ECDIS is an approved system which displays information from electronic navigational charts and digital nautical charts and integrates these with other navigational sensors, such as radar, to provide continuous position and navigational safety information.
The introduction of the SPx-ECDIS kit has been driven by new International Maritime Organisation regulations which are due to come into force from July 2012. These regulations mandate most large passenger ships, tankers and cargo vessels to integrate digital navigation (ECDIS) into bridge procedures. According to some market estimates, up to 45,000 ships will be required to be fitted with ECDIS between 2012 and 2018.
David Johnson, managing director of Cambridge Pixel, said: “The migration of paper chart navigation to ECDIS navigation – as a result of the regulations – has resulted in a frenzy of activity among the big bridge system manufacturers and suppliers of stand-alone ECDIS systems for the retrofit market.
“Our toolkit – which contains many of the components needed to build a total system – is likely to be attractive to system integrators, particularly those developing a truly localised in-country ECDIS offering but also to any new entrant looking for a low risk way into what is a sizeable market.”
Cambridge Pixel’s new SPx-ECDIS kit provides considerable flexibility for customers looking to develop a flexible, open-systems ECDIS solution. The radar interface is based on the HPx-200C (for PCI) or HPx-200Ce (PCI-express) card, which provides a highly flexible interface for a wide range of radar signal types.
For radar display, the SPx-ECDIS product includes a powerful radar scan converter, which presents a Plan Position Indicator (PPI) radar display image with fully configurable view, colour, brightness, persistence and trail history. The scan converter provides a range of options for combining the radar with application graphics, allowing for underlay/overlay graphics from navigational charts. For chart display, the ECDIS application can take responsibility for this, leaving SPx-ECDIS to handle the radar, or else SPx-ECDIS can provide a full S57 chart display capability.
The built-in target tracker processes the radar video to extract and follow targets of interest. The acquisition of targets can be manual or fully automatic. The areas of target acquisition can be programmed as latitude/longitude polygons or the software can use a built-in map database to support acquisition of targets at sea, with video returns over land being automatically suppressed. The tracker is fully configurable for a range of target types and applications.
Cambridge Pixel’s SPX-ECDIS kit is part of its SPx suite of software libraries and applications which provide highly flexible, ready-to-run software products or ‘modules-of-expertise’ for radar visualisation, radar video distribution, plot extraction and target tracking.