Maritime Trials in Europe and Africa Using GNSS-based Enhanced Systems

J. Ostolaza, J.J. Lera, D. Pérez, G. Cueto-Felgueroso, M. Cueto, A. Cezón, M.A. Fernández, M. López, D. Hill, V. Boissinot, P.E. Kvam, M. Porretta

Abstract: The increasing global maritime traffic requires innovative solutions to optimize routes and resources to provide an efficient and safe navigation and minimize the impact of maritime traffic on the environment. Not only GNSS systems like GPS or the future Galileo can enhance maritime navigation either in open sea, inland waterways and harbour entrances and approaches; but positioning based on GNSS technology can be used for a wide range of maritime applications. These include, but are not limited to: traffic management, traffic surveillance, search and rescue, fishing, marine engineering, oceanography, port operations, and oil and gas exploitation. Some GNSS-based technologies are being promoted at international level such as the e-Navigation initiative from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as well as the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) used by fishing authorities, or the Automatic Identification System (AIS). Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) such as EGNOS in Europe, WAAS in North America, MSAS in Japan and GAGAN in India can enhance core GNSS constellation’s performances, with special focus on accuracy, availability, continuity and integrity. In particular, the integrity feature has been traditionally associated to Safety-of-Life applications, mainly for aviation. However, in the recent years integrity has also been identified as an added value for many other GNSS application fields given that it increases safety and can be used for certified services. On the other hand, not only many GNSS devices installed on leisure vessels already integrate SBAS corrections but also SBAS information can be integrated in already existing maritime systems and aids to navigation infrastructure such as in AIS and DGNSS, therefore, making the maritime sector one of the relevant fields for the SBAS adoption. In this context, GMV has developed magicVRS as an example of how GNSS technology can enhance maritime navigation. This tool takes as input SBAS corrections which are translated into differential corrections that will be redirected to an AIS base station and then broadcast to a GNSS device on-board. These SBAS corrections can be received either from the internet using ESA’s SISNeT protocol or from a devoted receiver connected to magicVRS. To demonstrate the performance benefits derived from this tool, a series of maritime trials have been launched in the Guadalquivir River (Spain) and in Cape Town (South Africa) using two types of SBAS data: • nominal SBAS messages were obtained in Spain from EGNOS through EDAS service (Spain). • the SBAS messages were coming from the SBAS testbed deployed in South Africa within the SBAS Africa project led by AVANTI. Both trials took advantage of the large GMV experience in developing SBAS algorithms through magicSBAS tool so magicVRS was fed with SBAS messages produced by magicSBAS in real-time, broadcasting optimized information for being applied to maritime applications. magicSBAS is an SBAS demonstrator that collects multi-constellation GNSS data (measurements and ephemeris) from a regional network of reference stations, computes satellite orbits and clocks corrections and ionospheric and integrity information in accordance with ICAO SARPS standards. In previous papers presented at ION-GNSS it has been demonstrated how GMV’s low latitude ionospheric algorithms can enhance SBAS performance on Equatorial regions [1]. During the last year, internal re-search has been performed at GMV to provide improved accuracy and integrity performances for maritime appli-cations, and these improved algorithms were used in the maritime trials in Europe and Africa, whose results are summarized in this paper. magicSBAS can also be complemented with magicGNSS suite, in particular to magi-cODTS to provide precise orbit determination and time synchronization of GNSS satellites that enhances even more the SBAS corrections assessment. The SBAS-Africa project, led by AVANTI, in partnership with GMV, NSL, Pildo Labs, TAS UK, the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), Ghana Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA), delivered a live SBAS signal in space serving the southern part of the African continent. The system generates SBAS messages using GMV’s magicSBAS tool suite with input data from a network of GPS ground monitoring stations developed by NSL which are deployed across South Africa and neighbouring countries. The messages are broadcast via the ARTEMIS GEO satellite originally an ESA EGNOS satellite now owned by Avanti. The system provides an immediate improvement of GPS accuracy having far-reaching benefits across a range of user communities and applications, such as precision agriculture or general aviation. The paper will analyse the combined use of magicSBAS improved algorithms for maritime applications and magi-cODTS to determine the accuracy and integrity improvement derived from the use of these algorithms, and how this improvement could positively impact achieved performance in maritime applications. The results of these maritime trials in Europe and Africa and the comparison of the different technologies will also be provided in this paper as well as a presentation of the benefits of using enhanced GNSS systems for maritime navigation.
Published in: Proceedings of the 29th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2016)
September 12 - 16, 2016
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 3377 - 3386
Cite this article: Ostolaza, J., Lera, J.J., Pérez, D., Cueto-Felgueroso, G., Cueto, M., Cezón, A., Fernández, M.A., López, M., Hill, D., Boissinot, V., Kvam, P.E., Porretta, M., "Maritime Trials in Europe and Africa Using GNSS-based Enhanced Systems," Proceedings of the 29th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2016), Portland, Oregon, September 2016, pp. 3377-3386.
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