AN ECONOMIC EVALUATION OF THE USE OF OMEGA NAVIGATION SYSTEM BY MERCHANT SHIPS

Capt. Joseph F. Enright

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: THE OMEGA NAVIGATION system is a long-range, all-weather, electronic system using very low frequency radio signals. The Secretary of Defense announced on December 29, 1967 that “Four stations for the Navy developed GMEGA system have been approved for operational use to facilitate operational evaluation.” These four stations now provide coverage to over one-quarter of the globe; four additional transmitters are needed to provide world-wide coverage. This paper discusses ship operations which can be performed more economically if adequate navigation aids are available. Generalities must be stated because of the vast differences in ships and routes; however, a “typical” merchant ship will be used as an example. A ship operator may estimate the value of Omega to him by comparing the operating expenses, routes, and annual time at sea of his ship to the “typical” ship. The Navy has tested shipboard Omega receivers, found them to be ideal for installation in a wide variety of naval ships, and approved the system for service use. It is timely for commercial ship operators to investigate the economic advantages that may be available to them if they install Omega receivers in their ships. The investigation should consider both the present coverage with usable Omega signals only in the area north of the equator between Norway and Hawaii, as well as world coverage when the additional transmitters are operational. This paper discusses ship operations which can be performed more economically if adequate navigation aids are available. Generalities must be stated because of the vast differences in ships and routes; however, a “typical” merchant ship will be used as an example. A ship operator may estimate the value of Omega to him by comparing the operating expenses, routes, and annual time at sea of his ship to the “typical” ship. The intended track of a ship as projected by the Master, or approved by him, prior to departure is the most economical route from point of departure to destination. Great circle routes are selected when appropriate. Maximum advantage is taken of favorable currents and the effects of adverse currents are minimized. Shoals are avoided with a margin of safety commensurate with the navigation aids available. Based upon these factors the time enroute, hence expense, is minimized. It is, therefore, in the interest of the Master to follow the projected track as closely as practicable. To ensure that this is being accomplished, it is necessary that he be able to compare frequent,ly and accurately the intended and actual tracks. Port arrival arrangments based upon accurate position fixing can also lead to reduces expenses. Insurance premiums, a significant part of a ship’s operating expense, are based upon casualty claim experience. A probable reduction in such claims by means of improved navigation may result in reduced premiums.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 16, Number 2
Pages: 196 - 202
Cite this article: Enright, Capt. Joseph F., "AN ECONOMIC EVALUATION OF THE USE OF OMEGA NAVIGATION SYSTEM BY MERCHANT SHIPS", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 16, No. 2, Summer 1969, pp. 196-202.
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