RIVER BASED INFORMATION, NAVIGATION, AND COMMUNICATION
It has been shown that the skippers tasks require the availability of specific information. RINAC therefore attempts to improve the management of such information. The concept of RINAC can be simplified by the definition of 4 layers of information management: 1. RINAC describes what information is acquired aboard the vessel and how (communication layer including the AIS, GSM, GPS and other data). 2. It proposes a database system, making all information that is once received available for multiple applications (distribution layer including the Inland ECDIS and other databases). 3. RINAC aims at standardizing these applications and the information that they use (application layer including collision avoidance, voyage monitoring and other tools). 4. And it tries to specify the way of presentation (user-interface layer specifying the SID and the TTI and other input/output devises). Based on the first 8 work-packages, it can be concluded that the integration of information flows enable, in principle, an improvement regarding the safety conditions, the commercial benefits and the workload of the skipper. This conclusion includes the following items: Safety improvement: -Positioning is based on inland ECDIS, radar, inland AIS and DGPS, one technology compensating for the imperfection of the other. -The tactical display presents only real-time and important information; the platform and calamity status is only shown if it are warnings. -More information can be handled, resulting in a better knowledge of the environment commercial and logistics improvement. -Integration of information enables optimisation of the costs, time and profits balance. -More information can be handled, enabling a more sophisticated logistic management decreasing the skippers workload. -The integration of information enables the automation of several tasks. -Information requirements that some tasks have in common has to be provided only once stimulating the development of competitive applications and technologies. -The standardization of the RINAC concept realizes a stimulating environment for international manufacturers to develop tools and applications that improve the situation on the inland rivers. -New technologies can easily be implemented. -New communication technologies can increase the functionality of RINAC, independently of the current hardware aboard the vessel. The training and certification requirements: A shift must be expected from traditional techniques of navigation like the outside window to new ones, like inland ECDIS. Furthermore, communication handling is becoming an additional task for the skipper. The training and the certification processes might be subject to changes due to these shifts. In the future, a complete training course should therefore consist of a course of candidates to a skipper certificate and refreshment courses by means of which the skipper becomes familiar with changes in technology. Such a course must train the understanding and handling of radar systems, the electronic chart and the other information systems that RINAC incorporates. The modifications in the certification process require further efforts towards standardization of equipment and operational procedures. A European competent authority should be identified and set up which would be entitled to edict a common set of rules applicable to vessels of any nationality navigating European inland waters. It is necessary to implement quality control procedures to ensure the quality of both design and production of equipment.