Skip to comments.Paperless Navigation
Posted on 05/31/2010 7:59:19 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
After five years of testing, the U.S. Navy is finally entering the digital age for navigation. Five years ago, the first all digital navigation system was installed, in the USS Cape St. George (a cruiser). Called the Voyage Management System (VMS), this version used 29 CDs containing the 12,000 paper nautical charts that were stored in several large filing cabinets on the Cape St. George. The current version of VMS puts all the electronic charts on one high density DVD, or a portable hard drive. The navy has been working on VMS since the 1990s, and the first thing they had to do was digitize all their charts, some of which are classified, and many of which are customized for military use. VMS is part of the Smart Ship Integrated Bridge System, which will eventually automate and computerize many of tasks performed to run the ship. VMS was developed from systems used on commercial ships since the 1990s. Several other navies have also made the switch. The electronic charts contain more information than the paper charts, and are much easier to use, and, more importantly, update.
Since the 1990s, space satellites have been surveying the oceans, and providing a flood of data for updating charts. The inability to update charts quickly enough was the main reason the submarine USS San Francisco hit an undersea mountain five years ago. Four years ago, the first submarine got the VMS system installed. If the USS San Francisco had VMS back then, and the electronic charts had been promptly updated (the sea mount it hit was spotted by satellite in 1998 and 2004), the collision would not have happened.
(Excerpt) Read more at strategypage.com ...
CD’s have a bad habit of getting scratches, nicks, or just plain become unreadable for no apparent reason.
They sell DVD cleaner for $2 bucks a bottle at any electronic store
Ping. If you want to be off the list send me an e-mail.
I’ve got some paper charts I’m keeping as antiques.
There is something about going into the chart room and putting your celestial fix or even radar position on a paper chart that I miss.
I really do not think that they will be taken out. They would have a role but will be double checked by the new system.
Submarines actually had VMS, the Sperry-Marine ECDIS-N product, installed and running almost two years before surface ships. The systems were used as a “decision aides” to support paper chart navigation. The long pole was getting the systems approved and certified for undersea navigational use - you can imagine number the safety-of-ship issues that had to be tested and verified.
Great use of new technology. Every sailor can have a backup copy and not add the weight and mass of even one set of charts that is being replaced.
Yet I recall a submarine running into an “underwater mountain” while moving along submerged at a pretty good clip. My navigation days were celestial with a good sextant, chronometer, stopwatch, tables, and a sharp pencil(not even calculators). The freighters I sailed on always had star fixes at sunrise, sunset, and got a Local Apparent Noon position of the sun.
The nice thing about paper and pencil is you don’t need electricity to use them. I can imagine all sorts of scenarios where celestial navigation would still be useful, much like map reading and land navigation without a GPS.
Hmm, name one?
Without electricity a ship can’t even move so what’s the point?
Wonder how they will make Notice to Mariners corrections on the CD charts??