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The Maritime ICT Architecture

⇒ MarNIS Architecture

⇒ Overarching e-Navigation architecture

⇒ Still under development

⇒ References

This section of the MiTS pages describes the concept of a Maritime ICT architecture. For information on data network architectures, have a look at the Network section.

Architecture definition

The concept of an architecture is used with several different meanings within the ICT domain. However, a fairly common definition is that an ICT architecture is a set of rules to define the structure of a system and the interrelationships between its parts. Thus, the appearance of the architecture will obviously depend on the definition of the system. For this paper we will use a definition of architecture as shown to the left and which is derived from (OASIS, 2006). In other words, the ICT architecture is a blue print that can be used to implement one or more distinct solutions, making use of standards, profiles, protocols and other specifications from the maritime or ICT domain. The Maritime ICT Architecture that we have started to develop is described in more detail in (Rødseth, Ø.J. 2011). The architecture will often be based on a more general pattern or reference architecture. In our case, this is ARKTRANS (Architecture for transport).

Component layers

In more detail, the typical components of the architecture by its different "abstraction" layers is shown to the right.These web pages will mainly describe the transport layer (Communication and Network pages), the information layer (Data models page) and the functional and process layer (BPM page). The focus of these pages are new standards and specifications and a general overview of needed standards in the maritime domain (e-Maritime) is described in (Rødseth, 2009), the SKEMA e-Maritime standards report.

MarNIS Architecture

The MarNIS project developed an ICT architecture as an extension of ARKTRANS and documented it in (MarNIS, 2008). This has an extensive definition of roles, tasks, processes and information requirements. The emphasis is on authority operations in ports, but also some commercial operations are covered. This work is the basis for the single window data exchange mechanisms specified in ISO 28005-2.

Overarching e-Navigation architecture

At NAV 57 the final overarching w-Navigation architecture was finalized and it was later approved by MSC 90. The description of the architecture can be found in (IMO, 2011) and a diagram showing the architecture is included below.

e-Navigation architecture

The diagram is fairly detailed, but it does contain the same elements as shown below, together with additional components that are important in this context.

With respect to the general maritime ICT architecture, the communication and data format aspects are the most important. Data communication is not finally defined at the moment, but it seems clear that the traditional set of communication facilities will be used in addition to some possible new services for ship to coast communication. This may be based on AIS or Digital VHF or even satellite services if none of the above fits the tasks at hand, but this is not clear at the moments.

Data models will be based on the IHO S-100 framework. We will shortly do an investigation into the possibilities of this standard and come back to that on the data model pages.

Still under development

This page is still under development. More information will be available when we get the time!


OASIS, (2006). Reference Model for Service Oriented Architecture, Version 1.0, OASIS Standard, 12 October 2006.

Rødseth, Ø.J. (2011). A Maritime ITS Architecture for e-Navigation and e-Maritime: Supporting Environment Friendly Ship Transport, IEEE ITSC 2011, Washington USA, 5th to 7th October 2011

IMO, (2011). Development of an e-Navigation Strategy Implementation Plan, Report of the Working Group, SUB-COMMITTEE ON SAFETY OF NAVIGATION, 57th session, NAV 57/WP.6, 8 June 2011

MarNIS, (2008). Final report on the MarNIS e-maritime architecture, Deliverable reference number: D-HA3F, December 4th 2008.

Rødseth, (2009). e-Maritime Standardisation Requirements and Strategies, Report for SKEMA Coordination Action, Maritime and logistics co-ordination platform.

Last updated 2012-09-09 by Ø.J.Rødseth @ MARINTEK