What is the SPRS?

The COMNAP Ship Position Reporting System (SPRS) is an optional, voluntary system for exchange of information about National Program ship operations and capabilities. It is designed by COMNAP for COMNAP. The purpose of the system is to facilitate collaboration between National Programs and with relevant stakeholders.


For the 2016-17 Antarctic summer season, COMNAP is trialing a new tracking system alongside the current SPRS.  For COMNAP Members, the new tracking system trial can be viewed using the instructions found on the COMNAP Member's Only webpage.

If I provide my position, will I also know where the other ships are?

Yes. Every time I send to the SPRS a valid position report for my ship, I will receive in return an email showing the latest positions of all the other ships that participate too, as well as their contact details.


A copy of that email showing all ship positions will also be sent to any other addresses that you have nominated for 'Email Notifications'.


If you include 'KML' in the subject line of your position report, the return email will also include a 'KML' file – a file that you can open to view the ship positions on the globe with GoogleEarth.

How can I send my ship's position or other information?

The simplest way is to send the information by e-mail tosprs@comnap.aq. You will receive a message back confirming that your information has been updated. If there was any problem with your report, this will be notified in the email, along with a copy of the current Help page.


The format is simple and hopefully self-explanatory. Each parameter (element of information), for example the latitude or the number of helicopters on board, is given by writing the parameter name, followed by '=', then by its value. For example, to report that you have 2 helicopters on board, you will write:

helicopters= 2

1) Send position and heading only

To send only the position and heading, write in the body of the email, replacing $$$$ by the appropriate value:

...

callsign= $$$$
pin= $$$$
latitude= $$$$

longitude= $$$$
heading= $$$$
time= $$$$

...


Here are details on how each parameter can be provided:

Parameter

Format / Comments

callsign

provide your ship callsign , eg: 
callsign= VHZI (note: UPPER-CASE or lower-case should both work)

Alternatively, you can use your MMSI instead of the callsign, using mmsi=, eg:
mmsi= 211202469

pin

if you do not know what your ship's pin is, contact the comnap secretariat atsec@comnap.aq

latitude

you can enter your latitude either as:

- degrees decimal, eg: latitude= -61.5042 (negative is South)

- degrees then minutes decimal, eg: latitude= 61d30.25'S

- degrees-minutes-seconds, eg: latitude= 61d30'15”S

longitude

you can enter your longitude either as:

  • degrees decimal, eg: longitude= 141.5042 (negative is West)

  • degrees then minutes decimal, eg: longitude= 141d30.25'E

  • degrees-minutes-seconds, eg: longitude= 141d30'15”E

heading

you can enter your heading either as:

  • degrees relative to true North, eg: heading= 135

  • quadrant notation, eg: heading= SSW
    (options available are: N, NNE, NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW, WSW, W, WNW, NW, NNW)

time

you can enter the UTC time at which the position was valid using an ISO8601 compliant time in the format yyyy-mm-dd T hh:mm Z. For example for the 16 February 2007 at 15:17 UTC, write:

time= 2007-02-16 T 15:17 Z


Note that if you do not provide a time, or if this time cannot be decoded, the SPRS will use the time your email was sent. If it cannot decode the time of the email either, it will use the current time (when the message arrives).


An example position report message is:

From: viking@icebreakers.aq

To: sprs@comnap.aq

callsign= AQVK
pin= 0101
latitude= -64.521

longitude= 145.232
heading= 210
time= 2007-12-07 T 02:30 Z


Note that:

  • a new position will be accepted and will update the previous position ONLY if both the latitude and the longitude have been decoded as valid;

  • a new heading will be accepted and will update the previous heading ONLY if it is provided in conjunction with a valid position;

2) Send additional information

A range of additional parameters can be provided. Each parameter is OPTIONAL - you can report none, a few of them, or all of them.

Here are details on how each parameter can be provided:

Parameter

Format / Comments

voyage

A name or description for the current voyage/trip/cruise of the vessel – eg:
voyage= 2007-V4; or
voyage= 2007 Resupply Bernacchi Station

To delete/clear the previous value, use:
voyage= CLEAR
 (Note: both CLEAR and clear should work)

pob

The number of persons on board (it is free text so can include comments) – eg:
pob= 34; or
pob= 34 (12 crews and 22 passengers

To delete/clear the previous value, use:
pob= CLEAR (Note: both CLEAR and clear should work)

doctors

The number and/or description of medical personnel on board (free text) – eg:
doctors= 2; or
doctors= 1 doctor + 1 paramedic

To delete/clear the previous value, use:
doctors= CLEAR (Note: both CLEAR and clear should work)

hydrographers

The number and/or description of hydrographers on board (free text) – eg:
hydrographers= 1; or
hydrographers= 1 doctor + 1 paramedic

To delete/clear the previous value, use:
hydrographers= CLEAR (Note: both CLEAR and clear should work)

helicopters

The number and/or description of helicopters on board (free text) – eg:
helicopters= 2; or
helicopters= 1 Squirrel + 1 S76A, can both be launched at sea

To delete/clear the previous value, use:
helicopters= CLEAR (Note: both CLEAR and clear should work)

endurance

The number and/or description of endurance (free text) – eg:
endurance= 90 days; or
endurance= 4500 NM at 15 knots

To delete/clear the previous value, use:
endurance= CLEAR (Note: both CLEAR and clear should work)

berths-available

The number and/or description of berths available on board (free text) – eg:
berths-available= 24; or
berths-available= 14 standard + 25 basic bunks in hold if needed

To delete/clear the previous value, use:
berths-available= CLEAR (Note: both CLEAR and clear should work)

observation

Any number of text observations can be provided. Each observation can contain several lines, so it needs an 'end' delimiter. An observation starts with observation= and finish with a line that contains observation-end only, eg:

observation= Deploying buoys
Slow but steady progress in 5/10 pack
Stop scheduled when reaching edge of fast ice for coring work
observation-end

next

[Any number of the “next” points the vessel is going to travel through. This parameter is undergoing final testing and will be available soon]


An example position report message including some additional parameters is:

From: viking@icebreakers.aq

To: sprs@comnap.aq

callsign= AQVK
pin= 0101
latitude= -64.521

longitude= 145.232
heading= 210
time= 2007-12-07 T 02:30 Z

voyage= 2007 Resupply Bernacchi Station
pob= 34
doctors= 2
helicopters= 1
berths-available= 18

observation= Heavy seas, light 5/10 pack ice
Deploying XBTs every 3 hours
Recovered two moorings yesterday
observation-end



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