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S-100 and the Navtor SDK

Portrait of Paul Elgar in NAVTOR office
Paul Elgar see big changes coming for the maritime business.

Much is happening in the maritime business right now. Consolidation is taking place with several important acquisitions and mergers, not least in the world of e-Navigation.

These newly formed companies are streamlining their businesses, often focusing on one major area of competence. These changes also bring with them a certain amount of uncertainty, especially to the customers who may have invested significant sums of money in supporting their products and services.

Preparing for the next chapter

Navtor have been supplying ECDIS kernel software (Software Development Kits) to bridge manufacturers for over 10 years. In doing so we have made a commitment to our clients to ensure that our software matches their needs and is always prepared for new and upcoming standards and specifications. When one of these clients embeds our kernel into their bridge system, they are trusting us to partner with them for the life of the products, which could be 15 years or more.

We take this trust in us very seriously and continually work to ensure it remains. We visit our OEM partners on a regular basis, wherever in the world they may be. We keep them informed of what we are doing via newsletters and direct contact. We join industry working groups to ensure that our client’s best interests are always protected. Not least we always maintain our software to the highest standards. And now, our focus for the future is firmly on the S-100 Framework.

NAVTOR Digital Chart table touchscreen
The next generation of ENCs built on S-100 framework. Here, S-102 bathymetric data overlaid on top of S-101 ENC

A game changer

The new IHO S-100 Framework is a game-changer in the world of e-Navigation. It defines new standards and specifications for all sorts of data types and not simply ENC, which has been the case so far. It also defines how these data sources interact to give the mariner much better decision-making tools. But it also means that systems on both front and back of bridge need to be completely redesigned, and that brings with it a lot of challenges.

In Q2 2023, Navtor will release the first S-100 compliant SDK version 4, which will handle S-102 bathymetric data. We have embedded the SDK into a viewer which will allow us to demonstrate S-102 visualization at the upcoming Oslo Nor-Shipping exhibition in June. We will also give it to our existing OEM partners so that they can start to see what developing software with S-100 involves.

Screenshot of an electronic navigational chart
S-102 bathymetric data overlaid on top of ENC

Later this year the SDK will be further developed for the other major data types required for ECDIS which are S-101 (ENC), S-104 (Water Level Information), S-111 (Surface Currents), S-124 (Navigational Warnings) and S-129 (Under Keel Clearance). This SDK is fully backwards compatible with our current version 3 SDKs, so that our existing OEM clients can very easily start to use version 4 and migrate to S-100 as and when they need it.

With our SDK supporting this new generation of maritime data, we are once again showing our commitment to the long-term future of e-Navigation together with our OEM partners.

As the World’s biggest supplier of ENC we want to ensure that our OEMs and customers alike have the best experience and use of Navtor products for many years to come.


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