Jeppesen ECS, AIS to the max
You really need the full screen above to see what’s going on, but that’s the “tow builder” feature in Jeppesen Marine’s new ECS product, which previewed at the WorkBoat Show. A tug captain can graphically build a computer model of the whole tow he’s pushing up a river, which is useful in two ways. One is that his plotted vessel will show realistically in the ECS, as shown at right and bigger here . The other is that the ECS can then update the tug’s own Class A AIS transponder so that at least its rough total dimensions are visible to other boats on the river.
Jeppesen’s commercial marine Web site is still a bit skimpy on this product but there is a PDF describing a Precision Approach System (PAS) that will integrate with the ECS. “Hyper-accurate” GPS combined with secure wireless will let tugs and locks share all sorts of valuable data, probably including the detailed tow configurations. The overall product—ECS, PAS, and more hinted at—is called Jeppesen Marine OnBoard and is obviously adaptable, at least in part, to deep sea commercial vessels. The ECS, by the way, may or may not be based on Nobeltec code, I can’t tell, and Jeppesen’s purchase of C-Map still seems to be in its quiet period.