Flanders has one of the densest and most coherent waterway networks in Europe. In order to guarantee a dynamic management of the waterways, including the areas along it, Waterways and Sea Channel NV (W&Z) decided to modernize the services and update the existing ships position information for the heavy traffic area.
ENGIE Fabricom is the main contractor in charge to refurbish this surveillance system and relies on the solution for integrated traffic images provided by in-innovative navigation GmbH, whose state-of-the-art software and hardware components are already successfully in operation worldwide. The contract comprises a radar based VTS system (Vessel Traffic Services), enriched with AIS (Automatic Identification System) and integration of real-time video image(s) coming from different sites.
The service will be an extension of the existing surveillance system in order to complete 10,000 ton section of the Zee Canal Brussels-Scheldt. The final installation will include high end cameras operated from the traffic center. Due to the service oriented structure of inVTS Systems a remarkably enhanced data exchange with all adjacent traffic centers will be possible in future. Not only the better networking of traffic centers, but also the integration of mobile units expands the possibilities to early detect any dangerous traffic situation on the busy waterways and to react efficiently. Authority vessels will be equipped with portable displays and high end software systems, which helps in distributing the common traffic picture.
To improve accident prevention, innovative bridge collision avoidance systems at two sites will be part of the installation, including local alarming and remote alarming in the VTS center, when there is a risk of collision of a vessel due to height. in-innovative navigation GmbH already compiled a comprehensive feasibility study to identify the most promising onboard and land based techniques for bridge collision warning systems.
It is the first collaboration with ENGIE Fabricom, a settled service provider, including not only implementation of a decent VTS system, but also a contract over the next seven years for extending the system over W&Z area. Volker Braun, in charge as project manager of in-innovative navigation GmbH, pointed out: “We are very proud, that we’ve been awarded the tender for the new surveillance system in Belgium, and that we can cooperate with ENGIE Fabricom, especially since the region is main test area for autonomous shipping research.” Since in-innovative navigation not only is market leader for tailor made VTS systems, but also successful in development and distribution of inland navigation systems, Volker Braun added: “We have the technical capability to be also part of this future-oriented technology. In the frame of this important project, we will – besides providing portable traffic displays – equip three authority vessels with our proven navigation system RADARpilot720°.“