M-Estimation as a Tool Supporting a Vessel Traffic Controller in the VTS System

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Abstract

In order to improve maritime safety and the efficiency of vessel traffic, systems supervising vessel traffic, i.e. VTS (Vessel Traffic Service), started to be created. These systems are aimed to control vessel traffic in waters where traffic congestion, a large concentration of vessels or the presence of navigational hazards creates a risk of collision or stranding.

VTS systems constitute maritime safety centres and they must be equipped with appropriate devices in order to be fully functional. Among devices that provide information about vessels are coastal radar stations which are located around a monitored sea area. This kind of spatial arrangement of these stations can be used to simultaneously obtain information about every vessel, but such observations may be fraught with serious errors. Therefore, the estimation methods that are employed and developed in geodesy can be used to improve the accuracy with which a vessel’s position is determined. The Interactive Navigational Structure, i.e. IANS, is an example of how these methods can be applied in navigation; this term has already been introduced into the literature (Czaplewski, 2004). The text below presents the theoretical assumptions underlying the use of IANS as a tool supporting a vessel traffic controller using the VTS system in his/her work. This presentation is supported by a numerical test that was performed in the waters of the Bay of Gdańsk which are covered by the VTS system.

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Polish Maritime Research

The Journal of Gdansk University of Technology

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