5. PORTABLE PILOT UNIT
The PPU, in its most comprehensive form, is a carry aboard self contained unit, incorporating an automatic identification system transponder (AIS), high precision position fixing satellite receiver and sensor, docking and approaching application sensor, heading sensor, external power supply for extended operations, battery pack, portable laptop with electronic chart display (ECD) system application (electronic navigational chart, e.g. ECDIS/inland ECDIS) and other ICT application sensors to suit specific local requirements.
Fig.8 Screen dump of the docking mode of the portable pilot unit.
The user will have real time information with regard to:
- Position, speed, heading and other relevant data of nearby ships,
- Traffic image and traffic density expectations,
- Fairway information service by universal AIS and ICT applications,
- Meteorological and hydrological information.
Furthermore the real time kinematical mode (RTK) will guarantee the possibility of continuous monitoring of the mooring and un-mooring process by means of numerical and vector indication of speeds for several positions of the hull (see figure 8). A simple form of path-prediction, by means of extrapolation of actual velocities (linear and angular) is included for the time being. In the future we hope to use state-of-the-an mathematical ship models embedded in the PPU for path-prediction.
Because of the increasing complexity and size of ships, increasing complexity of traffic, a large turnover of pilots and the relatively short period of time to gain experience, it is necessary to provide pilots with tools to theoretically support professional ship handling. MPIN, in co-operation with RNLNC hopes to provide solutions by developing a custom made computer program and, in cooperation with other pilot organizations and European financial support, a portable pilot unit. With regard to the module wind loads as well as the module for geographically fixed turns, it appears to be of importance to reconsider existing approaches and instead use the results of a sound theoretical approach and recent data from scientific research.
The author would like to thank Deborah Trimpe Burger for editing the original manuscript. He is also grateful to Dick Engelbracht and Paul Wolkenfelt for their valuable contributions.
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Max J. van Hilten started his career at sea in 1966. He worked on several types of ship and joined several companies. His first publication (1972) was about the dynamic stability of ships carrying deck cargoes of timber. In 1974 he began as a registered pilot in the port of Rotterdam. He did this for almost 29 years. During the last 15 years of that career he also performed several other tasks for the Netherlands' pilot corporation such as simulator instructor for VLCC pilots, several consultancy tasks, responsibility for the mathematical ship models used for training Dutch pilots, writing of several readers for the training and education of pilots and practical research. Nearly all of his publications relate to the subject of maneuvering. For the last 6 years he was attached, part time, as guest lecturer to the Department of Nautical Sciences of the Royal Netherlands Naval College. Since his retirement (December 2002) he has begun as a private consultant, co-operating closely with MPIN. In this capacity he was recently involved in a study regarding the accessibility for large LNG carriers of a smaller Dutch port.