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An informative LinkedIn post from our friends at NLA International.


How Resilient Position, Navigation and Timing can INSPIRe greater confidence in the Blue Economy

Blue Economy Pulse

Blue Economy Pulse


By Phil Buckley (Associate Director, NLA International) on behalf of the INSPIRe team.

The Blue Economy is underpinned by an oft-overlooked but critical capability. Since the very first humans set out to sea the ability to understand position and time has allowed navigation. Local knowledge and familiarity with coastal terrain was supplemented by advances in knowledge and then technology. Astronavigation, the compass, Harrison’s clocks – all steps in the evolution of our ability to be increasingly precise about where and when we are whilst at sea. Space technology now gives us what many call GPS or GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and many of us – on land and sea – put our unwavering faith in this solution.

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As humans advance Blue Economies, we are deploying more – and ever-more innovative – infrastructure at sea. Offshore wind has grown rapidly over the last 20 years and looks set to continue its upward surge in the coming years, as this week’s announcement of plans for a new $4.7 Billion offshore wind turbine assembly hub in California attest. Aquaculture fish farms are now the source of more fish protein than wild caught fish, with precision aquaculture employing computer vision and Artificial Intelligence to monitor and manage stock growth and advanced disease management systems to promote greater efficiency. We ship more goods to more ports than ever before, with smart ports investing heavily in technological infrastructure, as evidenced by the Port of Antwerp’s recent introduction of six autonomous drones as part of their security measures. Autonomous vessels are also becoming more prevalent at sea, from underwater covert intelligence-gathering to hydrographic data acquisition.