Operational Aspects        

Operational Aspects

(By Alexander S. Baskin and Evgeny V. Yakshevitch ; INSROP Working Paper No.17-1995, I.1.2)


During the first stages of work under this project a wide range of research was executed, the main purpose of which was the analysis, ordering and valuation of the information about operational aspects of navigation in the Russian Arctic.

These questions range from legal regulation of navigation up to aids of navigation and communications, methods of crew training and many others. The main attention was given to questions of maintenance of the safety of navigation.

Research results from 1993 and 1994 have made it possible on the basis of objective valuation of a modern condition to formulate ways to perfect all elements of operational aspects.

A number of specific practical problems of maintenance of navigation on NSR were solved in the course of three years thanks to the research executed.

Among them most important are:

1. "Rules of transit navigation on the NSR", (1995, Admiralty number 415) including English translation have been drawn up for publication.

2. Editing of open navigating charts on the NSR in 217 copies as of 08.07.1995 is provided.

3. The navigating charts for the NSR will be issued also in English and on WGS-84, that will allow optimal solutions to problems of electronic navigation.

4. The project of creation of a network of a differential subsystem GPS on the NSR was fulfilled.

5. Programs for mate training for navigation on the NSR at Training Centre (St. Petersburg) have been prepared.

6. The data base of ice damages to hulls of ice going ships and icebreakers was carried out.

Besides aspects on a number of other directions have been studied, and will be included in the final project report.

Summary of Section I.2.4: Satellite Communications in the Arctic

Communications via satellite channels for support of NSR sailing are currently possible through two satcom systems, the international INMARSAT and the Russian OCEAN.

The feasibility of operation of satcom aids in the INMARSAT and OCEAN systems depends upon satellite coverage areas. With the INMARSAT - A SES employed as a satcom station, the coverage boundary is deemed to be the line through which the elevation is not lower than 5 at any point. However, both operational experience and special experiments show that reliable communications are provided at lower elevation angles, down to and including 0 elevation.

Tests conducted by Russian experts on the nuclear-powered icebreaker "Siberia" and on the research ship "Professor Vize" via the INTELSAT V - MCSA IOR and MARECS B-2 AOR satellite transponders, respectively, have proved that the limit of the INMARSAT service area is the focus where INMARSAT geostationary satellites serve four ocean regions: the Atlantic West (AOR-W), the Atlantic East (AOR-E), the Indian (IOR) and the Pacific (POR). The NSR is covered by the AOR-E, IOR and POR satellites. Shown in Fig. 1 are the boundaries of INMARSAT coverage in the Russian Arctic at elevation angles of 0 and 5.

The Arctic coverage capability of the INMARSAT IOR and POR satellites is reduced because of the gaps extending from 95o E to 135oE. Satcom services in this area can be provided by the OCEAN system. The OCEAN functional capabilities are limited as compared with INMARSAT, because the system is not intended for operating many CES and does not provide automatic telephone connection. The OCEAN calling and interrogation frequencies differ from those employed in INMARSAT. That is why only few INMARSAT SES models are suitable for operation in the OCEAN system. At present these are the Russian Volna-C, Iceberg, the Norwegian Saturn-3C and the Japanese JUE-45.

A total of 18 icebreakers involved in Arctic navigation are fitted with the INMARSAT - a SES's capable of operation in both the INMARSAT and the OCEAN systems (9 of the Murmansk Shipping Company, 7 of the Far Eastern Shipping Company and 2 of the Northern Shipping Company).

It is expected that the Russian mobile satcom system MARAPHON will be used in the Arctic as soon as new generation satellites are launched to provide voice, fax, telegraph communications and data transmissions for mobiles or remote users. The system will provide:

  • low speed (600 bit/s) data transmission with switching, retransmission and storage;
  • interrogation and polling of user stations in individual, group and area modes;
  • high-quality digital duplex telephone channel, facsimile and data transmission (2400 bit/s);
  • digital data transmission at a rate of 16 Kbit/s

The MARAPHON system's capabilities for organization of communications and service offerings are based on the application of the operational procedures and standards adopted in the INMARSAT system. The system will include sub-systems capable of providing operation of Standards A,C,M,B,Aero, and a distress alerting and rescue-sub-system. The system will comprise four satellites in geostationary orbits and two satellites in high elliptical orbits (the elliptical orbits of the Russian global navigation satellite system GLONASS).

The INMARSAT standards A,C,M,B Aero SESs will be used as user stations. It is expected that there will be about 2000 users employing 0.9 m antennas.

The launch of the first geostationary satellite is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 1995. The system will be put into operation in 1996 and is expected to be fully operative in 1997-1998.


    Alexander S. Baskin, Evgeny V. Yakshevitch, 1995, Operational Aspects, INSROP.©

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