The International Foundation for Aids to Navigation (IFAN) announced an around $1.2m investment in safe navigation in the Middle East Gulf.
his investment will see significant recapitalisation of the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) sites that IFAN operates in the region as well as the construction of a new workboat that will strengthen its capabilities when it comes to maintaining Aids to Navigation (AtoNs) in the Middle East Gulf.
The investment will also mean the upgrading of the four DGPS sites in the Gulf, starting with Ras Al Khaymah to ensure against redundancy in case any site fails, or has to be shut down for maintenance.
The Ras Al Khaymah DGPS site will be relocated 5km away from the previous location, and only a few meters away from the shore. It will have a range of more than 250 Nm covering the entire southern part of the Arabian Gulf and part of Gulf of Oman. The DGPS capability will boost positioning accuracy for less than 1 meter compared to 10+ metres promised by traditional GPS systems.
What is more, dual units at each site will ensure continuous coverage, even in the case of one unit malfunctioning, and they can also be remotely controlled.
Meantime between failure of the system is greater than 50,000 hrs with availability of 99.95% over two years, in compliance with IALA requirements
The vessel, which is being built in the United Arab Emirates, should be operational by the beginning of October and will have a range of more than 40 Nm, enabling it to reach offshore waters in the Gulf.
Furthermore, the workboat will have a shallow draft that will allow it to access inshore areas to maintain light beacons. Its overall size and the size of the cabin will allow for a much wider weather window for operations.
The new vessel is also fully equipped with radar to check the Racons signal, AIS receiver to monitor AtoNs, as well as AIS functionality and other standard navigation aids such as DGPS receivers.
Welcoming the announcement, Peter Stanley, CEO of IFAN, stated:
Investment in the DGPS sites is crucially important if we are to upgrade ageing equipment. And the enhanced capabilities of the new workboat will strengthen our maintenance of AtoNs in the region