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Tag: Navigation--Performance
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  • Sharing Ships’ Weather Data via AIS: Concept and Results from Multiyear Observations

    Abstract: The purpose of this Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering technical note (CHETN) is to discuss the concept, demonstrations, and the initial results of multiyear proof-of-concept testing of the capability to share weather data from ships via the Automatic Identification System (AIS). Technical foundations of this process were described by Tetreault and Johnson (2020) with partial results described in Johnston et al. 2021. The updated results in this CHETN include evaluation of the efficacy of the various application-specific message (ASM) formats use to communicate the weather observations and data reception results for selected vessels that have been participating in the proof-of-concept field deployment since 2019 or later.
  • Potential Lock Operations Management Application (LOMA) Hardware Installation Sites along the Ohio River to Improve Automatic Identification System (AIS) Reception and Transmit Range

    Abstract: The purpose of this Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering technical note (CHETN) is to propose a list of candidate sites along the Ohio River for the installation of Automatic Identification System (AIS) shoreside towers within the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Lock Operations Management Application (LOMA) program. The LOMA program manages a network of terrestrial (shoreside) AIS sites (Figure 1) and vessel-mounted AIS sites with receive and transmit capability. However, there are known limits to the reception and transmission areas served by existing shoreside towers (referred to as “coverage gaps”) along the Ohio River (DiJoseph et al. 2021). Parties interested in improving AIS coverage to enhance maritime domain awareness and navigational safety along the Ohio River may wish to pursue the installation of LOMA program hardware for this purpose.
  • An Examination of Multihazard Marine Transportation System (MTS) Response and Recovery Operations during the 2020 Hurricane Season

    Abstract: The Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS), Resilience Integrated Action Team (RIAT), was established in 2014 to foster the coordination and coproduction of knowledge that incorporates the concepts of resilience into the marine transportation system (MTS). The RIAT defines resilience as a four-phase cycle that incorporates preparation, response, recovery, and adaptation activities to minimize disruption to the MTS. The RIAT utilizes this definition of resilience to convene first-responder CMTS agencies to examine challenges and successes and make recommendations about past hurricane seasons. The 2020 hurricane season saw a record-breaking number of storms form in the Atlantic basin during a global pandemic. As a result, federal agencies were challenged to operate in a multihazard posture, and many former lessons learned needed to be adjusted to this unprecedented situation.
  • A Method for Evaluating Automatic Identification System (AIS) Coverage on Select Inland Waterways in 2020 and 2021: Upper Mississippi River, Illinois River, and Ohio River

    Abstract: The Automatic Identification System (AIS) shares vessel position information for navigational safety purposes. AIS broadcasts are received by other ships and terrestrial stations; however, in some areas there is no, or low, terrestrial station coverage to receive broadcasts. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) developed an Online Travel Time Atlas (OTTA) to process AIS data and derive a transit count. This study examined OTTA output from 2020 and 2021 to identify areas of high or low AIS coverage along the Upper Mississippi, Illinois, and Ohio Rivers. Segments with a yearly average of two or more transit per day were classified as high coverage, those with less than a yearly average of two transits per day were classified as low coverage. Rivers were segmented using the USACE National Channel Framework reach boundaries. Results based on calculated vessel transits were as follows: Upper Mississippi River: 837.4 miles (98%) had high coverage, with 17.4 miles (2%) of low coverage; Illinois River: 190.5 miles (59%) had high AIS coverage, and 133 miles (41%) had low AIS coverage; Ohio River: 644 miles (66%) had high coverage, and 337 miles (34%) had low coverage. AIS coverage could be improved by raising antennae heights, installing repeater equipment, or adding towers.
  • A Resilient Path Forward for the Marine Transportation System: Recommendations for Response and Recovery Operations from the 2017-2019 Hurricane Seasons

    Abstract: The Marine Transportation System (MTS), Resilience Integrated Action Team (RIAT), is tasked by the coordinating board of the US Committee on the MTS to serve as a coordinating body to identify the impacts, best practices, and lessons learned by federal agencies involved in the response and recovery of the MTS after hurricane seasons. In response to this request, the RIAT has focused its analysis on the ability of MTS federal agencies to prepare, respond, recover, and adapt to as well as from disruptions. This was accomplished through workshops focused on gathering the collective experiences of emergency response professionals. In 2017, recommendations were gathered based on experiences responding to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. In this report, a similar approach was adopted to gather findings from Hurricanes Florence and Michael in 2018 and Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Utilizing the successes, challenges, and best practices from all six of these storms, the RIAT identified key coordinating bodies and the participants for each and key takeaways relative to the coordination of agencies with respect to the four steps of resilience: prepare, absorb, recover, and adapt.
  • Measuring Maritime Connectivity to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Using Automatic Identification System (AIS) Data

    Abstract: The purpose of this Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering technical note (CHETN) is to summarize a portion of recently published work (Young, Kress, et al. 2022) that used archival Automatic Identification System (AIS) data to measure the commercial vessel traffic connected to Puerto Rican and US Virgin Island (USVI) port areas from January 2015 to June 2020. Vessel movement derived from AIS was aggregated to construct a network that measured the port-to-port connectivity for all ports in the network and the interconnectivity of traffic between those ports. AIS data provided a description of vessel movement and the identification of specific vessel classes. Metrics such as interconnectedness can be used in conjunction with standard US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) metrics describing waterway utilization, which traditionally have included total tonnage and specific commodity tonnage. The ability to consider the self-selected vessel-type broadcast via AIS, as well as dominant commodity type and tonnage reported through statistical publications, provides a fuller and more accurate description of waterway capacity utilization. This knowledge, along with port-to-port interconnectedness, reveals potential redundancies between ports, robustness across supply chains, and the impacts of seasonality, thereby allowing the USACE to expand its understanding of maritime supply-chain resilience.
  • Reception of Automatic Identification System (AIS) Message 21 from US Army Corps of Engineer AIS sites along the Upper Mississippi River, Mile 0 to 301

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to map the on-vessel receipt of message 21 broadcasts from shoreside Automatic Identification System (AIS) sites. Message 21 is one of 27 different AIS messages, and it is used to provide information about real and virtual aids to navigation (AtoNs). Virtual AtoNs are broadcast to warn mariners of hazards like temporary construction zones or submerged debris that may not be marked with a physical buoy. In this study, message 21 was broadcast from different shore-based AIS transceiver sites along the river. Equipment onboard the patrol vessel Pathfinder was monitored for receipt of message 21 during patrols on the Mississippi River that ranged from Lock and Dam (L&D) 22 to Cairo, Illinois, with the confluence of the Ohio River. The Pathfinder is owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and is based out of the St. Louis District (MVS). Understanding where vessels receive, or do not receive, message 21 has important implications for maritime safety in this heavily traveled portion of the inland waterway system.
  • Automatic Identification System (AIS) Data Case Study: Vessel Traffic through the Yaquina Bay Breakwater at Newport, Oregon

    Abstract: The navigation staff at US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Portland District (NWP) asked for information on vessel transits through the two existing openings in the breakwater on the north side of Yaquina Bay in Newport, Oregon. Currently, no authorized federal channel passes through the breakwater openings; however, the design for a possible federal channel is under consideration. NWP staff were interested in historical vessel transits, with a special focus on isolating transits for the largest (i.e., longest) vessels, identified as vessels 80 feet or longer, currently utilizing the area inside the breakwater. The Automatic Identification System Analysis Package (AISAP) software created by USACE-ERDC (2018) was used to analyze vessel traffic.
  • AIS Data: An Overview of Free Sources

    Abstract: The purpose of this Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering technical note (CHETN) is to describe the sources of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data available to the public, with a focus on federal employees who may need AIS data to carry out their official duties. AIS data, in this context, refer to both real-time and historic vessel position information.
  • US Port Connectivity and Ramifications for Maintenance of South Atlantic Division Ports

    Abstract: This study utilized automatic identification system (AIS) data to quantify vessel traffic patterns within a predominantly US port network from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2020, with the methods validated using independent data sets collected between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2019. The analysis focused on South Atlantic Division (SAD) ports. AIS-derived data characterized individual ports’ traffic and port-to-port connectivity for the network. With foreign vessel entrances and clearances (E&C) data, the AIS-reported vessel characteristics enabled calculation of ships’ physical volume, which was a reasonable proxy for tonnage at many SAD ports. The PageRank algorithm was then applied to port-to-port traffic, revealing how individual ports participate in cargo movement through the network. PageRank scores also provided insight into the maritime supply chain beyond traditional traffic metrics. For example, many East Coast SAD ports ranked higher by PageRank than by raw tonnage. Because of the supply chain implications of shared vessel traffic, PageRank scores can augment tonnage metrics when prioritizing channel and infrastructure maintenance. Vessel volume, port-to-port connectivity, and PageRank scores reveal maritime supply chain resilience by identifying alternative destinations for cargo bound for disrupted ports, robustness across supply chains, and the effects of seasonality and disruptions.