Solutions

Communication channels

To solve the challenge of weak connectivity and high-cost communication on ships, EfficienSea2 develops concepts for cost-effective and seamless roaming between communication channels, effective and secure onboard networks, as well as the new communication channel called VDES, which is short for VHF Data Exchange System.

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Analysis of available and novel communication channels

Effective, safe, and reliable ship-to-shore communication is a prerequisite for real-life implementation of e-Navigation and data exchange at sea in general. A wealth of communication channels is already available for maritime communication. And even more are being developed. Each of these channels has their strengths and weaknesses related to the actual communication intended to and from a specific vessel. In order to improve navigational safety and efficiency, we analyse all available and novel communication channels relevant to the end user services developed and matured in EfficienSea2.

Based on the analysis, we map existing gaps, especially in relation to communication in the Arctic and in coastal waters. This helps us identify the most effective communication channels for particular services used in the maritime domain.

Development and test of VDES

Special focus is on the development and test of the VHF Data Exchange System (VDES). The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has decided to reallocate part of the maritime VHF band previously used for voice communication into digital communication. This opens up for a maritime, peer-to-peer, low-cost data communication channel.

The VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) is a combination of three communication services in the maritime VHF band. Two of these services are new, while the third one is AIS, which is well-known today. A VDES unit will be a platform for these services, a highly advanced unit providing maritime data communication at speeds of up to 302 kbps. The additional channels will add functionality to, and reduce the load on AIS, and thereby improve AIS performance especially in congested waters.

Efficiensea2 is active in writing the specifications for both these communication services and the product. A key activity in EfficienSea2 is testing of important elements in the VDES product, especially the high-speed data service, to identify a suitable modulation form and other on-air communication parameters. The results of these tests will be used as input for setting the requirements in the related ITU recommendation and IEC test standard for VDES.

All in all, this will improve seamless, cost-effective, efficient and secure communication on ships.

Seamless, robust and low-cost digital communication is a clearly defined user need and a major concern to the shipping industry. So far it has been a huge challenge to ships.
Output: Maturation of VDES – VHF Data Exchange System

EfficienSea2 provides field testing of on-air parameters performed on a dedicated test platform of a new, globally interoperable and potentially cost-free ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore digital communication link that is dedicated to data transfer via radio channels.

Contact

If you want to know more about communication channels at EfficienSea2, please contact: