The marine weather signal aids that provides maritime weather information at major points on the coastal waters in real time is utilized by vessels and fishing boats for ensuring the maritime traffic safety. And recently this system was integrated based on ICT and can now be utilized not only by vessels but also by general public who enjoy fishing and marine leisure sports by providing various safety information so that they can enjoy the sea comfortably and safely.
As the use of maritime weather information is increasing for the development of maritime industries and the protection of marine environment, this study analyzes the operating rate of the marine weather signal aids and suggests measures to improve the operating rate.
Marine weather signal aids is a system aiming at provision of useful information to vessels sailing a particular area of the sea by gathering and compiling real time maritime weather information and is comprised with the Master station and the Slave station.
As the communication mode, marine weather signal aids uses AtoN AIS, CDMA, VHF, TRS, and satellite communications. The marine weather signal aids system between Jindo and Mokpo uses CDMA, and the Incheon, Daesan and Yeosu system uses AtoN AIS communication.
As for foreign marine meteorological observation system, PORTS (Physical Oceanographic Real Time System) of the United States, BLUElink of Australia, and GOOS(Global Ocean Observing System) are currently in use.
For the analysis of operating rate of the marine weather signal aids system, factors that affect the operating rate should be identified first.
Factors that affect operating rate of marine weather signal aids system include in the first place may be the differences in occurrence of radio shadows and communication environment depending to the radio communication network used in the marine weather signal aids system. Second, such things as equipment failure caused by abnormality of marine weather observation sensors, defective data loggers, and defective communication modems and antenna were found to contribute to the lower operating rate. Third, limitation of information services as a result of overload of the AIS traffic is one of the other main reasons.
This study, using the samples of operating rates of beacons at 12 points in the Incheon area from April 2014 through September 2014, investigated the reasons for low operating rates at especially low rate points.
As the result of analysis, it was found that, among the beacons of 12 points in the area, the beacons with operating rate of less than 50% we re those No. 5 Light Buoy in Seosudo, Light Beacon at Mineotan, and one at Budo Lighthouse.
In regard to the main reasons, instability of power supply and lack of maintenance systems were found in the cases of No. 5 light buoy in Seosudo and the light beacon at Mineotan. And instability of radio communication environment was found as the main reason in the case of Budo lighthouse.
In this study, the author suggests the utilization of multiple communication networks instead of a single network to stabilize and optimize the system as a means for increasing the operating rate.
As a counter measure for the issue of the equipment failure, it is needed to have an emergency recovery plan and a maintenance system that can ensure maintenance of the equipment at any time in place. And it is needed to prepare a plan for securing spare parts for equipment with statistically frequent failure rates.
As for the AIS traffic overload issue, AIS traffic can be managed effi ciently through the use of AIS message analysis program or additional allocation of maritime VHF frequencies through the use of VDES(VHF Data Exchange System).
In addition, the standardization of the operating rate of the maritime weather signal aids system is also needed, and quantitative service level that take such thing and the risk level and traffic volume of the route, should be provided, too.
As this study has analyzed the operating rate limited only to the marine weather signal aids system in the Incheon area and suggested improvement measures. However it is recommended that further research is required using longer period of data gathered in other areas for overcoming the limitations of the research, and to perform comparison analyses with the results of this study.
But, it is needed to select the marine weather signal aids system that needs urgent supplementation considering the uniqueness of the Incheon area, and to prepare investment plan to improve the operation rate after the verification of the usefulness of multiple communication network through the use of a test bed.
The results of this study could be used as the basic material of research in the development of marine radio communication technologies, construction of the maritime next-generation digital communications systems, and research on the location-based remote navigation moni toring technologies that are required for the development of Korean e-Navigation systems.