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Simulated Navigation Performance with Marine Electronic Chart and Information Display Systems (ECDIS)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 April 2004

Don C. Donderi
Affiliation:
Human Factors North, Toronto and McGill University, Montreal
Robert Mercer
Affiliation:
Centre for Marine Simulation, St. John's, Newfoundland
M. Blair Hong
Affiliation:
Centre for Marine Simulation, St. John's, Newfoundland
Douglas Skinner
Affiliation:
Centre for Marine Simulation, St. John's, Newfoundland

Abstract

Licensed mariners carried out two simulated navigation studies testing electronic chart and information display systems (ECDIS) against paper chart navigation. In the first study, six mariners each completed approaches to Halifax, Nova Scotia, harbour with good and bad visibility and a range of wind and currents. Conditions included chart with radar, ECDIS with radar overlay and ECDIS with separate radar. ECDIS produced better performance and a smaller workload than paper charts and the radar overlay was slightly better than the separate radar display. In the second study, six new mariners completed exercises with low visibility and heavy or light radar traffic using ECDIS with radar overlay, ECDIS without overlay and ECDIS with optional overlay. Mariners preferred the optional overlay but all three conditions produced about equal performance. Based on mariners' performance and expressed preference, we recommend that ECDIS systems provide optional radar overlays.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2004 The Royal Institute of Navigation

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Footnotes

The first study was carried out for the Canadian Hydrographic Service and reported to them by Mercer and Hong (1994). The second study was carried out under PWGSC contract no. W7711-9-7561A between Human Factors North Inc and the Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine (now Defence Research and Development – Toronto) and reported to them by Donderi (2001). Sharon McFadden was the contract manager, and we thank her for her help and encouragement.
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