Simulation – Historical voyages to Port of Kristiansand

Operational Test – simulation of voyages to Port of Kristiansand using existing AIS tracks

The operational test was completed 30th of April 2021.

Purpose of the test

To be able to simulate historical voyages on selected vessels based on historic AIS obtained from the Norwegian Coastal Administration. 

On the basis of the simulations, we want to show that with access to customised tools and new S-100 dataset you will be able to: 

  1. better illustrate and further assess the margins used during sailing
  2. provide knowledge that changed understanding of the situation can contribute to and form the basis for measures
  3. Gather all involved in a common “collaboration and interaction room” where you can discuss the basics and consequences.

As a result of the test, we want to give the parties involved the opportunity to more readily understand and imagine an operational environment and with access to such data and tools, use this to actively assess the margins in advance of a new voyage, or be used as a case to assess other measures, e.g. elaboration/collaboration in given areas with stakeholders. 

Selected areas for test

Sailing and port areas in Kristiansand municipality, Agder. Selected areal: approx 28.54km2

Selected area in Kristiansand municipality, Agder, Norway.

Vessels AIS tracks, tools and data used in the test

Selected historical voyages (AIS tracks) and vessels for the test were: 

  • “Federal Nakagawa” – 5.1.2017 
  • “Balkan” – 2.10.2019 
  • “Heaven” – 3.8.2015 

Data basis:   

  • Historical AIS retrieved from the Coastal Data Center / additional information recived via e-mail from the Norwegian Coastal Administration. 
  • Latest surveys (latest in 2020)
  • Updated S-57 datasets
  • Tide table for given times
  • 2 x S-102 datasets for selected area 
    • 1×1 resolution
    • 2×2 resolution
S-102 dataset – 1x1m resolution
S-102 dataset- 2×2 m resolution
S-100 Demonstrator

Tools: S-100 Demonstrator

  • Available models similar to the vessels
    • when it was not possible to obtain exact models
  • New functionality added that simulates sailing on the AIS track 
    • There was not enough data available to provide 100% accuracy.

Desired data basis, but which were not available: 

  • 3D Port data
  • S-104 (Water Level Information) dataset
  • Detailed technical Port onshore data from “Central common map database” – SFKB

Desired data basis, but which were not available: 

  • 3D Port data
  • S-104 (Water Level Information) dataset
  • Detailed technical Port onshore data from “Central common map database” – SFKB 


As of today, in Norway (30th of April 2021), there are still restrictions with access for the public, including the Norwegian Coastal Administration and ports, on detailed depth data. This is despite the fact that in 2017 a new law was passed “Prop. 116L: Law on information about specified areas, objects worthy of protection and bottom conditions” which was meant to open up to use detailed depth data down to defined depths. 

Downgrading / Open access to detailed depth data have not taken place as the necessary regulations for administration and interpretation have not been completed. According to the project experiences, new regulations are now up for consultation, but the details are not known. 

This means that the current practice is as follows: From the territorial border and into the Norwegian coast, depth data with a resolution denser than 50 meters between the points are graded CONFIDENTIAL or higher according to the Security Act.

The S-100 Demonstrator project has therefore sought, and been granted by the Armed Forces, access to defined areas and associated high-resolution data in order to be able to produce S102 data sets with a resolution of 1×1 meters. These data sets can only be used in the context approved by the Armed Forces and for a specified period of time.

Test Description




The Conclusion

Review of the historical voyages gave the parties involved a good insight into how the voyages took place and what margins they had operated with.

The ability to simulate voyages with vessel models and detailed depth data, both historical (in a retrospective perspective) and planned, gives the parties a much better basis for discussions and decisions. It is essential that datasets used are as up-to-date as possible and produced in the shallowest areas with such a resolution as shown in this test (1×1 meter). As is well known, datasets of such resolution and quality are not available but restricted in use, as of today. Release / downgrade of updated detailed depth data is crucial for the parties involved to make use of this type of datasets, essentially raising insight and making better assessments and decisions in the planning phase of new voyages. 

It is important that all parties involved, e.g. someone planning a call can see the same data bases and simulations in order to have the necessary basis for discussions and any decisions in between. The project is of the opinion that access to a common “Interaction Room”, a solution where all basic data can be entered and voyages can be simulated, could be very useful for the parties involved. Extensive use of this will only be useful when the datasets are available for use (degraded for various purposes).

It was emphasised during the test that goods owners, agents and shipping companies will be useful parties to involve in such simulations together with ports and the Norwegian Coastal Administration’s expertise. As a result of this test, it was requested that the project participate in several selected meetings with goods owners and agents to share insights with them as well. 

The feedback also gives the project reason to believe that the use of additional data, such as actual water level, wind and current conditions, would further enrich the solution and the display. 

This supports the Project’s hypothesis that the ability to display several S-100 standardised datasets together, provides increased value for end users and a better decision basis.