The increasing traffic of inland waterway transport and the enlargement of vessels calls for more information to be available to the crew than the present voice communication and on-board radar. There is a need for the integration of advanced technologies of inland navigation with human/machine interfaces and various control devices. RINAC, a River Information NAvigation Communication system, integrates complex information, improving its management, and becoming the control centre on-board. It works on four different layers of information management. It first describes the information acquired on-board. Then a database system is proposed, with all the information received available for multiple applications. It also aims at standardising these applications, while finally, it specifies the way of presentation. Such a system can improve safety conditions, without compromising commercial benefits or the workload of the skipper. This becomes feasible as positioning is based on multiple technologies, whereas the display only presents important information, unless there are warnings, when both the platform and calamity status is shown. Furthermore, the amount of information that can be handled is increased and the integration of information enables financial benefits and automation of tasks. Since information requirements are only provided once, different applications can run in parallel. Finally, the versatile nature of RINAC allows the implementation of new technologies, whereas its standardisation encourages the international development of tools and applications. The successful application of RINAC, which is still at the intermediate design stage, eventually will require training courses and corresponding certificates. All the above demonstrates that RINAC can successfully improve safety conditions on-board, increase financial benefits, as well as create job opportunities for the training and handling of the system. It isn't just about river safety, it's about an entire flourishing river environment.
RIVER BASED INFORMATION, NAVIGATION, AND COMMUNICATION
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