Maritime communication innovation modernise international systems for broadcasting data
KENTA, a Breton company based in Quimper (29), will be presenting its new system of maritime data broadcasting – NAVDAT (Navigational Data) – on Monday 12 March in London during the 16th session of the Sub-committee on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue (COMSAR) of the International Maritime Organisation. NAVDAT will help modernise international systems for broadcasting data for maritime safety and security.
NAVDAT, which is based on simply using the universal 500 kHz frequency, is the result of an innovative collaborative project – IPBC ‘Internet Protocol for Boat Communications’ – directed by the Quimper-based company, KENTA, and officially recognised in 2006 by the maritime economic development cluster, Pôle Mer Bretagne. KENTA’s goal was to offer, by means of the IPBC project, a numerical maritime communication system accessible to smaller tonnage vessels worldwide. Radio broadcasting remains a key transmission method for GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress Safety System) and complements the satellite system. The data transmission rates offered by NAVDAT extend the service provided by the current global system, NAVTEX. NAVDAT assumes the same major functions (navigational warnings, weather forecasts and emergency information for shipping), but increases the speed of transmission and the processing quality by providing access, not only in text format but also in the form of images and graphs, to data such as:
- Meteo-oceanographic information in the form of charts (e .g. isobaric) or numerical data (e.g. regular updates on the position of the eye of a tropical cyclone),
- Reports showing mapped positioning of ice and icebergs and details of the evolving situation,
- Warning reports relating to piracy in the form of maps indicating sensitive areas and recommended navigational routes,
- Useful maritime shipping Information,
- Information relating to maritime search and rescue.
The NAVDAT system also offers a range of broadcasting options: to all vessels or to vessels sailing within a specific geographical area, and has an encryption option for transmitting confidential information.
During trials carried out in 2010 on board the Pont Aven, a vessel belonging to Brittany Ferries, the signals transmitted from an experimental station near Brest were clearly received as far as Cape Finistère and the south of the Irish Sea. These results prompted debate within Working Group 5 of the International Telecommunications Union regarding the use of this frequency band, which is much coveted by amateur radio operators in particular. A joint initiative by the Agence Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR – French National Radio Frequency Agency) and the KENTA Company resulted in November 2011 in an ITU-R-M recommendation and the ITU’s recognition of transmission by the system on the historic 500 kHz radio frequency. This is the same frequency which was used 100 years ago by the TITANIC to transmit its SOS at 23:40 hours on 14 April 1912.
During the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), 153 countries signed up to the exclusive use worldwide of the 500 kHz band by mobile maritime services.
In London on 12 March, France will be giving a joint presentation with Germany, Belgium and Romania on the NAVDAT system and will propose the setting up of a dedicated working group. Following this conference in London on 12 March, KENTA will be presenting the NAVDAT system in the late afternoon to 400 international experts and members of COMSAR. This presentation will be followed by a demonstration of NAVDAT’s functionalities in the delegates’ hall at the IMO.
Press contacts: Pôle Mer Bretagne: Nisha Le Joliff, email@example.com, tel: +33 6 88 84 48 22
Bretagne Développement Innovation : Florence Beauvois , firstname.lastname@example.org, Tél : +33 6 50 10 82 75 KENTA Company contact: Pascal Olivier, email@example.com, tel: +33 298 521 602CONTACT: Invest-in-Bretagne