HEADing device for inland waterway NAVigation



The project HEAD-NAV aims at developing a cost effective GPS based heading system for the application in inland waterway navigation. The generated heading information will be integrated into the traffic data of the Inland ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information Service) and transmitted via the AIS (Automatic Identification System) data channel. 

Brief Description

It will be analysed, if the use of a special GPS heading receiver containing only one receiver clock, or two separate standard GPS receivers should be used to design and develop a cost effective functional demonstrator. If two separate GPS receivers will be used, the clock synchronisation errors must be considered by the heading software.

To bridge occurring epochs of satellite signal shading (by bridges, high buildings, vegetation or the surrounding topography) on inland waterways, an autonomous sensor (low-cost gyro) will be integrated into the heading system. The software development for the heading calculation will be based on relative GPS processing techniques (single-difference or double-difference approach) supported by a Kalman Filter for the integration of the autonomous sensor to ensure a continuous and reliable heading determination.

This modern heading system will perform a major contribution for the innovation and for increasing safety within inland waterway navigation und thus, will introduce further added value into River Information Services. 


Project Partners

  • TeleConsult Austria GmbH (lead)
  • supported by: via donau – Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH


  • Austrian Government (BMVIT)


  • Successfully completed in 2008