Drewitt, Brand and Goldman provide a detailed analysis and appropriate documentation of equipments for generating traffic images in the VTS scenario that was divided into internal and external areas. According to Drewitt, Brand and Goldman separate consoles with integrated radar systems were used to display images and a well trained mariner controlled the VTS devices. However, based on the VTS case study, the center was a busy one and additional measures needed to be implemented for security mitigation. These included additional ARPA integrated with complex VTS equipments as a matter of necessity. In addition to that, an Automatic Imaging System (AIS) integrated with sensors provided effective imaging services than when the AIS system was used autonomously. The system used traffic image display system software that provided automatic tracking capabilities (Drewitt, Brand and Goldman 12). Drewitt, Brand and Goldman details the general principles upon which VTS display operate. One of the principles included the use of ECDS, which was a keen consideration of the clarity with which operator workload was considered in addition to a modified adaptation symbology.
Information displayed on a VTS should be free from any obscurity and the amount of data presented should be an important factor. More specifically a radar system for generating traffic images remained a core component for the VTS case study. According to Drewitt, Brand and Goldman (13) these radar included the S and X band with special emphasis on the X band which was a newer improved fashion for overcoming environmental limitations such as fog. In addition to that other equipments used included both classes of AIS (Class A and B), in a static and dynamic states. These had the advantage of providing accurate information when integrated with VHF Direction Finder and Visual CCTV’s for providing direct images.
Equipments to Enable VTS provide INS, TOS, and NAS
Drewitt, Brand and Goldman (7) assert that vessel traffic services include Traffic Organization Services (TOS), Information Services (INS), and Navigational Assistance Services (NAS). INS services were provided by the use and integration of the two classes of AIS. These classes include A and B. In addition to that, AIS consisted of a Transponder system which helps vessels in identifying each other to reduce the risk of collisions (Drewitt, Brand and Goldman 14). This was in addition to the use of a Geographical Positioning System (GPS) which provided positional accuracy in the order of +/- 10 meters accuracy.
Navigational Assistance Services (NAS) were provided by meteorological equipments, more specifically anemometers. Anemometers were meant to record wind speed and direction. According to Drewitt, Brand and Goldman (19) assert that broadcasting of data provides reliable information on weather conditions such as fog, and berthing locations. Networked Tidal Gauges provided information about tidal levels, information which was continuously broadcast on a dedicated VHF frequency provided by AIS under the International maritime Conventions (IMO).
A management Information System (MIS) integrated into VTS provided information services with a number of definite roles. Other devices included recording and archiving components and long range sensors.
Traffic Information services were offered by visual/CCTV’s which detail ed berthing activities and the number of berths spread over any specific area. This system provided direct monitoring and accurate information. In addition, Drewitt, Brand and Goldman (19) state that light CCTV cameras provided an inexpensive and accurate method of accessing traffic information to a VTS operator on a digital link. This was enhanced by accurate and appropriate alignment of CCTV cameras on a target source.
Number of Workers and Their Arrangements
According to the IALA guide on staffing levels, Drewitt, Brand and Goldman (20) provide detailed explanation on the number and description of staff for the VTS center. These include those who are well trained in the use of emergency equipments and well versed on emergency procedures. In addition, an eight hour shift is the recommended workload level for the new VTS center. These could be manned by a VTS operator well trained with a college level certificate, a VTS supervisor, a VTS training instructor, and a VTS manager.
Therefore the number of workers could depend on the levels of work assignments and organizational structure of the VTS center. According to the case study, suppose that at any given time there were 10 workers on duty on an 8 hrs shift in a 24 hrs job. Each job could require at least 3 workers for a 24 hr shift. This could translate to 30 employees. However, according to the abstract model, these numbers could vary depending on the demand of services offered by the VTS center and job description of each employee.
Ancillary Information for VTS Operators
According to Drewitt, Brand and Goldman (21), VTS operators need to be well versed in the policies, organizational and administrative arrangements. VTS operators need to be aware of the abilities of the staff with which they work, they should have detailed information about all control centers, services offered by each VTS staff, guides on providing special instructions, the roles and responsibilities of staff, and the liabilities of VTS staff. In addition to these Drewitt, Brand and Goldman (21) asserts that the operators should be aware of the vision, goals, and mission statement of the VTS center.
Other operational procedures that a VTS operator should be versed with include the methods used to conduct investigations into accidents that may occur within the VTS’s jurisdiction. The operator should provide appropriate guide on procedures for documenting any information regarding any accident that may arise in the VTS area of jurisdiction. These measures help avert or reduce the possibility of accidents occurring.
Reports, one of the information components for operators in a VTS center serve a variety of functions. These include meteorological information, equipments performance, pilot activities, alterations of the sailing plan, positional reports for situational awareness and arrival and departure times (Drewitt, Brand and Goldman 22).
In addition to that Drewitt, Brand and Goldman (23) affirm that an operator should be fully aware of monitoring activities to enhance safety, which immensely contribute to risk assessment and provision of detailed information on the number of sectors managed by the VTS center. According to Drewitt, Brand and Goldman (23), additional information includes voice communication provided through the International Maritime VHF band.
Areas to be Displayed in Detail
Specific areas of interest were identified based on information on the position, identity, and intention of a vessel. In addition to that, the traffic levels and movements of a vessel contributed to the need to display specific areas in detail. These areas included those areas that a VTS has legal jurisdictions within port limits. According to Drewitt, Brand and Goldman (10), these areas are for risk mitigation and should include anchorage areas and all of a port’s parts under its legal jurisdictions. These include areas such as those beyond VTS’s jurisdiction coupled with up to date information and entries in appropriate nautical publications (Drewitt, Brand and Goldman 10). This includes internal and external areas of the VTS center. Internal and external areas provide detailed information on the progress of every activity in addition to establishing the intentions of participants in those activities. This helps enhance overall security requirements for the VTS center.
Drewitt, Jerry, L., Brand, Cliff, and Goldman, Barry. Managing Vessel Traffic Services. Port of London Authority. Global Academy.