all SOLAS vessels over 300 gt. True or false? AIS uses: A. radar and GNSS? B. radar and VHF frequencies? C. VHF frequencies and GNSS?

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SYSTEM INTEGRATION
Information from ARPA and AIS comes from very different technologies. Often the target data differs slightly, and AIS information is faster to update. The differences in the data are brought together in the equipment through target association whereby the information from different sources combine to create a single picture on the screen. To do this, the computer, aided by user-set parameters, has to make assumptions about targets with very similar positions, tracks and speed, and it then decides whether they are in fact the same vessel. There are inherent risks in this process, so the operator needs to be alert to possible anomalies. Targets which are visible on one system but not on another clearly need investigating.

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IMO PERFORMANCE STANDARDS


ARPA, ATA and AIS target tracking technologies are being brought together in IMO Resolution MSC 192(79), Performance Standards for radar equipment for new ships constructed after 1 July 2008. A key element of the standards is that all radar displays will have to be capable of displaying AIS targets. Also covered are:

Types of warnings and mode information displayed Minimum performance standards for managing clutter, weather effects and echoes How automatic tracking identifies acquisition areas Screen dimensions and visibility according to vessel size What information must be available The minimum number of targets that can be tracked Trial manoeuvre facilities

DIFFERENCES IN THE PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR VARIOUS SIZES/ CATEGORIES OF SHIP/ CRAFT TO WHICH SOLAS APPLIES
Size of ship/craft Minimum operational display area diameter Minimum display area Auto acquisition of targets Minimum acquired radar target capacity Minimum activated AIS target capacity Minimum sleeping AIS target capacity Trial manoeuvre <500 gt 180mm 195x195mm _ 20 20 100 _ <500 gt to <10 000gt and HSC<10 000 gt 250mm 270x270mm _ 30 30 150 _ All ships/ craft >10 000g t 320mm 340x340mm Yes 40 40 200 Yes

TARGET TRACKING DEVICE SPEED HANDLING CAPABILITY


TARGET TRACKING DEVICES ON VESSELS CAPABLE OF UP TO 30 KNOTS
To be capable of handling craft with relative speeds of up to 100 knots.

TARGET TRACKING DEVICES ON VESSELS CAPABLE OF UP TO 70 KNOTS


To be capable of handling craft with relative speeds of up to 140 knots.

DETECTION PERFORMANCE
The standards state that all available means for the detection of targets should be used and should cover detection in clear conditions, at close range and in clutter conditions.

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IMO PERFORMANCE STANDARDS


QUESTIONS

All new radar displays must be capable of displaying AIS targets from: A. 1 July 2002? B. 1 July 2005? C. 1 July 2008? Vessels capable of up to 70 knots must be able to handle craft with relative speeds of up to: A. 100 knots? B. 140 knots ? C. 160 knots?

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SAFETY FIRST
Even when target tracking equipment is being used correctly and the watch keeper is being alert to all possibilities, there is always the chance that something can go wrong.
The following are the most common causes of problems:

NOT CHECKING MODE, SETTINGS AND DISPLAYS


When taking over a watch it is crucial to discuss any changes to settings and displays. For example, is the ARPA ground or sea stabilised? The operator may assume that the device is in a particular mode, or that the settings are the same as when they were left, even though this may not be the case. True vectors can create a misleading picture if target tracking is ground stabilised and not sea stabilised, for example.

Always check settings left by the previous watch keeper!

NOT CHECKING DATA FROM OTHER SYSTEMS


If incorrect input is taken from other systems, for example, speed through water is incorrect, true vector calculations will be inaccurate.

NOT TAKING ERRORS INTO ACCOUNT


Closest Point of Approach (CPA) calculations are made on the basis of both the ship and target being a point. Due allowance should be made for own ship and target ship size, and the fact that CPAs can be out by more than 0.5 nm. Calculating the closest safe passing distance is dependent on the length of the vessels. Two ships passing which are each 300 metres long may be at risk of collision without this being apparent from the radar CPA distances.

There is a tendency to reduce the safe passing distance in busy shipping lanes, but this is a risky procedure.

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SAFETY FIRST
IMO performance standards stipulate that measurements from own ship (e.g. range rings, target range and bearing, cursor, tracking data) should be made in relation to the Consistent Common Reference Point (CCRP). When the picture is centred, the position of the CCRP should be at the centre of the bearing scale.

RAPID MANOEUVRING
Watch keepers often forget that target tracking devices can be confused by rapid manoeuvres. The risk can be minimised by manoeuvring in bold discrete stages as required by ColRegs rather than in a continuous series of incremental manoeuvres. Bear in mind the fact that the picture may not be accurate for up to three minutes after a rapid manoeuvre.

NOT VERIFYING INFORMATION VISUALLY


Trusting the picture on the screen without verifying information visually can lead to increased risk. It is important to use the different technologies including ECDIS in combination.

What you see on the screen may not correspond to reality. Always check the situation using binoculars or with the naked eye.

NOT BEING FAMILIAR WITH THE SYSTEM


Target tracking systems all have slightly different features, menus and displays. Newer systems are highly customisable and can be set up in many different ways with different vectors, ranges, and stabilisation modes. Therefore, its vital for anyone joining a ship to familiarise themselves with the system before they take over a watch, so that they do not misinterpret a screen. Familiarisation training is in fact required under the ISM Code (The International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention).

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SAFETY FIRST
QUESTIONS

1 2A

It is advisable to check settings to see whether the previous watch keeper has altered the mode, vectors or scale. True or false? The CCRP should be: A. at the centre of the bearing scale? B. offset? If the speed through water input is incorrect, the true vector calculations will self-adjust. True or false? After a manoeuvre, the radar picture may not be accurate for up to: A. 1 minute? B. 2 minutes? C. 3 minutes?

3 4

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GLOSSARY AND ACRONYMS


AIS Automatic Identification System ARPA Automatic Radar Plotting Aid ATA Automatic Tracking Aid CCRP Consistent Common Reference Point COG Course Over Ground ColRegs IMO Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 CPA Closest Point of Approach EBL Electronic Bearing Line ECDIS Electronic Chart Display and Information System Galileo European satellite navigation system GNSS Global Navigation Satellite System GPS Global Positioning System GLONASS GLObal NAvigation Satellite System Ground stabilisation a mode of display whereby own ship and all targets are referenced to the ground using ground track or set and drift inputs or through input from GNSS or similar systems. Heading the direction in which the bows of a ship are pointing expressed as an angular displacement from north Head-up display a mode of display whereby the information is directed so that the ships heading is always pointing upwards. ISM Code The International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention MMSI Maritime Mobile Service Identification nm nautical miles North-up display an azimuth stabilised display in which a line connecting the centre of own ship with the top of the display is north true bearing PCP Potential Collision Point Relative motion the combination of relative course and relative speed Relative vector the predicted movement of a target relative to own ship Sea stabilisation a mode of display whereby own ship and all targets are referenced to the sea, using gyro heading and single axis log water speed or manual speed inputs SOG Speed Over Ground Target any object fixed or moving whose position and motion is determined by measurements of range and bearing on radar Trails tracks displayed by the radar echoes of targets in the form of a synthetic afterglow. The trails may be either relative or true. The true trails may be sea or ground stabilised. TCPA Time to Closest Point of Approach True motion the combination of true course and true speed True vector the predicted true motion of a target calculated using own ships direction and speed input. The true vector may be either displayed with reference to the water or to the ground VHF Very High Frequency VRM Variable Range Marker

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FURTHER READING AND RESOURCES


IMO PERFORMANCE STANDARDS AND OTHER REGULATIONS
See the following IMO performance standards for more information:

The IMO resolution MSC 192(79), Performance Standards for radar equipment for new ships constructed after 1 July 2008.
This covers the operational requirements for the radar system, ergonomic criteria, design and installation, interfacing and back-up and fallback arrangements.

The IMO resolution MSC 191(79), Performance Standards for the presentation of navigationrelated information on shipborne navigational displays for new ships constructed after 2008.
This covers general requirements (such as readability, colours, symbols and alarms), operational displays and physical requirements. Also relevant are:

Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (ColRegs) SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life At Sea) STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) ISGOTT (International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals)

PUBLICATIONS
Radar and ARPA Manual by Alan Bole, Bill Dineley and Alan Wall, second edition 2005. ICS (International Chamber of Shipping) Bridge Procedures Guide. Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), code no. 926 (Videotel training course).

RELEVANT WEBSITES
International Maritime Organization: www.imo.org The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency: www.mcga.gov.uk United States Coast Guard: www.uscg.mil Transportation Safety Board of Canada: www.tsb.gc.ca Transport Canada: www.tc.gc.ca Australian Maritime Safety Authority: www.amsa.gov.au Nautical Institute: www.nautinst.org Videotel: www.videotel.co.uk

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ANSWERS
PAGE 6 PAGE 12 QUESTION 1 QUESTION 1 QUESTION 2 QUESTION 3 QUESTION 4 QUESTION 5 QUESTION 1 QUESTION 1 QUESTION 2 QUESTION 1 QUESTION 2 QUESTION 3 QUESTION 1 QUESTION 2 QUESTION 1 QUESTION 2 QUESTION 1 QUESTION 2 QUESTION 3 QUESTION 4 A. 1 minute C. 3, 6 and 12 nm B. dots or synthetic afterglow TRUE. C. vessel length FALSE. Only radar is recognised by IMO for collision avoidance B. ships over 10,000 gt TRUE. FALSE. The data is from gyro heading and single not from satellite navigation systems TRUE. C. 40 FALSE. Their arc and depth are defined by the operator TRUE. C. VHF frequencies and GNSS C. 1 July 2008 B. 140 knots TRUE. A. at the centre of the bearing scale FALSE. The calculations will be incorrect C. 3 minutes

PAGE 14 PAGE 17

PAGE 22

PAGE 25 PAGE 28 PAGE 31

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