News & Press
MOL and OKI to Launch Joint Study of Bird's-eye View Monitoring System on a Tugboat
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:11:32 GMT

Japanese shipping line Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Oki Electric Industry have joined forces to start a joint study on the use of OKI?s new FlyingView bird?s-eye view monitoring system to monitor a 360-degree field of view around a tugboat.

In preparation for the study, the system was installed on the tugboat Asaka Maru and a preliminary experiment was conducted.

According to the press release, available here, MOL believes the system makes it possible for the tug's operator to objectively recognize the boat's surrounding situations. The release also states that ?the boat can also instinctively grasp its distance from surrounding obstacles and other vessels, and this leads to reducing the risk of an accidental contact with the target vessel and more effectively assisting its safe berthing and unberthing.?

Marine Accident Investigation Bureau Report: Grounding of General Cargo Vessel Priscilla
Mon, 7 Oct 2019 14:32:10 GMT

This newly published report from the Marine Accident Investigation Bureau (MAIB) concerns the grounding of a general cargo vessel on the Pentland Skerries, Scotland in July 2018.

Summary from MAIB:

"On 18 July 2018, the Netherlands registered general cargo vessel Priscilla ran aground on Pentland Skerries, Scotland. For about 2 hours prior to the accident, the officer of the watch had been unaware that Priscilla was drifting away from the...

White van man follows satnav into river
Fri, 4 Oct 2019 20:53:13 GMT

The driver was called ?unbelievably stupid? after following his satnav, which saw the van half-submerged in a tributary of the River Ure near Ripon, Yorkshire.

The front-seat passenger, who had directed the driver using the satnav, commented ?The emergency services said we could have lost our lives if we were 2 ft deeper. We would have been swept away down the river. It was proper bad. It was flowing really fast, about 70mph apparently.?

GPS next-generation ground segment completes development
Thu, 3 Oct 2019 20:47:51 GMT

Raytheon?s GPS Next-Generation Operational Control System (GPS OCX) has completed full software and hardware development and entered the system integration and test phase.

This milestone keeps GPS OCX on track to meet its June 2021 contractual delivery deadline.

The President of Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services comments:
?GPS OCX is one of the largest, most complex software development programmes in the Department of Defense...
United States Coast Guard Seek Feedback and Opinions from Marine Navigators
Mon, 30 Sep 2019 16:16:47 GMT

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) medium frequency radio equipment which transmits vital NAVTEX navigational warnings is getting very old and hard to maintain. The USCG is therefore seeking views on a proposed Termination of U.S. Coast Guard Medium Frequency (MF) Broadcast of Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) and  Shift to Satellite.


For further information and to submit feedback please visit:

Two BeiDou satellites launched
Wed, 25 Sep 2019 14:13:08 GMT

A Long March 3B rocket launched the pair from the Xichang Space Centre at 2110 UTC on 22 September (0510 local on 23 September).

The satellites - the 47/48th BeiDou satellites to have been launched - are reported to have successfully been placed into their targeted medium Earth orbits (MEO).

These satellites are the first in the constellation to be equipped with hydrogen maser clocks, serving as more stable precision frequency references; they are also equipped with updated...

Autumnal Equinox
Sun, 22 Sep 2019 19:32:31 GMT

Astronomically, we say ?farewell? to Summer at the Autumnal Equinox, when the Sun passes over the equator - at 0750 UTC (0850 BST) on 23 September.

Autumn will now run until the Winter Solstice - 0419 UTC (~GMT) on 22 December. Then Winter will last until the Vernal Equinox, when the Sun passes back into the northern hemisphere - at 0349 UTC on 20 March 2020.

But in meteorological terms, Autumn is considered to be the months of September, October and November, with the...
Institute event supporter Joan Smith dies
Sun, 22 Sep 2019 12:18:43 GMT

Many senior members will recall Joan as the focal point for attendees at our major events in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Joan was the wife of Sid Smith FRIN, a Scientist at RAE Farnborough and a very active member of the Technical Committee. The pair of them were invaluable at conferences - Sid looking after presenters and visual aids and Joan running the reception desks.

In early September Joan died of a heart attack whilst travelling with her son in France. We pass our condolences to Sid and their family.
Fly/Sail Weekend
Fri, 13 Sep 2019 10:43:42 GMT

The Institute's Fly/Sail Weekend was great fun, helped by a light breeze and much blue sky over Portsmouth.

We had 3 aircraft with 5 flyers and 7 sailors in a couple of boats who all met up at Solent Airport for Saturday lunch, followed by pilots flying sailors around the Isle of Wight.

The evening commenced with drinks, bites and many war-stories onboard the catamaran 'Spirit of Scott Bader' in Portsmouth Harbour, followed by dinner in the Hornet...

IMO Maritime Safety ? New and Revised Circulars
Tue, 10 Sep 2019 11:09:56 GMT

Several New or Revised Circulars were issued by the International Maritime Organization Maritime Safety Committee and Sub-Committees in the last few months, which should be of interest for many of our Members:


Norwegian Navy Navigates Vessel to the North Pole for the First Time
Fri, 6 Sep 2019 14:59:14 GMT


The KV Svalbard reaches the North Pole, August 21, 2019. Photo courtesy Norwegian Coast Guard

As part of an international science expedition, the Norwegian Navy has navigated one of their Ships, the Coast Guard vessel KV Svalbard Nordpolen, to the geographic North Pole for the first time. With increasing usage of Arctic waters by commercial shipping, it is important that Norway can both navigate these waters and also carry out scientific research...

Farewell Summer . .
Sat, 31 Aug 2019 18:45:28 GMT

In meteorological terms, 1 September is the beginning of Autumn in the northern hemisphere.

Meteorologists define northern Autumn as the months of September, October and November; but many consider that Autumn starts at the Autumnal Equinox - 0750 UTC on 23 September, when the Sun returns to the southern hemisphere.
Dr Alexander Smith FRIN
Wed, 28 Aug 2019 18:00:38 GMT

We have heard the sad news that Alex Smith has died in the United States.

He graduated from Cranfield University in 1983 with a MSc in Aerospace and gained an MBA at Westminster University whilst working for National Air Traffic Services (NATS). But after 5 years with NATS, in 1988 he emigrated to the US, where he spent the rest of his working life.

Starting as Senior Aviation Consultant at MSI Services working on aircraft landing...

France and India developing "real-time" satellite based AIS vessel and oil slick tracking systems
Wed, 28 Aug 2019 14:16:07 GMT
India and the French Space Agency (CNES) are developing a "real-time" satellite based AIS (Automatic Identification System) vessel tracking system and oil slick tracking system.

On Thursday 22 August Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, and K Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, have signed an agreement to start the development and production of a constellation of satellites for the tracking project, which has the potential to revolutionise shipping.

The full CNES press release can be found by clicking here.
Successful GPS III launch
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 19:13:21 GMT

The second Lockheed Martin GPS III satellite was finally launched from Cape Canaveral on 22 August, having been delayed from a planned launch on 25 July.

An anomaly in the United Launch Alliance Delta 4 launch vehicle had been resolved and it was launched at the planned time of 1306 UTC on 22 August. The first GPS III satellite had been successfully launched on 23 December 2018.

The satellite will use its own engine to circularise its...

RAF Aerosystems Course Graduation
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 22:03:17 GMT

On 25 July, a graduation ceremony for 49 Aerosystems Course was held in the Officers? Mess at RAF Boscombe Down, Salisbury.

Past-President, Norman Bonnor, stood-in for our President, Prof Terry Moore, to present the Royal Institute of Navigation Trophy.

Norman Bonnor, himself a graduate of the course, reports:

Yes, you read correctly - the Course is now resident within the Air Warfare Centre enclave at Boscombe Down, having moved from...
UK GNSS jamming trials start
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 15:10:34 GMT

Ground-based GPS jammers will be operating from the Stanford Training Area (STANTA), near Thetford, Norfolk.

The jamming, centred close to 5233N 00043E, could take place at any time from 0700UTC on 19 August to 1600UTC on 6 September. It would not exceed 2 minutes duration and may take place up to 5 times per hour.

A notice to airmen (NOTAM) warns that jamming could affect all GNSS frequencies up to 40,000ft within a 30NM radius.

The NOTAM warns that ?GPS receivers may suffer intermittent/total failure or give incorrect position info. Crews should be aware of these limitations and use alternative means of navigation.? This could, of course, apply to local vehicles.

NOTAMs may be viewed through NATS
UK seeking Galileo replacement partners
Sun, 18 Aug 2019 21:22:28 GMT

UK is reported to be seeking an alliance with its ?Five Eyes? security partners to launch a satellite positioning system after being frozen out of Galileo.

The ?Five Eyes? security pact is an intelligence alliance - comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and USA - which formed in the aftermath of WWII.

The alliance could see the allies contributing technological and financial support to the estimated ?5 billion project in exchange for access to the system?s encrypted...
Capt James H Martin FRIN
Sun, 18 Aug 2019 14:08:37 GMT

We are sad to report the passing of Capt James Martin FRIN at the age of 86.

James, from Trinidad and Tobago, spent many years at sea in dry-cargo ships, bulk carriers and tankers before commanding passenger and cargo vessels for a further 10 years.

After then serving in Maritime Administration in Jamaica, he joined the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), London, as Head of the Africa/Caribbean Section of the Technical...

Warning of GPS Spoofing Threat for Merchant Shipping
Fri, 16 Aug 2019 11:32:13 GMT

On 7 August the US Department of Transportation?s Maritime Administration issued a warning suggesting Iran is engaged in interfering with ships? GPS systems as they transit near the Middle Eastern nation.

The warning said that there were reports of ?spoofed bridge-to-bridge communications from unknown entities falsely claiming to be US or coalition warships? from merchant ships.

In an e-mail statement the US Central Command (CENTCOM) explained ?Due to the heightened regional tensions, the potential for miscalculation or misidentification could lead to...

Alan Cherry FRIN
Tue, 13 Aug 2019 18:28:12 GMT

It is with great sadness that we report the passing, at the age of 87, of Alan Cherry, an incredibly active member of the Institute for many years.

Alan joined the RAF in 1951 and trained as a pilot, later to become a qualified flying instructor. Most of his flying was associated with maritime patrol duties on Shackleton and Nimrod aircraft, with which he also undertook research and development work. He was involved in the acceptance-into-service of the Nimrod,...

what3words adopted by first air ambulances
Sun, 11 Aug 2019 11:02:32 GMT

Institute Duke of Edinburgh Prize-winners ?what3words? is being used by Thames Valley Air Ambulance to find patients faster in medical emergencies.

Problems often occur in hard-to-reach or rural areas, but now a 999 caller can give a 3-word address for their precise location to within 3 metres, and this can be used by the air ambulance to find them.

Air ambulances join 30 other emergency services to use the location system. To find out more about the system and download the free app, go to
Obituary for a navigator
Tue, 30 Jul 2019 16:19:51 GMT

Sqn Ldr Bob Culpin, a WWII bomber pathfinder navigator and later an advanced navigation instructor, has died at the age of 97.

He survived a remarkable 75 bombing missions during the war, some of which saw airframes and equipment shredded and fellow aircrew killed.

After the war, he returned to civilian tax office duties, but after a few months he accepted an extended service commission in the RAF and, for the rest of his career, was primarily engaged in training and...

Today?s GPS launch postponed
Thu, 25 Jul 2019 21:47:44 GMT

The launch of the second GPS III satellite from Cape Canaveral, scheduled for 25 July, has been put back to 22 August at the earliest.

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) has confirmed that the delay is due to an anomaly in a component in the upper stage of the Delta 4 launch vehicle. The first Lockheed Martin GPS III satellite was successfully launched on 23 December 2018.

GPS III satellites have an extended lifespan of 15 years. The manufacturers claim 3-times better...

Investigating the Effects of Bridge Alarms ? Survey Results
Wed, 24 Jul 2019 13:18:09 GMT
A 2017/2018 survey has shown that frequently sounding alarms and poorly designed alarm panels in Ship Wheelhouses is causing "Alarm Fatigue" amongst Navigators and impeding proper navigation of vessels.

The survey results have been outlined by the Ship Owners? Club online here:

The Ship Owners' Club is sharing this information to help facilitate further discussion of the topic in the...
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