A proposed submarine electronic chart display and information system

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The introduction of electronic charts and their display systems has greatly improved the mariner’s ability to absorb information and assess developing navigation and collision avoidance situations. NATO, recognizing the capability of these systems, has commenced development of a specialized navigation system that will extend the role of conventional ECDIS into the warship environment. This report proposes a further extension of ECDIS capabilities into the submarine environment, thus providing the modern submariner with the benefits of computer assisted navigation. The unique requirements of submarine navigation, the S-57 Electronic Navigational Chart, and the Vector Product Format’s Digital Nautical Chart are investigated. Additional requirements needed for a specialized Submarine Electronic Chart Display and Information System are then proposed and recommendations for the most suitable electronic chart product are made. A proposed product specification is included as an Appendix to the report. Review of submarine navigation identifies four new functional requirements that must be added to WECDIS to support submarine navigation. The new requirements are: real time pool of error generation; real time generation of safe depth contours; input, display and organization of water space management data; and the ability to function as a digital local operations plot. After review of the two prominent electronic charts, the Digital Nautical Chart is selected as the most suitable product for use.