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R-Mode Baltic

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The Baltic Sea is one of the most frequented waters within Europe and plays an important role to connect countries and people by motorways of the sea. The development of transnational solutions for safe and secure shipping is an essential prerequisite to ensure the prosperity of the Baltic Sea states, to encourage their growth and to protect the Baltic Sea as an ecologically very sensitive area.

Although, nowadays a lot of the vessels are equipped with sensors and supporting systems for position and navigation purposes, accidents caused by collisions and groundings still happens every year. Based on the forecasted expansion of the world trade and cruise market, the construction of ever larger vessels, and therefore, a substantial increase of the traffic situations complexity, the demand for reliable systems for position, navigation and time (PNT) still remains as one of the key issues in the user community. Within this scope, international bodies as for example IMO and IALA strengthen their efforts for more reliable systems.

The main goal of the R-Mode Baltic Project is the development and demonstration of a new maritime backup system for PNT purposes. Therefore, the project consortium accepts the challenge to develop solutions for so-called R-Mode transmitter and receiver prototypes, for independent time synchronizations of broadcasting stations and for a testbed concept and its deployment within the project life time of three years. The R-Mode Baltic Project will develop and promote the first world-wide operational test area for a new maritime system for PNT as a backup for GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems, e.g., GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO) in the Baltic Sea. The reason to do this is the fact that all GNSSs are highly vulnerable to jamming and interference and that for now no other system can overtake the task for absolute positioning in case of a temporal loss of GNSS. As a first step towards the alternative usage of legacy systems, a user-driven testbed in the Baltic Sea shall be installed by the project based on broadcast signals transmitted via modified differential MF radio beacon or AIS base stations. The great advantage is the evolution of the still existing MF radio beacon and AIS base station without any handling and utilisation constraints and its potential for a world-wide use within the service vicinity of such stations. The project will lead to:

  • A solution for safer shipping in case of jamming, spoofing or unintended interferences of GNSS
  • Dissemination of results by workshops, forums, conferences or other medias within the whole maritime community
  • Appropriate inputs to relevant recommendations on new and updated standards on MF radio beacons, AIS stations in order to include new R-Mode functionalities
  • The usage of the R-Mode at European and world-wide level
  • An enhanced recognition of the Baltic Sea Region for innovative solutions for the whole world

The project strongly follows the EU Strategy of BSR in the PA.

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