Communication and Computing System
Department Contents and Capabilities
Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Simulator Facilities
The simulated communications equipment accurately replicate the GMDSS's functions that meet the requirements of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for seafarers (STCW-1995) and its amendments that is set by the IMO. The GMDSS system includes twelve GMDSS dual stations, radar console and highly equipped classroom. All the stations are connected to each other and to the complex through Local Area Network (LAN) for data exchange.
The function of the system components as the following:
The Instructor Station
is able to control scenarios' simulation, communications' protocols and is also able to fail and restore equipment and functions at any station. The GMDSS instructor station is able to perform all the GMDSS equipment functions and acts as coast station, coast earth station, and space segment of any area.
The Student Stations
contain all the GMDSS equipment required for training of any category, the student/ship stations represent underway ships and have the capability to set the course and speed of its own-ship responding to distress calls and instructions from a station or on-scene commander. Hence the students act out simulated distress or routine situations and become thoroughly familiar with the GMDSS equipment operation and its protocol of communications.
The Class Room Facilities
are for discussion, feedback, and debriefing of any scenario or situation. It consists of projection system (overhead projector, single beam projector for analog and digital data projection, multi system video cassette recorder). It also includes electronic whiteboard that enables storing, printing or overlaying any snapshots of draw/text from the board to the computer then to the Internet or any network when it is needed. A multimedia computing system connected to laser printer, color printer, and data scanner.
The Real GMDSS Equipment Comprise
a. GMDSS Main Console that includes:
- Standard INMARSAT-C satellite terminal with EGC.
- MF and HF-SSB Radio Telephone (RT) station and Digital Selective Calling (DSC) terminal.
- NBDP terminal and DSC terminal.
- Battery inverter power supply.
b. GMDSS sub-systems:
- Two VHF RT transceivers with two DSCs.
- NAVTEX terminal.
- Three portable GMDSS sets.
- Two 406-MHZ EPIRBs.
- Two 9-GHZ SARTs.
The Simulator Capabilities
- Student and instructor work could be printed.
- The instructor controls the simulation, communications and has the ability to script equipment failure.
- The simulator is able to store and re-use scenarios files.
- The instructor is able to add or any modification set by the IMO.
- The instructor is able to modify configuration files for instance: the INMARSAT configuration file (Establish INMARSAT, Establish Land Earth Station (LES), Establish Regions...)
These capabilities enable any training, which cannot be conducted on board ship using the real GMDSS equipment, while this is possibly by using simulated equipment and scenarios that could be stored and re-used. Then the scenarios could be discussed and debriefed in the classroom. Each GMDSS station capable to simulate the following GMDSS equipment functions:
- NAVTEX terminal.
- NBDP Marine radio telex terminal.
- Standard INMARSAT-B satellite terminal.
- Standard INMARSAT-C satellite terminal with Enhanced Group Calling (EGC).
- Inmarsat Fleet-77 terminal.
- VHF RT connected to DSC.
- MF and HF- SSB RT station with voice communications.
- DSC Terminals interfaced with the SSB RT transceiver, and the NBDP terminal.
- Distress Message Controller (DMC).
- 406-MHZ Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) deployment.
- 9-GHZ SART deployment.
- Portable GMDSS VHF transceiver.
- Built in ship born radar display for indicating the location of ship in distress.
- GMDSS operator help files.
The GMDSS stations support the following models to realistically provide the GMDSS training models are controlled via parameter settings in the exercise script for each scenario:
- VHF line-of-sight communications.
- VHF and SSB wattage limitations.
- MF ground wave propagation.
- HF sky wave propagation and skip zone.
- MF and HF antenna tuning.
- Satellite channel availability.
- Satellite store and forward.
- Satellite lock and antenna stabilization.
- Forward Error Correction (FEC).
- Automatic Repeat reQuest (ARQ).
- DSC, EGC and NBDP protocols and formats.