Case Study: Safety at Sea

27.06.2011 0


The Royal Australian Navy’s navigation equipment was in serious need. A ship had gone aground and on some vessels, navigation sensors had been around since World War II. The navigation charts they used, although accurate, needed to be augmented with other data from other sources.

They required a system to improve the safety and operations of their vessels. Any system would not do. This system would need to be integrated to existing sensors and planned future components, it needed to comply with international maritime navigational standards for electronic navigation, and it needed to meet 262 operational requirements with 100% accuracy.



My job was to manage this entire project. I began by creating our response to each of the line items in the proposal. I outlined our approach to executing the requirements, and had to demonstrate to the internal authorities and the client that the project management plan was sound and that all risk factors would be sufficiently considered.

After contract negotiations were complete, I got to work organizing the team of staff and vendors. The project management plan I developed included a requirements matrix, so that at any given time, for any given requirement, I knew its status.

Along with development of the navigation system, I oversaw the creation of the standard operating procedures and training materials that would be in use during implementation of the system on each of the 54 platforms it would be installed.



This project was scheduled to take 3 years to complete. On request from management, with two months notice, I was able to effectively coordinate all involved and we completed the project 5 months ahead of original schedule.

The developed product took the live feeds off of the ships’ sensors and presented them graphically – creating a real-time precision positioning of the vessel.

For each of the 262 line items that needed to be met, an independent naval authority validated that the system met compliance with 100% accuracy on the live system with live sensor feeds.

This system gave the Royal Australian Navy better understanding of their own home waters, and enabled their Hydrographic Service to validate new electronic charts.

Submarines also now had a real-time navigation system and operators had a means to visually understand complete 3-dimensional positioning of the vessel, which was unheard of up to that point.

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