Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

145 E-navigation products that follow the S-100 framework will allow the computer systems and software built into smart vessels to exchange hydrographic data, which will help operators to plan optimal routes and make critical decisions at sea S-57 International Hydrographic Office (IHO) standard for digital hydrographic data is the current framework used for exchanging data between national hydrographic offices and manufacturers, mariners and other data users. It has been in use since 1992 and is fundamentally designed for a human interface as the end user, so it is limited in its adaptability. This has become particularly apparent as the shipping industry has embraced ECDIS and benefitted from up-todate electronic navigational charts enable them to plan voyages more effectively. In recognition of the wide availability of new navigation products that can use richer and more dynamic environmental data, as well as the need to ensure ECDIS is accurate, the IHO has introduced the S-100, otherwise known as the Universal Hydrographic Data Model. The S-100 model is inherently more flexible, offering provision for more granular gridded data and imagery, time-varying data, enhanced metadata and multiple coding formats. It uses machine readable catalogues, which will lead to plug-and-play systems that make it easier to update data standards and ECDIS. As a result, the framework enables more precise navigation in restricted waterways. It also provides a platform for much greater situational awareness and realism within the models used in navigation training systems onboard and onshore. The S-102 High Resolution Bathymetry specification is an example of one of the maturing S-100 products. Preparing bathymetric data for charts typically involves taking survey data and using it to generate areas in range bands and separated by contours. To keep the volume of data down and the presentation uncluttered, the band ranges and contours in S-57 are fairly wide. However, this can place large navigable areas out of bounds if the safety depth does not correspond to one of these levels. S-102 preserves a lot more survey data, with depth information available to the order of centimetres. The availability of such a fine level of detail means that the depth band restriction can be removed, allowing ship operators to develop precise plans for navigating a safe passage. Several cruise operators are actively investigating how S-100 environmental data can be used to support more precise navigation to enable them to open up new cruise destinations and expanding itineraries for larger ships. One example of S-100 exploitation is the REMBRANDT S-100-enabled navigation simulator system, which has been used by cruise ship operators both onboard and ashore in conjunction with S-102 bathymetry data to explore new cruise destinations. As smart bridge automation increases, the cruise ship and port industries are likely to increasingly rely on a full digital world model, with IHO S-100 as part of its core. With this approach, they will be able to meet the highest requirements for maritime situational awareness and collision avoidance. Dr. Phil Thompson is director of maritime simulation, training and surveys at BMT Source: International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)