Sunday, September 13, 2015

Do I need Pub 117 (Radio Navigational Aids?)

I spend a good bit of time while in port searching the Internet for valuable information. Of course I also spend a lot of time watching all my installed software, charts, etc. updating themselves. Recently I revisited the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency "Maritime Safety Information" web portal. Click me to go to the portal! NGIA is an intelligence agency that is part of the United States Department of Defense. Their mission:

"The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has a responsibility to provide the products and services that decision makers, warfighters, and first responders need, when they need it most. As a member of the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense, NGA supports a unique mission set. We are committed to acquiring, developing and maintaining the proper technology, people and processes that will enable overall mission success.

Geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. GEOINT consists of imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information."

Why, with such a mission, would world cruisers be interested in their products? It turns out that they have a lot of great information - cruising guides, port guides, piracy information, etc. And it is all free.

This brings me to Pub 117. I had passed it over since I don't have radio direction finding on board. Not to mention that with GPS the old RDF techniques seem a bit dated. But I did read it again and found two very interesting sets of data. The first is on international assistance. It contains the telephone numbers and radio frequencies for Search and Rescue activities all over the world. The second is on piracy. Valuable information.

Fair winds and following seas :)

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