This course provides training in the basic theory and use of automatic radar plotting aids (ARPA) for those who will be in charge of a navigational watch in vessels equipped with ARPA, and it satisfies the ARPA training requirements of the STCW Code Table A-II/1 for Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch and Table A-II/2 for Masters and Chief Mates on ships of 500 gross tonnage or more.
The course combines lecture with extensive hands-on practice using an online Radar/ARPA simulator*. The methods by which the ARPA acquires targets, tracks them and derives information on their movements will be covered in sufficient depth to allow an appreciation of the limitations of detection and accuracy, and the dangers of over-reliance on ARPA.
Other aspects covered include the different types of ARPA in use and their various displays; the content of IMO resolution A.422 (XI) – Performance standards for automatic radar plotting aids; tests for the malfunctioning of equipment; the effects of inaccuracies in the input of course and speed; the selection of speed input to the ARPA; and the response of the system to changes in course and speed of “own ship” or target.
The exercises will provide practice in setting up the radar, the selection of operational alarms and ARPA facilities, and the use of these to derive information about other ships, i.e. the movement, the ranges at closest points of approach (CPA), and the time to closest points of approach (TCPA), the recognition of potential threats, and the use of ARPA to determine the action to take to avoid close quarters situations in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREG 1990) and the subsequent monitoring of such action.
* Please note that a Windows-based computer is required to complete this course, at this time due to the restrictions of the online simulator. We hope to resolve this issue in the future to accommodate non-Windows based operating systems.
A trainee successfully completing this course will be able to effectively use an ARPA to maintain a safe watch. The trainee will be able to choose an appropriate mode of display, select plotting and graphics controls suitable to the circumstances, make appropriate use of operational alarms, acquire and track those targets which present a potential threat of collision, extract the information needed on course, speed, and CPA to enable early action to be taken to avoid a close quarters situation, and make use of ARPA to confirm and monitor their actions.
The trainee will be aware of the dangers of over-reliance on the automatic acquisition and tracking of targets and on operational alarms. The trainee will also be aware of the performance standards set out in IMO Assembly resolution A.422 (XI), and factors (including errors in course and speed inputs) which may affect the accuracy of derived information; and he/she will realize the need to check the accuracy of inputs and the correct functioning of the ARPA.
Trainees wishing to enter this course should have completed a basic radar observer and collision avoidance plotting course.
COURSE COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS:
To successfully complete this course, students must complete the course and achieve a minimum 80% on the written examination, with a maximum number of 3 attempts. Students must also successfully complete the required practical assessments built in to the online course.
The final exam will be delivered and proctored through NMI’s Halo Exam Monitoring application and requires the user to have a computer with a web camera.
The online course is based upon the 32 hour IMO Model Course and trainees are expected to contribute a comparable effort in the online course.
REQUIRED NAVIGATION TOOLS:
– Leaded Compass 6″ or 8″
– Dividers 6 or 8″
– 2 Triangles
– One of the following; Parallel Rules OR Weems Roller Plotter
– Blank Radar Transfer Plotting Sheets