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Mobile application of ARM "Pilot" - vector of import substitution and import dependence of Russian pilotage services
Material posted: Gornova Anna M.Publication date: 07-04-2022

Active sanctions pressure in 2022 did not affect the functionality of the ARM “Pilot” application at all. The absence of external state influence on the project will be preserved in the future, the project team responsibly adheres to the vector of import substitution and even import independence, does not accept modules limited by copyrights patents, including foreign companies, uses data and maps exclusively from domestic manufacturers.

In 2016, the company “Intellectica”, as part of the development of the MOORiNET laser mooring system, initiated the development of a mobile application of the ARM “Pilot" for tablet computers running Android OS. The following basic goals of the application were defined:

  • ensuring effective assistance to river and sea navigation pilots in solving daily service tasks;
  • digitalization of related document management processes;
  • improving the safety of pilotage and mooring operations.

Also, initially, the most important requirements for the development of the ARM “Pilot” project were patent purity, independence from copyright or related rights of third parties, as well as compliance with regulatory legal acts regulating the import substitution of software. The set goals were fully fulfilled and in 2021, together with the pilot service of the Arkhangelsk seaport, operational tests were carried out, the success of which is documented. 

Active sanctions pressure in 2022 did not affect the functionality of the ARM “Pilot” application at all. The absence of external state influence on the project will be preserved in the future, because the project team responsibly adheres to the vector of import substitution and even import independence, does not accept modules limited by copyright patents, including foreign companies, uses data and maps exclusively from domestic manufacturers.

In addition, constant close work with pilotage services and maritime security services of the ports of Novorossiysk and Arkhangelsk helped to increase the useful functionality, as well as to build a roadmap for the future development of the application. This is how virtual areas were introduced on a digital map, which helps, for example, to designate existing marine protected areas that are under environmental protection.

Displaying the current navigation situation of the water area on the tablet screen helps to avoid a lot of emergency situations. Even in low visibility conditions, the pilot sees vessels or other obstacles in real time on the tablet screen and can adjust the route in advance, calculate the predicted movement of his own vessel. This is especially important when transporting petroleum products, where an accident can cause enormous irreparable environmental damage. In the plans for the development of the application there are other important mechanisms that will help ensure the preservation of the nature of our country, such as the creation of virtual map layers reflecting seasonal fishing areas, migration corridors of marine mammals and birds.

It must be said that the use of electronic cards with additional information layers opens up inexhaustible prospects for the development of important local functionality of the automated control system “Pilot" in the future. For example, displaying the current ice situation on an electronic map can be extremely useful information for working in the conditions of the Northern Sea Route.

Systems of foreign manufacturers, such as the Pilot automated control system, have long been operated by pilots of different ports of Russia, and the idea of digitalization of work processes has long been a necessity of our time. Among the leaders of such solutions can be noted the Finnish company “Transas” and the Swedish “Trelleborg”, but as it was noted by many pilots, local problems of Russian ports, foreign manufacturers do not plan to solve. And recently, software and hardware updates have become extremely difficult or even impossible due to the sanctions pressure of the countries in which the mentioned companies are located.  In turn, the functional ARM "Pilot" of the company "Intelektika”, not only completely overlaps the functionality of competitive foreign systems, but also has many extensions aimed specifically at the Russian user.

"Intellectica” initially refused to use tablets based on the iOS operating system (Apple), in favor of the open Android platform. Also, initially, the system was not tied to certain navigation sensors, as it was done with foreign analogues. ARM “Pilot" can work with any existing satellite navigation sensors, both built-in and external portable.

ARM “Pilot” uses electronic maps produced by the Department of Navigation and Oceanography of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (UNIO), which cover all waters in the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and are more accurate and up-to-date display of our waters in comparison with maps of foreign manufacturers (IHO, PRIMAR, AVCS).

The Pilot Automated Control System uses various additional data, for example, such as tides, which are provided by the N.N. Zubov State Oceanographic Institute, or a layer of actual depths on a digital map, which can be updated directly by the dredging and measuring department of the port from a specialized personal account. This functionality is very much in demand due to the variety of natural conditions in Russia and the location of ports. For example, tidal fluctuations in Novorossiysk are practically not felt, but the difference between low and high water levels in Arkhangelsk makes some areas temporarily non-navigable. In ports such as Ust-Luga, Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg and other parts of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland, overrunning phenomena are of great importance. This information should be promptly sent to the pilots' tablets without waiting for updates of the proofs of the maps used.

Also, the cardinal difference between the Pilot automated control system and competitor systems is a single central data server with administrative access via a web interface. This innovation solves the issue of fast centralized updating of data on the pilot's tablets, as well as saving information about completed transactions. Related documents such as a wiring plan or a pilot's receipt can be stored on the server in electronic form. The loss or failure of the tablet is not a critical problem, and the placement of the central server directly on the territory of the port limits the data flow only within the local network without external access. All of the above helps to maintain a secure, fault-tolerant exchange of up-to-date critical information for performing pilot tasks.

Already now it can be noted that the domestic solution of the ARM “Pilot" from the company “Intelligence” surpasses the functionality of similar systems from foreign manufacturers, and the absence of any “political” obstacles and close work with port employees opens up prospects for the development of the system as one that meets the needs of Russian pilotage services.


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