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    Re: USN going paperless and celnavless
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2009 Dec 16, 09:50 -0800
    Ah, that's the abbreviation I couldn't remember -- ECDIS.   NOAA's ENC charts meet the ECDIS standard.   And, yes, the general claim is that they're "vector" charts. 

    Glad to hear a clarification that ECDIS navigation requires backups -- as I'm sure many on this list would cheer my saying, paper charts have very few failure modes (burning? falling overboard? getting wet?) and even then may in some cases remain partially useful.  While I do appreciate what electronics such as GPS has brought to the navigation process, only a fool sails without a backup.

    Anabasis75---.com wrote:
    I can't speak of the Navy, but commercial ships use  "ECDIS" for paperless navigation.  The system is still quite expensive and requires redundancy methods in case of primary computer failure.  For these reasons, most of the US merchant ships still use paper charts.  ECDIS does use vector charts which are updated by electronic patches downloaded from the Internet (another expense).
     
    As an aside, many of the standard publications are also only available as .pdf files, with the rest coming soon.  Typically the navigator prints out the required pages as needed for the voyage plan.
     
    I can see the navy going celnav-less since they have inertia navigation as well as GPS.  On merchant ships we are not so fortunate to have a redundant system, so I believe that we will hang onto Celnav a bit longer.
     
    Since my ship is charted by the USN and we are supplied with hundreds of paper charts that are updated regularly with new editions.  If the regular navy goes paper-less, I wonder if they will continue to supply us with charts.  If they do not, I am not sure what the operating company is going to do.
     
    Jeremy
     
    In a message dated 12/16/2009 12:10:38 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, lunav{at}abelhome.net writes:
    I think there are two separate issues here, paperless (ie, chartless) ships and celnavless ships.

    Up until recently US law required that a ship have up-to-date paper charts for the area in which it was navigating.   It is my understanding that both international and US law now allow ships to use electronic charting systems that can read a specific type of chart that will be provided by national charting organizations.   I can't recall the international term for the format, but these are the "ENC" style charts available from the US NOS.  

    Almost all US paper charts are now available for free download in "raster" format (ie, scanned images of the paper charts).  In fact, if one goes to the NOS web site, one can also view them on-line.   But these are not the charts legal for use with an paperless electronic system.

    The ENC format is completely different.  It has been called a vector format.  But having viewed them with a couple of different (free) ENC viewers, I suspect the underlying database is more of a "bucket of bits" where it is up to the viewing system to interpret the data and how it displays the data is up to the system.   Simple example -- is a buoy displayed as it might actually appear on the water or will it just be displayed using a generic buoy symbol?    I do know that with ENCs I can jump from feet to fathoms to meters for depth soundings with just the click of a mouse.

    Anyway, these paper-chart-less systems are now legal for use on commercial ships.  While one might argue that the Navy dances to the beat of its own drummer (or bosun's pipe if you prefer), it appears that the Navy is also using electronic charts.

    Totally separate from the issue of whether what the navigator's chart appears on a TV screen or a piece of paper is the issue of how the ship's location is determined.   It appears as if celnav has been relegated to the past, just like Morse Code, 029 keypunch control cards, vacuum tubes, and steam locomotives....  Sic Transit Gloria!

    LAS Office wrote:
    Year 2009 was when the U.S. Navy was to have fully transitioned into a digitized ship management system which includes "Navigation". This means, if completed on schedule, there are no paper charts used by the Fleet. I just confirmed, by talking to the Dant's office at USNA, that CelNav is no longer being taught. I asked about the QM rate and was told that they were still being trained in fundamental navigation techniques, but that the Surface Warfare Officer community wasn't. My contact was unsure if the entire Fleet had completed the transition to the digitized ship management system or when CelNav was discontinued at the academy. He mentioned they had dropped everything in 2000 other than training in the "Strip Method" used in sight reduction.
     
    This article is fairly recent. See http://www.dclab.com/navy_paperless.asp
     
    Joel Jacobs
     

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