The digital era of seamless global navigation has become a reality now. The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has launched state of the art digital product Admiralty Vector Chart Service (AVCS). AVCS is designed to provide the mariner with the power and utility of digital charts, fully supported by the reliability, quality and integrity of Admiralty paper charts.
The UKHO, is actively involved in charting the world’s oceans and coastlines for over 200 years. Nearly 70 per cent of world shipping use the charts of UKHO. The UKHO provides navigational products and services to the Royal Navy and merchant marine in compliance with Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) regulations.
Through AVCS, the UKHO is meeting the International Hydrographic Organization’s (IHO) aim for a worldwide seamless official consistent vector chart service. The IHO was established in 1921 as an intergovernmental organization to support the safety in navigation and the protection of the marine environment.
The products of UKHO include:
- RNCs (Raster Navigational Charts)
- ENCs (Electronic Navigational charts)
- TotalTide – a Tidal Prediction Program exclusively designed for SOLAS shipping
- Digital List of Lights – an electronic version of one of UKHO’s most popular publications.
The launching of Admiralty Vector Chart Service (AVCS) began at Singapore on April 03 and will finish at London’s Design Museum on April 07. UKHO has developed AVCS as a response to studies that found using ENCs in Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) with its capability to give real-time situational awareness at sea. The performance of AVCS has been evaluated by different type of vessels namely: oil tanker MT Supremity, aframax oil tanker MT Rio Genoa, chemical tanker Vedrey Fram, container vessel MV CMA CGM Rose, P&O cruise ship Ventura and RN vessels HMS Illustrious and HMS Manchester.
AVHS has the following features:
- mariners now can easily access carriage compliant ENCs from a single source
- overcomes the present requirement to carry, maintain and use a mix of ENC, Raster and paper charts drawn from multiple sources
- provides seamless coverage for global navigation through an integrated global set of Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) from national hydrographic offices across the globe
- covers the major shipping routes and world’s top ports
- comprises only of official ENCs produced by government Hydrographic offices and therefore is fully compliant with Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) legislation for use within ECDIS
- is fully supported by an update service. All electronic charts are up to date at the time of purchase and comprehensive updates are issued every week at no extra cost. Updates include all Notices to Mariners, New Editions and Replacement Charts as well as any new, relevant ENCs, all within the basic subscription price. Updates are available remotely online through internet or via the Weekly Update CD.
Click here to read Navigation Acronyms, Abbreviations and Definitions.
Click here to view a video clip on ECDIS from PRIMAR operated by the Norwegian Hydrographic Service (NHS).
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