ECDIS represents an item of equipment consisting of
- Software and
The Hardware of the ECDIS
Is generally a computer with graphics capability, a high performance PC or a graphics workstation installed in a console linked with other items of ship’s equipment. Thus, ECDIS obtains the course from the gyro compass, the rate of turn from the turn indicator, and the ship’s speed through water from the log (the ship’s “speedometer”). Key features are the links with the position sensors of the ship (transit satellite navigation system) and in particular with the GPS (global positioning system, a satellite based positioning system), supplying via the NMEA interface a constant stream of highly precise position data (NMEA National Marine Electronics Association; NMEA0183 Standard for Interfacing Marine Electronic Devices, data record). Even radar pictures can be superimposed, either as raw data from a rasterscan radar, or as synthetic ARPA (automatic radar plotting aid) radar information. The hardware should be type-approved and comply with the guidelines of International Electro-technical Commission.