Sevastopol State University are Developing an Experimental ‘Internet’ for Ships at Sea

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It is planned that the digital network will quickly transmit data on hazardous events, weather reports and other important information.

Scientists at Sevastopol State University are developing a digital network that can integrate ships and vessels, coastal bases and other objects like the Internet. Thanks to the network, seamen will receive data on hazardous events, weather reports and other important information quicker, said Maxim Evstigneev, Vice-Rector of Sevastopol State University for Development and Scientific and Innovative Activities.

“The world is trying to solve the problem of creating a single digital network for shipping. We plan that we will be able to make an experimental version of our digital navigation system in Sevastopol in 2022. Currently, when a ship goes to sea, it takes data from a satellite and an echo sounder takes its measurements independently and autonomously, but everything is moving towards the fact that in the future a ship will become just one of the elements of a global navigation system, which will include ships, coastal infrastructure, and underwater surveillance systems, a satellite group and other elements, each of them can request and use the data from the public network and replenish its own information", Evstigneev said.

He noted that all the elements of infrastructure and ships at sea will be connected by a digital network, like computers are by the Internet. Thanks to a single information environment, specialists will have new opportunities to predict dangerous phenomena - for example, tsunamis - earlier and more accurately than at present.

“An equally important aspect is the problem of national security. The problem of local navigation has not been resolved in our country. Presently if the satellite network fails, then the ships will not even be able to enter or leave port because there are no local navigation systems in our country. If we solve the problem of the digital network, there will be no problems with local navigation”, he said.

He added that participation in the experiments in the development of the digital network will be one of the first tasks of the latest research vessel ‘Pioneer-M’, that is now being built for Sevastopol State University.

"We hope that we will be able to develop global digital navigation technologies using ‘Pioneer M’. The experimental network will include the vessel itself, the coastal control station for the vessel, the communication of the vessel with a satellite, the communication of ‘Pioneer M’ with a group of automatic buoys and communication with an underwater vessel", he also explained.

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