- The project aims to improve:
- The real time chart updating service, including new chart editions,
- The access to maritime navigational information, such as weather and tidal information,
- Required input for the weather routing system.
- C-MAP aims to become a one-stop shop for all nautical information necessary for the mariner. The SatServ project was intended to enable C-MAP to improve online access to navigational information via a single communication terminal.
- The project aims to make use of customers' already installed SatCom communication platform, to reduce costs and to avoid any need for extra equipment.
The key issue was to make a single communication solution for the transfer of all nautical information provided by C-MAP.
The client part (C-MAP Terminal) was intended to support all common standards and protocols onboard vessels and perform online updating. It was essential that the Terminal was suitable for installation on a stand-alone communication computer and that it was able to support the ECDIS/ECS with backward compatibility. The server part (C-MAP Data Centre) was designed to provide all the available existing and future electronic nautical information from C-MAP to the onboard terminal SW.
Constant real time access to updated nautical information is expected to ensure a safer navigation for the navigator.
To make it even easier and to save time, the information was intended to be automatically or semi-automatically loaded directly into their ECDIS/ECS.
Compared to shipment of CD by post, this method of data distribution was expected to be more efficient and demand less logistical problems, addressing an essential problem for ships in service.
It was also expected that the ability to access different nautical information from one single supplier and monitor the information from one single user interface would be of utmost importance.
To minimize the airtime costs, the data to be transferred had to be highly compressed, which was a challenge to be solved in parallel with the project. In all, SatServ was expected to be a significant value added service for the subscribers of C-MAP data, gaining more subscriptions and business for C-MAP.
C-MAP Data Center (Server)
- A general platform for providing maritime information to end-users,
- Simultaneous connections, scalability, backwards compatibility,
- Comprehensive logging and high uptime.
C-MAP Terminal (Client)
- The terminal must support all relevant on-board protocols, (HTTP, SMTP, IMAP4, POP3, MAPI and proprietary protocols from different communication companies),
- Self-updating, user-friendly and good error codes,
- Support copying to removable storage devices,
- Easy configuration, support the most satcoms.
The project started on the 1st January 2004. By the Baseline Design Review in the end of March 2004, the system architecture was in place, based on user requirements and a detailed specification.
The development and internal testing started in April 2004 and was finalized in June 2005, after a delay of a few months. Between June 2005 and August 2005 the system was validated onboard 3 different vessels for a two month period. Within the same period the commercial feasibility analysis was performed.
The project was finalised in October 2005 after some months prolongation due to required extended workload. The project succeeded in developing a system for transferring chart-data, updates, several kinds of meteorological information, and creating a platform for the transfer of any new kinds of digital data that may be available in the future. The technology accommodates the most common communication solutions used by commercial vessels today. The system was tested onboard three different vessels for a period of 2 months as planned.
Parts of the technology are now commercially available in 2 different software packages: OceanView and WeatherView, and have already been installed on a number of vessels and office systems. The SW packages are also distributed to the OEM's to allow them to become familiar with the products. Continuous feedback from the commercial users together with internal and external tests is helping us to improve the system further.
Our next step towards commercialization is to supply the C-MAP Terminal software to OEM's under the premise of another project. This will be an integral part of our next Software Development Kit release planned for early 2006.