BinoNav® - A New Positioning System for Maritime

Martin Bransby

Abstract: The overreliance on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is well known and widely publicised. While GNSS is generally available, concerns remain on how maritime operations, and safe navigation in particular, are affected should GNSS not be usable, or become denied for any reason. The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland (GLA) have been working on resilient positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) for many years. This work has included a comprehensive review of different potential solutions and their availability. One option proposed is the development of a ship based positioning system that makes use of a modernised pelorus to work with a modern bridge. Pelorus systems work by providing bearings from fixed positions, normally on the vessel bridge wings, to specific targets visible to the mariner and identified on the navigation chart. By taking several bearings in quick succession, several intersecting lines can be drawn on the navigation chart, providing a position estimation. Clearly, there are limitations to this approach and these are explored within the paper, but can be introduced as: Automation – the time taken to measure the bearings can limit the accuracy; Visibility – performance is limited by the mariner’s ability to see unique targets; Paperless bridges – many vessel bridges are moving away from paper, limiting the mariner’s ability to take bearings and plot them; eNavigation – more bridge systems require an electronic latitude and longitude. In an attempt to resolve most of these limitations, the GLA has been working on the development of an enhanced Pelorus (ePelorus), registered to R&RNAV as “BinoNav”®. Prototype BinoNav® systems have been developed and installed on all GLA vessels for trial. They enable the navigator to take visual bearings to known targets, from anywhere on the bridge using a handheld device – they are no longer confined to the bridge wings and targeting port or starboard objects. Measured bearings are automatically registered and drawn on an electronic chart. Multiple bearings can then be made with ease, each of which is displayed on the chart and the intersecting “cocked-hat” position calculated automatically. This information can then be used to feed other bridge systems and confirm the vessel’s position. This paper will provide a comprehensive overview of the BinoNav® system, provide the results of initial trials and explain the planned development of the proposed solution.
Published in: Proceedings of the 31st International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2018)
September 24 - 28, 2018
Hyatt Regency Miami
Miami, Florida
Pages: 1728 - 1735
Cite this article: Bransby, Martin, "BinoNav® - A New Positioning System for Maritime," Proceedings of the 31st International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2018), Miami, Florida, September 2018, pp. 1728-1735.
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