UKHO announces upgrade details for AVCS

Oct 22 2013


The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has announced details of its forthcoming upgrade of the ADMIRALTY Vector Chart Service (AVCS) CD Service to S-63 Edition 1.1.

This is the latest international open-format security standard for digital chart data and is in conjunction with the publication of the UKHO's advice to users on how to make the transition when the upgraded AVCS CD Service goes live on 17th October, 2013.

S-63 is an industry standard overseen by the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) that provides HOs and ECDIS manufacturers with the tools to protect, via encryption, the data within Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) and to authenticate the originator of the ENCs.

It is an open format system that provides a common set of security constructs and operating procedures, followed by HOs and ECDIS manufacturers around the world.

In response to the evolving challenges to data security, the IHO has upgraded S-63 with the latest Edition, 1.1, which is now available. Edition 1.0 will be withdrawn by the IHO on 31st December, 2013 and ENC service providers that deliver data in S-63 format will be required to use Edition 1.1 from 1st January, 2014.

In order to comply with these requirements and to give users all the benefits of the upgraded S-63 security standard, the AVCS CD service will upgrade to S-63 1.1 from 17th October, 2013. From that date, AVCS CD users will no longer receive 1.0 format disks, unless specifically requested via their ADMIRALTY chart agent.

AVCS with S-63 1.1 is already available in a DVD format, with further benefits for customers, including the entire ENC dataset on a single DVD every week, removing the need for base disk re-issues and improved data loading. There is no extra cost to upgrade to the new edition on CD, or DVD.

Jason Scholey, AVCS product manager at the UKHO, said: "AVCS users need to transition to the latest version of the S-63 security standard by the end of the year in order to remain compliant, but there are plenty of benefits in making the switch as soon as our S.63 1.1. CD service goes live from 17th October.

“By upgrading to S-63 1.1, users will benefit from fewer warning messages than before and with no requirement to change the security scheme certificate, as newer ECDIS models come with the IHO certificate used by S-63 1.1 (IHO.CRT) pre-installed.

"The UKHO is working hard to provide as much information and guidance as possible to our customers in order to help them to make a smooth, seamless transition and to enjoy all of the benefits.

“Thanks to S-63 1.1, ECDIS users are assured of the security of their ENC data, the authenticity of their charts and the continued compatibility of all S-63 compliant chart services and ECDIS models, while enjoying faster, simpler and more effective ENC handling. Put simply, this means more secure and efficient navigation," he concluded.

 

Simple guide

UKHO has also prepared a simple four-step guide for customers that need to make the transition to S-63 1.1:

Step 1: Check ECDIS compatibility.

Most ECDIS will be able to transition to S-63 Edition 1.1 with only a minor one-off change. However, a small number may require an upgrade before they can use S-63 Edition 1.1 data.

All ECDIS type-approved from January 2009 are compatible with S-63 Edition 1.1. The ECDIS wheel mark will display the year of type-approval.

Most other ECDIS can also use the S-63 Edition 1.1 data providing they have the functionality to change the certificate file that is being used. If an ECDIS cannot change the certificate file, users should contact their ECDIS manufacturer and ADMIRALTY chart agent, as soon as possible because an ECIDS upgrade may be required.

Step 2: Online updating service users only.

Users of online updating services should check that their service can support S-63 Edition 1.1 updates.

ADMIRALTY e-Navigator planning station (versions 3.1 and higher) supports S-63 1.1 updates. The ADMIRALTY updating service (ENC online updating service) will transition to S-63 1.1 from week 42/13.

Step 3: Install the IHO certificate file onto the ECDIS.

Upon receipt of the new AVCS S-63 Edition 1.1 CDs in week 42/13, users will need to change the certificate loaded in the ECDIS before the disks can be installed.

The ENCs on the CD are authenticated against the IHO's digital certificate (IHO.CRT), which must be installed in an ECDIS before the CD can be used.

If converting from the older AVCS CD service, or another ENC service, the user will have the PRIMAR digital certificate installed (PRIMAR.CRT). Alternatively, if operating a newly installed ECDIS it will be pre-loaded with the IHO digital certificate file but it may have expired in August 2013. In both cases the UKHO recommend the new IHO.CRT file is installed, which expires in 2033.

UKHO has created a number of type specific guides to this process which can be found on the Support tab at www.ukho.gov.uk/AVCS



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