As Senior Business Development and Services Manager for Signalis in Germany, Stephen Furness puts his VTS expertise and experience to use helping the business to develop specialised software and systems for civilian and military port surveillance. With 210 systems installed in 55 countries around the globe Signalis are the ‘Masters of Maritime Safety and Security’.
Stephen will be speaking at the upcoming 10th biennial IHMA Congress which will be taking place in Vancouver from the 30th May this year and was kind enough to contribute his thoughts on the event, recent industry developments and provide us with some insight into the presentation he will give at Congress.
‘Port Expansion – The challenges’ is the central theme of the 2016 IHMA Congress. In your opinion, what are some of the main challenges port operators are experiencing today?
Stephen: Ports are under continuous pressure to minimise costs and improve efficiency whilst at the same time ensuring safety. SIGNALIS is dedicated in delivering achievable solutions that can meet the three criteria of cost, efficiency and safety.
“The main challenge today is the management of information and communications technologies verified (e-Navigation) to offer totally new solutions that allow the ability to provide a Common Operating Picture”
The main challenge today is the management of information and communications technologies verified (e-Navigation) to offer totally new solutions that allow the ability to provide a Common Operating Picture to achieve a coherent interface in providing the information flow necessary to allow the effective use of the resources engaged, and to enable collaboration among the stakeholders both inside and outside the port domain.
What are some of the major advances you have seen in the industry in recent years?
Stephen: With the complex relationships and information flows involved in the maritime transport process, technology has now enabled VTS Systems to provide all the information necessary for a comprehensive traffic image, but with such a wide range of information it is essential that it is integrated and presented in a way that maximises navigational safety, benefits and minimises any risks of confusion or misinterpretation on the part of the user. We view it as essential that information is integrated and presented in a way that maximises benefits to the operator, manages the work load of users, while also motivating and engaging the user.
The topic you will examine at Congress is ‘Optimising Channel Capacity with Cooperative Passage Plan Exchange’, can you explain in some more detail what is meant by this and what attendees can expect to learn from your presentation?
Stephen: The presentation will review the ‘COSINUS’ research project and demonstrate the latest developments in communication between Ship and Vessel Traffic Services Systems which has advanced the integration of on-board navigation systems with maritime traffic control systems on shore.
“the presentation will explore the new solutions that allow the ability to provide a Common Operating Picture (COP) of relevant information”
With the information and communications technologies now verified, the presentation will explore the new solutions that allow the ability to provide a Common Operating Picture (COP) of relevant information not only in a Tactical View (standard VTS) but now makes an Analytical View achievable to facilitate collaborative planning.
What are you looking forward to at the 2016 IHMA Congress?
Stephen: Our research and development is based on a ‘User Centered Design’ process, with user involvement throughout the process, so the IHMA Congress provides an invaluable platform to validate system concepts and developments as well as collate the future needs of users.
Visit Stephen and his colleagues at stands 30 and 31 in the exhibition hall at the 10th IHMA Congress at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel Vancouver from the 30th May – 2nd June 2016.
Not only is there the best technical papers programme we have ever put together but there is also a fabulous Partners’ Programme that means that there will be something for everyone to enjoy in Vancouver.
We hope to see you there!