The 2014 Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) drew thousands of participants and speakers, and a plethora of exhibitors, including the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and EGNOS, Europe’s Satellite-Based Augmentation System.
Last month’s Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) drew participants and speakers from a broad range of domains, along with a plethora of exhibitors, including the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and EGNOS, Europe’s Satellite-Based Augmentation System.
METS is considered one of the world’s leading B2B events in the marine equipment and leisure industries, highlighting new products like maritime multi-constellation receivers as AIS transceiver and SAR beacons, and including seminars and networking opportunities across countries, technologies and industry sectors. For the first time, The GSA and EGNOS participated in the show in Amsterdam, which drew over 1350 exhibitors from more than 40 countries around the world.
“The European GNSS mission is to respond to user needs in different market segment, including the maritime one,” says GSA Market Development Project Officer Manuel Lopez. “European GNSS has a key role to play in the sector, strengthening the dialogue with key players in the value chain, advocating for the adoption and integration of EGNOS now and Galileo in the future, and leveraging R&D projects within the maritime field.”
An informal survey revealed some interesting trends among receiver manufacturers at the show. For example, while GPS-like maritime equipment is typically SBAS-enabled, the fact that they are also EGNOS-enabled is usually not –clearly stated in product specifications, so users of the equipment are generally not aware that they are benefiting from EGNOS augmentation in Europe. Indeed, many users don’t know what EGNOS is – showing the importance of having a visible presence at trade shows like METS.
“METS gives the GSA a unique perspective on the maritime sector, enabling us to survey and respond to segment-specific requirements and needs,” adds Manuel.
Highlighting GNSS initiatives in the maritime sector
The world’s oceans and other waterways are by far the most widely used means of transporting goods, making efficiency and safety in maritime transport critical for sustainable economic growth and prosperity worldwide.
Examples of important GNSS initiatives in the maritime sector include the international e-Navigation programme and the EU e-Maritime initiative, both using GNSS to promote safety of life, protection of the environment, energy efficiency and the effective use of marine resources.
European GNSS can be a critical means of achieving all of these objectives, and while EGNOS is still a new arrival on the maritime scene, GSA and the EGNOS service provider (ESSP) are convinced that Europe’s leading satellite-based systems, including EGNOS and Galileo, have great benefits to offer for maritime navigation and port operations – both now and in the years to come.
GSA and ESSP officials were also interested in reaching out to makers and users of Automatic Identification Systems (AIS). AIS is used on ships for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships, AIS base stations, and satellites. AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for waterborne transport.
“The aim of the EGNOS team at METS was not only to promote the EGNOS service among users in the maritime domain, but also to contact the wide-range of GPS receiver manufacturers and stakeholders in attendance,” says ESSP’s Pilar Azcarrage. “This event allowed the possibility to start contacting those EGNOS stakeholders, and ask them about their equipment and its compatibility with EGNOS.”
During the event, EGNOS programme officials had a chance to meet some other key stakeholders in the sector, including representatives of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), the trade association representing the global marine industry. In addition, many leading maritime receiver makers were present in Amsterdam, including Furuno.
“FURUNO has been engaged in research and development of GPS receivers for over 20 years and consistently engages in research activities in reception and positioning technology using signals from new navigation satellite systems” says Takahiro Sakurai, Director General, Furuno Europe B.V, “We look at multi-constellation GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) as well as SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation System) receivers. Our GNSS receivers, for example are already Galileo, Glonass, QZSS and SBAS including EGNOS enabled.”
Manuel Lopez, GSA Market Development Project Officer
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