The Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport
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Nautical Studies

Ship's Electronic Devices


STCW requirements:


Ability to determine and allow for errors of the different compasses.


Electronic systems of position fixing and navigation: Ability to determine the ship’s position by use of electronic navigational aids


Echo-sounders: Ability to operate the equipment and apply the information correctly


Steering control system: Knowledge of steering control systems, operational procedures and change-over from manual to automatic control and vice versa. Adjustment of controls for optimum performance.


Knowledge of the fundamentals of radar and automatic radar plotting aids (ARPA): Principal types of ARPA, their display characteristics, performance standards and the dangers of overreliance on ARPA. Ability to operate and to interpret and analyse information obtained from ARPA, including: system performance and accuracy, tracking capabilities and limitations, and processing delays.


Position determination in all conditions: using modern electronic navigational aids, with specific knowledge of their operating principles, limitations, sources of error, detection of misrepresentation of information and methods of correction to obtain accurate position fixing


An appreciation of system errors and thorough understanding of the operational aspects of navigational systems.



1. Introduction and features of ECDIS

Presentation, Scope of ECDIS, Application in Navigation, Correct/ incorrect use of ECDIS, Starting and turn off the device system and structure, Ship’s Position, Source of ships position, Basic Navigation, Course and drift vectors, Understanding charts data, Reliability and accuracy of the charts, Organization of charts.

Exercise 1; Basic navigation on Open sea


2. Navigation with ECDIS

Sensors and source of information, Sensor settings, Chart selection, Information on Charts, Basic hardware settings and alarms, Adjustment of charts scale, Work with layers, System and position alarms, Depth alarm and work with contour.

Exercise 2; Coastal navigation with basic chart settings


3. Planning and monitoring of passage plan

Ship manoeuvring characteristics, Route planning with table inputs, Route planning with chart work, Route planning alarms adjustment, Plan overview, Additional navigation data, Voyage schedule, ETA calculation, speed calculation for required, User charts

Exercise 3; Coastal navigation and advance adjustment for congested water navigation


4. Plotting and Charts works

ARPA and radar display on ECDIS, AIS display and functionality, Selection and installation of charts, Charts correction, System reboot, Data backup

Exercise 4; Navigation in confined areas


5. Responsibility and Evaluation

Responsibility - COLREG, SOLAS, IHO, STCW, IMO, ISM, The concept of efficient navigation and ECDIS limitations.

Written/Oral test - evaluation

Practical test on simulator - evaluation



In addition to the minimum explicitly requested STCW content, the program includes:


Electromagnetic waves; radio waves propagation in various conditions, including Sun activities effects.


Amplifier and oscillator: transistor in the amplifier, oscillator, frequency stabilization, frequency multiplier, frequency synthesizer.


Modulation and demodulation: the width of the communication channel, amplitude and angular modulation, communication with one side band, apparently noisy modulation; modulator and demodulator.


Microwaves and radar: Generators, waveguides, mixing step, directed antennae, basics of radar devices.


Telecommunication systems: personal cellular telephony, global mobile telephony, telecommunications systems management, maritime communications innovations.


Devices for determining the direction, depth and velocity of the ship, the gyro compasses, the deviation of the rotary compass, the autopilots, the autopilot settings, the turning speed, the deviation, the impact of the draft, the influence of the waves, the echo sonar, the draft error, the speed through water and the velocity through the bottom , relative and real wind speed, use of radar as an electronic navigation tool, navigation radar characteristics, correct radar image adjustment, functions (tuning, gain, brilliance, sea / rain clutter, VRM, EBL), explanation of radar images and errors on it radar screen settings, radar fault characteristics and their identification and elimination, use of radar in navigation, radar reflectors, positioning of the ship by radar, determination of dangerous situations with radar, use of cursor, trails, symbols, inertial navigation systems, position with satellites: global (GNSS): GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou and regional systems, installation and operation with the GNSS receiver, accuracy, continuity, availability and integrity of the navigation solution - ship's position, electronic mapping, raster and vector maps, repair of electronic maps, AIS's AIS technology, input and reading of data on AIS, ATON in the implementation of VTMIS systems, technology operation of LRIT systems, compatibility of the VDR system with other navigation, communication and information systems, navigation safety systems.


Content acc. to IMO Model course 7.03:


Basic principles of terrestrial navigation systems, Loran-C system in   eLoran, Global navigation satellite systems, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, COMPASS, Satellite and Terrestrial based Augmented Systems (SBAS, DGNSS)


Compass corrections

Errors of the compass and azimuths

Fluxgate compass

Operational use of AIS



Content acc. to IMO Model course 1.07



Content acc. to IMO Model course 7.01:


Principles of gyrocompasses

Gyrocompass errors and corrections

Systems under the control of the master gyro and the operation and care of the main types of gyrocompass.


Content according to IMO Model course 1.08:

Use of radar and ARPA to maintain safety of navigation.


Content acc. to IMO Model course 1.34:

Operational use of AIS and its information


Content acc. to IMO Model course 1.22:

Bridge familiarization and navigation equipment.


Goals and competencies

The teaching material comprises the basics of transmitting messages using radio waves and microwaves. The latest mobile telephony systems and their exploitation are discussed. The basic principles of automatic data processing machines are presented, especially in the field of automatic telephone traffic management.


The objective of the course is to train students to work with modern electronic navigation aids. The process of navigating navigation on modern ships is increasingly supported by modern navigational aids that replace classical ones. Misunderstanding or poor interpretation of data is one of the main causes of ship collisions and collisions, so each student must fully understand the main and auxiliary functions of an individual instrument. The student will prepare for this course the future tasks that he / she will have to perform as a navigator.


Special features:

Implementation of the learning content in accordance with the STCW Convention A-II / 1, A-II / 2 and the "Master and Chief Mate (Model course 7.01)" and "Officer in charge of a navigational watch, (Model course 7.03)", International Maritime Organization, London, 2014; IMO model course 1.27, in combination 1.08 and 1.22, IMO model course 1.34

Basic literature

  1. The American Practical Navigator: An Epitome of Navigation. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (ZDA),  Volume I, 2019.
  2. GROVES, Paul D.: Principles of GNSS, Inertial and Multisensor integrated Navigation Systems. 2008. London, Artech House
  3. HECKT, H., BERKING, B., JONAS, M., WÖSTER, M. The Electronic Chart – Fundamentals, Functions, Data and other Essentials. A textbook for ECDIS Use and Training, četrta izdaja. Geomares Publishing, Lemmer, (Nizozemska), 2017.