Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS)

Information System on Marine Navigation (INNAV)

INNAV is a comprehensive, operational information management tool designed to support commerce, provide reliable waterway management and maximize opportunities to integrate emerging technologies. While other MCTS systems focus on displaying radar, mapping and communications data, INNAV addresses all the functions required for waterway management.

Waterway authorities must respond to the economics of business. By using the latest information, sensor, positioning and communications technology, waterway managers can improve operational efficiency and deliver better service to more clients at a lower cost.

INNAV is Canada's way to meet the marine information challenge. INNAV seamlessly collects, processes, displays, distributes and stores an expanding array of information.

Based on extensive experience in marine traffic management, INNAV is the core of the national integrated system that combines MCTS operations, automates routine tasks, and streamlines client access to marine information.

Traditional vessel traffic and data management systems integrate radar, target tracking and communications. Effective waterway management, however, demands a far wider range of information. INNAV responds to these demands by focusing an otherwise incompatible mixture of marine information onto a layered, graphic display of the waterway. Using off the shelf hardware and open software architecture, INNAV meets the current and future needs of waterway authorities and offers the marine community access to accurate up-to-date traffic information.

INNAV delivers an integrated workstation combining all waterway related information in a layered format from the most static to the most dynamic. Details on any type of information, sensor management and communication controls can be accessed by pull-down menus or through a georeferenced display of the waterway. Mariners, MCTS Centres, and participating shore-based clients are connected in real time through the INNAV workstation. Centre operations reflect the information collected by all other Centres and participating private and government agencies.

The operational requirements of an efficient MCTS system demands that information relevant to waterway management be accurate and readily accessible. INNAV accomplishes this by using a best-source approach to information gathering. One input by an operator is reflected across the entire INNAV system. Vessel clearances, handoffs, ETA updates and berthing requests are handled at one time. INNAV eliminates duplication of data input, controls communication equipment, and automates safety advisory services. All users share better information at the same time as collected from the most reliable sources.

Previously, radio and sensor coverage restricted traffic management operations. This is no longer the case. INNAV optimizes the operator's working capacity and the available trained personnel. By simple reconfiguration of the display, views of the waterway can be expanded or contracted in response to traffic volumes and marine incidents.

Industry and government partners can now become silent partners. The information collection and re-distribution features of INNAV allow clients to access accurate marine information without talking directly with a shore-based operator. Instead, shared access to common databases permits a port authority, marine exchange or interested government agency to view up-to-date information compiled and maintained by MCTS.

INNAV's intuitive person/machine interface reduces training time, speeds the handling of administrative tasks, and frees running of equipment. The focus stays on the waterway. The system's logging features keep an accurate record of vessel activities, allows faithful replay of incident events and speeds up the conduct of quality audits. Regardless of the volume of traffic, number of data sources, or the demands of partners and users, INNAV remains flexible, adaptable, and cost effective. Automated information support services arm personnel with accurate time-critical information.

Reliability is an absolute must for any safety service. INNAV uses a robust, proven operating system with linked regional servers to ensure no-worry, 24 hour, 7-day-a-week service. Even if network links between Operation Centres fail, INNAV is designed to continue working with site resident data. Waterway information is automatically re-synchronized when links are re-established. MCTS, as an efficient safety support system, is reflected clearly throughout the system architecture.