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BANET Project Develops Electronic Chart Data For Navigation Purposes

BANET, or the "Baltic and North Sea ECDIS Testbed" project, funded by the German Ministry of Science and Technology, is a collaborative effort on the part of the marine equipment industry and British, German, and Finnish hydrographic offices to speed up ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display Information System) development by carrying out tests under realistic operating conditions. ECDIS integrates data from navigation sensors, such as the GPS, log, and gyro compass in order to inform the vessel navigator of ship's position and motion, and prevent groundings and other incidents. BANET is attempting to integrate ECDIS to form a self-contained system which includes capabilities for the acquisition of data and digitization of charts, chart distribution and quality control, as well as system implementation and onboard trials. Two sea trials were completed for the project, the first aboard the passenger ferry GTS Finnjet (which traverses a Travemunde — Helsinki route), on which a NACOS 45-2 complete integrated navigation system with MULTIPILOT was installed by STN Atlas Elektronik. The second sea trial took place aboard Scandinavian Seaways' MS Hamburg (which sails between Hamburg and Harwich). The purpose of the second vessel trial was to prove in practice the updating of digital ECDIS data, which was accomplished by the installation of an STN Atlas Elektronik PCS-ECDIS.

The ECDIS update information was processed from the data producer via the data distributor to the user on the bridge. A digital mobile phone connection allowed direct dialing to a data server ashore which provided update information on demand. The German Office of Maritime Shipping and Hydrography (MSH) converted IMO and International Hydrographic Organization standards into computer processes in order to develop the preliminary data for the Electronic Chart that was used for the ECDIS testing on the Hamburg ferry.

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