Bespoke Services
November 29, 2023

Charting the Future Seascape

Our journey towards an S-100 Kernel for advanced maritime navigation solutions

As technology continues to evolve, so does the maritime industry's reliance on advanced systems for efficient and secure navigation. In our pursuit of cutting-edge solutions, we are excited to share our ongoing development efforts toward an S-100 Kernel. This transformative initiative signifies our commitment to delivering state-of-the-art navigation experiences that align with the International Hydrographic Organization's (IHO) S-100 framework.

Understanding the S-100 Framework:
The S-100 framework is a set of international standards established by the IHO to facilitate the interoperability of hydrographic data in electronic navigational charts (ENCs) and navigational systems. At its core, the S-100 framework aims to enhance safety at sea, streamline data exchange, and accommodate evolving technological landscapes. So what does understanding this framework mean in reality? A whole lot of reading it turns out. The IHO has provided some really great documentation that we've had the whole team delving into. When a business is looking to innovate, it's vital that everyone has a solid knowledge and understanding of the technology they are using and looking to build with. But it's not for the faint-hearted and covers everything from spatial schema to portrayal scripts so you'll be forgiven if it takes a couple of times for the extracts on metadata to really sink in.

Key Features of an S-100 Kernel:

  1. Interoperability: The S-100 Kernel enables seamless interoperability among diverse hydrographic data sources, ensuring that information from different vendors and platforms can be integrated cohesively.
  2. Modularity: Our development towards an S-100 Kernel embraces a modular approach, allowing for the integration of new features and updates without disrupting the overall functionality of the system. This ensures adaptability to emerging technologies and evolving industry requirements.
  3. Data Flexibility: With an S-100 Kernel, our navigation solutions will support a wider range of data types and formats, providing users with greater flexibility in accessing and utilising hydrographic data relevant to their specific needs.
  4. Enhanced Precision and Accuracy: By adhering to the S-100 standards, our navigation systems will benefit from enhanced precision and accuracy, contributing to safer and more reliable maritime operations.

This means our customers are getting the very best solutions for the changing world ahead. The shipping industry has a bad reputation for being slow to adapt to the digitized future, but from our experience, this is not due to a lack of appetite for digital solutions. In fact, quite the opposite. The reason is generally due to technology fatigue caused by overly complicated processes and unnecessarily restrictive compatibility. Moving towards an S-100 future promises customers a simpler, cohesive future for their businesses and ours.

Development Process:

  1. Research and Analysis: Our development process begins with thorough research and analysis of the S-100 framework, ensuring a deep understanding of its principles and standards.
  2. Integration Planning: We work closely with industry experts and stakeholders to plan the seamless integration of an S-100 Kernel into our existing navigation systems.
  3. Software Architecture Design: Our team of experienced software architects designs a robust and scalable software architecture that accommodates the S-100 Kernel, emphasising modularity and flexibility.
  4. Testing and Validation: Rigorous testing and validation procedures are implemented to ensure the S-100 Kernel's compatibility, reliability, and adherence to industry standards.

This is a new playing field for everyone, which means defining the products we want to see on the market without the headache of legacy interference. At the start of the summer, we built our own Seall S-100 viewer to allow us to review the data directly against the IHO's viewer. This has proved an invaluable resource for building features and identifying and resolving bugs. We have our tried and tested S57 Kernel, but this time we have a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry. Collaboration is key for bringing to market a solution that will work for everyone across the sector and demonstrate a truly new vision of vessel navigation.

Benefits for End Users:

  1. Future-Proof Navigation: Our commitment to an S-100 Kernel ensures that our navigation solutions remain at the forefront of technological advancements, providing users with a future-proof navigation experience.
  2. Streamlined Data Exchange: The adoption of S-100 standards streamlines data exchange between vessels, shore-based facilities, and other navigation systems, promoting a more connected and efficient maritime ecosystem.
  3. Global Compliance: Users can navigate with confidence, knowing that our systems adhere to international standards, contributing to global maritime safety and regulatory compliance.

The industry is ready to transition into its paperless future but customers deserve something that works for them effortlessly, and not only if criteria A, B, E and G are met. They shouldn't have to be concerned that the technological solutions they are using to help streamline their voyages' are considered to have an impending end of life. Or worse, that part of their solution is now covered by a different product or a different seller, and now to continue operating they must purchase multiple technologies that add up to a bill considerably larger that the agreement they entered into.

Our development towards an S-100 Kernel underscores our dedication to innovation, safety, and the seamless integration of cutting-edge technologies into the maritime industry. As we navigate the future, this initiative stands as a testament to our commitment to providing reliable, efficient, and compliant navigation solutions for the evolving needs of the maritime community.

Charting the Future Seascape
Charting the Future Seascape
Charting the Future Seascape
Charting the Future Seascape
Charting the Future Seascape
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