E-navigation company NAVTOR has announced the introduction of NavSync, marking an important step change in the way that navigators can gain access to the very latest Electronic Navigation Charts (ENCs).
NavSync allows the most up to date versions of the charts to be uploaded directly to the ECDIS from a USB device. Simple. Without the NavSync, navigators face the time consuming task of working out exactly which ENCs they require for journeys, ordering them in advance and then uploading them from CDs that are posted out to them. Not so simple.
The system has been developed to work in tandem with NAVTOR’s recently launched “Pay As You Sail” DNV-approved ENC Service, which allows access to charts through a subscription-based model.
NAVTOR sales manager Børge Hetland explains exactly how the system works: “When a new subscriber signs up to our service, we distribute the ENCs on the NAVTOR NavSync USB compatible device, the NavStick.
“By using the USB port on the ECDIS, the ENCs are installed from the NavStick in one simple operation, as opposed to loading multiple CDs into the ECDIS. Updates can then easily be downloaded to the NavStick via an internet enabled on-board computer and transferred to the ECDIS on a rolling basis.”
Hetland surmises that: “It really is a time and cost-saving way to get the latest ENCs at the touch of a few buttons.”
As an added feature, the NavSync program also offers a print function for producing relevant port authority reports to verify that vessels are equipped with the most up to date versions of ENCs.
NAVTOR marketing manager Willy Zeiler sees the latest development as another step forward towards his firm’s goal of offering “a completely seamless ENC service.”
He adds that the USB nature of NavSync is a way to bypass one of the key failings of most current ECDIS systems – the fact they do not offer internet access – and that NAVTOR has now pledged to work with manufacturers to help them tailor models to take advantage of the latest technology on the marketplace.
Zeiler comments: “We have commenced a development program in connection with the major ECDIS manufacturers to jointly implement technology developed by NAVTOR for the future of ENC handling.
“It is a comprehensive program managed by some of the best skilled and most experienced people in the industry. Together we’ll be looking to rollout technology that will further enhance the use of ENC and ECDIS in preparation for the introduction of the IMO mandate.”