Future high precision navigation system for inland waterways



The NAVWAT application project analyses and utilizes modern GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and augmentation infrastructure to provide accurate position information to the boatmaster. The gathered precise position information should be related to the information contained in the onboard ENC (Electronic Navigational Chart) in order to support safety-critical manoeuvres. 

Brief Description

The inland waterway sector experienced a substantial modernization in the past years through the introduction of River Information Services (RIS) in many European countries. The aim of RIS is to increase safety and efficiency in river transport through the introduction of innovative information and communication services to users on ships and on land. 

Considering the evolution of RIS services over the next 10 to 15 years the main focus is on the reduction of accidents on European rivers. Past experience has shown that the most dangerous sections on rivers are those where the fairway is narrowed by riverside infrastructure, e.g. river locks, bridges, berths, and ports. The aim for the future will be to provide the boatmaster with accurate and reliable navigation information to support his decisions, in particular during periods with limited visibility. 

Thus, NAVWAT aims at providing accurate distance information between the vessel hull and the surrounding infrastructure. The information shall support the boatmaster in judging the actual navigation situation correctly and hence reducing the risk of collisions with infrastructure commonly found on inland waterways, such as river locks, bridges and berths. This information has to be provided to the ship crew in real-time in a suitable (graphical) way maximising the benefit of such a system. 


Project Partners

  • via donau – Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH, Austria (lead)
  • TeleConsult Austria GmbH, Austria


  • Austrian Government (BMVIT)


  • Successfully completed in 2010

Further Information