Communication Infrastructure for Inland Navigation in Europe II


Keywords: communication infrastructure, inland shipping, navigation, maritime information technologies

Start Date: open / Duration: 18 months

[ participants / contact]

Objectivies and Approach

In the first COMSINE project, the objective was to investigate whether it was possible to establish an open communication infrastructure providing services, especially designed to meet the needs of inland shipping across Europe. The Inmarsat communication services are uniquely placed to form the backbone of such an infrastructure. During that project, it was shown that a communication infrastructure based on Inmarsat-C is a feasible option to provide proper communication facilities for shippers sailing from the North Sea to the Black Sea.

It is the premise of this COMSINE II project to take the results from the first project and focus on the structured information exchange between commercial operators, administrations and maritime authorities in order to contribute to an efficient information exchange and inter alia contribute to safety in shipping by having the required information in a structured format available for parties who require this information. The focus in COMSINE II will be on the development of standardised EDIFACT based messages in order to provide nautical, navigational and cargo information to the parties involved. Demonstration trials will be set up in order to test the feasibility of such a system. Use will be made of a Regional Service Centre, which has already been established to serve as a node for the distribution of the information to the involved parties.

The geographical focus is on the inland waters covering the area from the North Sea to the Black Sea. Active involvement will be sought with partners from Austria, Germany and The Netherlands in order to promote the use of the same type of messages all along the North Sea to the Black Sea. Through workshops and seminars, relevant parties will be made aware of the implementation of standardised messages in inland waterway transport, while on the other hand field trials will be set up in order to demonstrate the efficient flow of information by using standardised EDIFACT messages. Communication will take place through Inmarsat-C; in areas where proper land-based telecommunication facilities are available (i.e., Western Europe), use will be made of these facilities.


Maritime Systems Technology (MST)
Surinamestraat 37
2585 GH, The Hague, NL

EU Partners

Maritime Systems Technology (MST), NL

Non-EU Partners

Institute Bratislava, SK
Incertrans, RO
Mahart, HU


Mr. S. Hollander
Tel: +31 70 346 95 28

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COMSINE II - CP96-82, May 1997

please address enquiries to the ESPRIT Information Desk

html version of synopsis by Nick Cook