New measures to improve shipping traffic and maritime safety require
justification and careful evaluation as regards efficiency and
effectiveness. Effective shore-based management, monitoring and control of
shipping traffic implies that Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and Vessel
Traffic Management and Information Services (VTMIS), which require
significant investment, should be located in the most suitable areas for
capturing and collecting traffic data. Consequently, when planning safety
measures such as VTS in a given area, evaluation of the flow and density
of maritime traffic becomes an essential element.
MOVIT aimed to achieve a complete mobile VTMIS that could be transported
to any site for the evaluation of traffic flow and density, under
operational conditions. Basic information to be provided by the system was
to include identification of traffic problems, evaluation of the site for
implementation of sensors, definition of the VTS operational procedure,
demonstration and assessment of functional designs, and evaluation of
MOVIT has specified a VTS structure that can be put in a mobile shelter and used with many different types of VTS. The mobile shelter allows traffic to be measured in different places simply by connecting a VTS system with an analysis tool such the EPTO (evaluation of traffic flow and density) platform.
The project has defined a specific communication standard using CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture), called the MOVIT Communication Standard, which has successfully operated between the providers of VTS, a weather forecasting system and a fishing monitoring system involved in the project. CORBA allows the connection of modules programmed in different languages and functioning on different platforms. The MOVIT Communication Standard includes six types of messages: track, ship characteristics, ship information, voyage, alarm, and environment message.
MOVIT has provided the specifications of the shelter and has developed a CORBA kernel defined by the IDL (Interface Definition Language) interface. The different messages specified have been written using this language. The communications interfaces between each system and the defined MOVIT Communication Standard, and between the Communication Standard and EPTO have been realised and tested with on-site registered data.
The demonstration was successful in proving that different systems based on heterogeneous and legacy technologies are able to communicate with the EPTO tool using standardised messages based on CORBA. Tracks could be visualised on the VTS displays and on the EPTO screen as well, and traffic statistics could be computed. Environmental data were sent to EPTO by the weather forecast system at the same time.
MOVIT represents a key step towards the standardisation of VTS communications using the 'state of the art' CORBA. The MOVIT Communication Standard is able to connect heterogeneous systems. The standard was defined within the MOVIT project with the purpose of allowing all the systems to send their output data to EPTO. However, in addition it can be used for communication between vessel traffic services, allowing VTS to receive and manage environmental data, as well as enabling communication through the Internet.
With the MOVIT concept, it is possible to access a wide range of VTS applicable to many different coastal configurations and to study, evaluate and keep statistics on maritime traffic in the related areas. MOVIT has developed a tool to improve maritime safety and efficiency, as well as environmental protection based on evaluation of traffic and data comparisons in different areas. Therefore, it supports the Commission's policy on improved maritime transport safety.