Static maritime enviroment representation of electronic navigational charts in global path planning




global path planning, discrete planning algorithms, electronic navigational charts


In past years, numerous global path planning methods have been researched and applied in maritime surface navigation. Regardless of intended usage for either decision-support in manned, or autonomous vessel navigation, path planning should generate a safe and efficient route. However, prior to route generation, static maritime environment representation must be created first. Whether it is transformed in to discrete or continuous form, common approach is to use Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) as a basis for maritime environment representation. Nevertheless its origins, ENCs still adhere to inherited data generalisations and simplifications to be comprehensible for human navigators. This leads to limitations when considering path planning and spatial resolution at different chart scales. Furthermore, when generating the representation and path, uncertainty must be considered since the quality and accuracy of chart data varies. Although these topics have been addressed separately in their respective domains, their relations have not been researched in detail. The aim of the proposed paper is the review of electronic navigational charts, environment representation and common global path planning approaches’ relations. Forthcoming standards and technologies, such as usage of high-density charts, are presented and discussed as well.