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RECOMMENDATION ITU-R M.493-9*

DIGITAL SELECTIVE-CALLING SYSTEM FOR USE
IN THE MARITIME MOBILE SERVICE

(Question ITU-R 9/8)

(1974-1978-1982-1986-1990-1992-1994-1995-1997)

Rec. ITU-R M.493-9

Summary

This Recommendation contains, in Annex 1, the technical characteristics of digital selective calling (DSC) equipment which is used in the maritime-mobile service for calling ships and coast stations including calling for distress and safety purposes. Annex 2 contains the description of various classes of DSC equipment and the more limited technical characteristics of some of those classes.

Associated operational procedures are given in Recommendation ITU-R M.541.

The ITU Radiocommunication Assembly,

considering

a) that selective calling in the shore-to-ship, ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore directions would expedite the handling of traffic in the maritime mobile service;

b) that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has listed a number of operational requirements that should be taken into account when designing a general purpose selective-calling system;

c) that Chapter IV of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended, requires the use of digital selective-calling for distress alerting and safety calling in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS);

d) that neither the selective-calling system described in Recommendation ITU-R M.257, nor that forming part of the systems described in Recommendations ITU-R M.476 and ITU-R M.625, can fully meet the IMO recommended performance standards;

e) that several administrations have indicated an urgent need for a general purpose selective-calling system;

f) that several administrations have been developing different systems;

g) that the system should be applicable to the maritime mobile service, both for international and national needs;

h) that it is desirable that the selective-calling system fulfil the requirements of all types of vessels desiring to use it;

j) that Radio Regulations (RR) Appendix 43** adopted by the World Administrative Radio Conference for the Mobile Services (Geneva, 1983) (WARC MOB-83) has provided for the use of maritime mobile service identities by all administrations,

recommends

1 that where there is need for a general purpose digital selective-calling (DSC) system, the system should be designed in accordance with the characteristics given in Annex 1;

2 that where there is need for simplified versions of DSC equipment, they should be designed in accordance with Annex 2;

3 that in a GMDSS coast radio station installation, sufficient separation should be provided between the DSC distress channel receiver antennas and any transmitting antennas within the installation. This is to avoid any de-sensitization of the DSC distress channel receivers if any transmitter is used at full power on any designated transmit frequency other than the DSC distress frequencies.

ANNEX 1

General purpose equipment characteristics

1 General

1.1 The system is a synchronous system using characters composed from a ten-bit error-detecting code as listed in Table 1.

1.1.1 The first seven bits of the ten-bit code of Table 1 are information bits. Bits 8, 9 and 10 indicate, in the form of a binary number, the number of B elements that occur in the seven information bits, a Y element being a binary number 1 and a B element a binary number 0. For example, a BYY sequence for bits 8, 9 and 10 indicates 3 (04+12+11) B elements in the associated seven information bit sequence; and a YYB sequence indicates 6 (1 4+12+01) B elements in the associated seven information bit sequence. The order of transmission for the information bits is least significant bit first but for the check bits it is most significant bit first.

1.2 Time diversity is provided in the call sequence as follows:

1.2.1 Apart from the phasing characters, each character is transmitted twice in a time-spread mode; the first transmission (DX) of a specific character is followed by the transmission of four other characters before the re-transmission (RX) of that specific character takes place, allowing for a time-diversity reception interval of:

1.2.1.1 400 ms for HF and MF channels, and

1.2.1.2 331/3 ms for VHF radio-telephone channels.

1.3 The classes of emission, frequency shifts and modulation rates are as follows:

1.3.1 F1B or J2B 170 Hz and 100 Bd for use on HF and MF channels. When frequency-shift keying is effected by applying audio signals to the input of single-sideband transmitters (J2B), the centre of the audio-frequency spectrum offered to the transmitter is 1 700 Hz.

1.3.2 Frequency modulation with a pre-emphasis of 6 dB/octave (phase modulation) with frequency-shift of the modulating sub-carrier for use on VHF channels:

– frequency-shift between 1 300 and 2 100 Hz; the sub-carrier being at 1 700 Hz;

– the frequency tolerance of the 1 300 and 2 100 Hz tones is10 Hz;

– the modulation rate is 1 200 Bd;

– the index of modulation is 2.0 10%.

1.3.3 The radio-frequency tolerances of new designs of both transmitters and receivers in the MF and HF bands should be:

– coast station: 10 Hz,

– ship station: 10 Hz,

– receiver bandwidth: should not exceed 300 Hz.

1.4 The higher frequency corresponds to the B-state and the lower frequency corresponds to the Y-state of the signal elements.

1.5 The information in the call is presented as a sequence of seven-bit combinations constituting a primary code.

1.5.1 The seven information bits of the primary code express a symbol number from 00 to 127, as shown in Table 1, and where:

1.5.1.1 the symbols from 00 to 99 are used to code two decimal figures according to Table 2;

TABLE 1

Ten-bit error-detecting code

Symbol No.

Emitted signal
and bit position

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

Symbol No.

Emitted signal
and bit position

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

 

Symbol No.

Emitted signal
and bit position

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

00
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42

BBBBBBBYYY
YBBBBBBYYB
BYBBBBBYYB
YYBBBBBYBY
BBYBBBBYYB
YBYBBBBYBY
BYYBBBBYBY
YYYBBBBYBB
BBBYBBBYYB
YBBYBBBYBY
BYBYBBBYBY
YYBYBBBYBB
BBYYBBBYBY
YBYYBBBYBB
BYYYBBBYBB
YYYYBBBBYY
BBBBYBBYYB
YBBBYBBYBY
BYBBYBBYBY
YYBBYBBYBB
BBYBYBBYBY
YBYBYBBYBB
BYYBYBBYBB
YYYBYBBBYY
BBBYYBBYBY
YBBYYBBYBB
BYBYYBBYBB
YYBYYBBBYY
BBYYYBBYBB
YBYYYBBBYY
BYYYYBBBYY
YYYYYBBBYB
BBBBBYBYYB
YBBBBYBYBY
BYBBBYBYBY
YYBBBYBYBB
BBYBBYBYBY
YBYBBYBYBB
BYYBBYBYBB
YYYBBYBBYY
BBBYBYBYBY
YBBYBYBYBB
BYBYBYBYBB

 

43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85

YYBYBYBBYY
BBYYBYBYBB
YBYYBYBBYY
BYYYBYBBYY
YYYYBYBBYB
BBBBYYBYBY
YBBBYYBYBB
BYBBYYBYBB
YYBBYYBBYY
BBYBYYBYBB
YBYBYYBBYY
BYYBYYBBYY
YYYBYYBBYB
BBBYYYBYBB
YBBYYYBBYY
BYBYYYBBYY
YYBYYYBBYB
BBYYYYBBYY
YBYYYYBBYB
BYYYYYBBYB
YYYYYYBBBY
BBBBBBYYYB
YBBBBBYYBY
BYBBBBYYBY
YYBBBBYYBB
BBYBBBYYBY
YBYBBBYYBB
BYYBBBYYBB
YYYBBBYBYY
BBBYBBYYBY
YBBYBBYYBB
BYBYBBYYBB
YYBYBBYBYY
BBYYBBYYBB
YBYYBBYBYY
BYYYBBYBYY
YYYYBBYBYB
BBBBYBYYBY
YBBBYBYYBB
BYBBYBYYBB
YYBBYBYBYY
BBYBYBYYBB
YBYBYBYBYY

 

86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99

100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127

BYYBYBYBYY
YYYBYBYBYB
BBBYYBYYBB
YBBYYBYBYY
BYBYYBYBYY
YYBYYBYBYB
BBYYYBYBYY
YBYYYBYBYB
BYYYYBYBYB
YYYYYBYBBY
BBBBBYYYBY
YBBBBYYYBB
BYBBBYYYBB
YYBBBYYBYY

BBYBBYYYBB
YBYBBYYBYY
BYYBBYYBYY
YYYBBYYBYB
BBBYBYYYBB
YBBYBYYBYY
BYBYBYYBYY
YYBYBYYBYB
BBYYBYYBYY
YBYYBYYBYB
BYYYBYYBYB
YYYYBYYBBY
BBBBYYYYBB
YBBBYYYBYY
BYBBYYYBYY
YYBBYYYBYB
BBYBYYYBYY
YBYBYYYBYB
BYYBYYYBYB
YYYBYYYBBY
BBBYYYYBYY
YBBYYYYBYB
BYBYYYYBYB
YYBYYYYBBY
BBYYYYYBYB
YBYYYYYBBY
BYYYYYYBBY
YYYYYYYBBB

B = 0

Y = 1

Order of bit transmission: bit 1 first.

1.5.1.2 the symbols from 100 to 127 are used to code service commands (see Table 3).

1.6 The receiver decoder should provide maximum utilization of the received signal, including use of the error-check character.

1.7 Where the distress call repetitions described in 11 apply, the following conditions are considered necessary:

1.7.1 the transmitter encoder must provide repetitive transmission of the call sequence in accordance with 11; and

1.7.2 the receiver decoder should provide maximum utilization of the received signal, including use of the error-check character and by using an iterative decoding process with adequate memory provision.

1.8 When the transmission of a DSC distress call is automatically repeated, ships’ DSC equipments must be capable of automatically receiving a subsequent distress acknowledgement (see Recommendation; ITU-R M.541, Annex 1, 3.1.3.1, 3.1.3.2 and 3.3.5).

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TABLE 2

Packing table for decimal numbers into ten-bit characters

The digits for the

Thousands
of millions
D2

Hundreds
of millions
D1

Tens of millions
D2

Millions
D1

Hundreds of thousands
D2

Tens of thousands
D1

Thousands
D2

Hundreds
D1

Tens
D2

Units
D1

Character 5

Character 4

Character 3

Character 2

Character 1

NOTE 1 – Character 1 is the last character transmitted

The digit sequence D2-D1 varies from 00 to 99 inclusive in each character (character 1 to 5 inclusive). The character that represents a particular two-decimal figure is transmitted as the symbol number (see Table 1) that is identical to that particular two-decimal figure.

When the number consists of an odd number of decimal digits, a zero shall be added in front of the most significant position to provide an integral number of ten-bit characters.

TABLE 3

Use of symbol Nos. 100 to 127

Symbol
No.

Phasing and unique functions

Format specifier(1)

Category(1)

Nature
of distress(1)

First telecommand(1)

Second telecommand(1)

100

    Routine Fire, explosion F3E/G3E simplex;TP No reason given(2)

101

      Flooding F3E/G3E
duplex TP
Congestion at maritime switching centre

102

  Geographical area   Collision (3) Busy(2)

103

  (4) (4) Grounding Polling Queue indication(2)

104

Phasing
RX-0
position
    Listing, in danger of capsizing Unable to comply Station barred(2)

105

Phasing
RX-1
position
    Sinking End of call(5) No operator available(2)

106

Phasing
RX-2
position
  Ship’s business Disabled and adrift Data Operator temporarily unavailable(2)

107

Phasing
RX-3
position
    Undesignated distress (3) Equipment disabled(2)

108

Phasing
RX-4
position
  Safety Abandoning ship (3) Unable to use proposed channel(2)

109

Phasing
RX-5
position
    Piracy/armed robbery attack J3E TP Unable to use proposed mode(2)

110

Phasing
RX-6
position
(6) Urgency Man over board Distress acknowledgement Ships and aircraft according to Resolution No. 18 (Mob-83)

111

Phasing
RX-7
position
      H3E TP Medical transports (as defined in 1949 Geneva Conventions and additional Protocols)

TABLE 3 (continued)

Symbol
No.

Phasing and unique functions

Format specifier(1)


Category(1)

Nature
of distress(1)

First telecommand(1)


Second telecommand(1)

112

  Distress Distress EPIRB emission Distress relay Pay-phone/public call office

113

        F1B/J2B TTY-FEC Facsimile/data according to Recommendation ITU-R M.1081

114

  Ships having common interest     (3) (3)

115

        F1B/J2B TTY-ARQ Data V.21

116

  All ships     F1B/J2B TTY receive Data V.22

117

Ack. RQ (EOS)       (7) (7)

118

        Test(8) Data V.22 bis

119

        F1B/J2B TTY Data V.23

120

  Individual stations     A1A Morse TR Data V.26 bis

121

  Reserved for national non-calling purposes e.g. Report ITU-R M.1159     Ship position or location registration updating Data V.26 ter

122

Ack. BQ (EOS)       (7) (7)

123

  Individual station semi-automatic/
automatic service
    A1A Morse Data V.27 ter

124

  (6)     F1C/F2C/F3C FAX Data V.32

125

Phasing DX
position
      (7) (7)

126

*       No information(9) No information(9)

127

EOS       (7) (7)
TR: tape recorder

TP: telephony

TTY: direct printing

ARQ: Rec. ITU-R M.476 or
Rec. ITU-R M.625 equipment

FAX: facsimile

* Symbol transmitted in place of unused
message information.

(1) To allow for future uses of currently unassigned symbols, equipments should not reject calls containing such symbols.

(2) Currently unassigned when used with first telecommands other than symbol No. 104 – for future use.

(3) Currently unassigned – for future use.

(4) Used for selective call to a group of ships in a specified VTS area (Rec. ITU-R M.825). Should not be used in any future expansion.

(5) Only used for semi-automatic/automatic service.

(6) Used in the automatic VHF/UHF service (Rec. ITU-R M.586). Should not be used in any future expansion.

(7) Should not be used in any future expansion.

(8) See 8.4.

(9) See 8.2.1.1 and 8.2.1.2.

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2 Technical format of a call sequence

2.1 The technical format of the call sequence is:

FIGURE 0493-9-00

2.2 Examples of typical call sequences and the construction of the transmission format are given in Tables 4 to 7, and in Figs. 1 to 4.

2.3 The flow charts illustrating the operation of the DSC system are shown in Figs. 5a and 5b.

3 Dot pattern and phasing

3.1 The phasing sequence provides information to the receiver to permit correct bit phasing and unambiguous determination of the positions of the characters within a call sequence (see Note 1).

NOTE 1 – Acquisition of character synchronization should be achieved by means of character recognition rather than, for example, by recognizing a change in the dot pattern, in order to reduce false synchronization caused by a bit error in the dot pattern.

3.2 The phasing sequence consists of specific characters in the DX and RX positions transmitted alternatively. Six DX characters are transmitted.

3.2.1 The phasing character in the DX position is symbol No. 125 of Table 1.

3.2.2 The phasing characters in the RX position specify the start of the information sequence (i.e. the format specifier) and consist of the symbol Nos. 111, 110, 109, 108, 107, 106, 105 and 104 of Table 1, consecutively.

3.3 Phasing is considered to be achieved when two DXs and one RX, or two RXs and one DX, or three RXs in the appropriate DX or RX positions, respectively, are successfully received. These three phasing characters may be detected in either consecutive or non-consecutive positions but in both cases all bits of the phasing sequence should be examined for a correct 3-character pattern. A call should be rejected only if a correct pattern is not found anywhere within the phasing sequence.

3.4 To provide appropriate conditions for earlier bit synchronization and to allow for scanning methods to monitor several HF and MF frequencies by ship stations, the phasing sequence should be preceded by a dot pattern (i.e. alternating B-Y or Y-B sequence bit synchronization signals) with duration of:

3.4.1 200 bits

At HF and MF, for "distress", "distress acknowledgement", "distress relay" and "distress relay acknowledgement" calls and for all calling sequences to ship stations.

3.4.2 20 bits

At HF and MF, for all acknowledgement sequences (except distress acknowledgements and distress relay acknowledgements – see 3.4.1 and Note 1) and for all calling sequences to coast stations (except distress relay calls – see 3.4.1). At VHF for all calls.

NOTE 1 – In exceptional circumstances and only on national working frequencies the 200 bit dot pattern could also be included in acknowledgement sequences to ship stations.

4 Format specifier

4.1 The format specifier characters which are transmitted twice in both the DX and RX positions (see Fig. 1) are:

4.1.1 symbol No. 112 for a "distress" call (RR No. 3086 (Appendix S13, Part A3, 1)); or

4.1.2 symbol No. 116 for an "all ships" call; or

4.1.3 symbol No. 114 for a selective call to a group of ships having a common interest (e.g. belonging to one particular country, or to a single shipowner, etc.); or

4.1.4 symbol No. 120 for a selective call to a particular individual station; or

4.1.5 symbol No. 102 for a selective call to a group of ships in a particular geographic area; or

4.1.6 symbol No. 123 for a selective call to a particular individual station using the semi-automatic/automatic service.

4.2 It is considered that receiver decoders must detect the format specifier character twice for "distress" calls and "all ships" calls to effectively eliminate false alerting. For other calls, the address characters provide additional protection against false alerting and, therefore, single detection of the format specifier character is considered satisfactory (see Table 8).

5 Address

5.1 "Distress" calls and "all ships" calls do not have addresses since these calls are implicitly addressed to all stations (ship stations and coast stations).

5.2 For a selective call directed to an individual ship, to a coast station or to a group of stations having a common interest, the address consists of the characters corresponding to the station’s maritime mobile service identity, the sequence consisting of characters coded in accordance with Table 2 (see Note 1).

NOTE 1 – According to RR ex Appendix 43 (Article S19), maritime mobile service identities are formed of a series of nine digits, consisting of three digits of the Maritime Identification Digits (MID) and six more digits.

These identities are included in the address and self-identification parts of the call sequence and are transmitted as five characters C5C4C3C2C1, comprising the ten digits of:

(X1, X2) (X3, X4) (X5, X6) (X7, X8) and (X9, X10)

respectively, whereas digit X10 is always the figure 0 unless the equipment is also designed in accordance with Recommendation ITU-R M.1080.

Example:

MID X4 X5 X6 X7 X8 X9 being the ship station identity is transmitted by the DSC equipment as:

(M, I) (D, X4) (X5, X6) (X7, X8) (X9, 0)

5.3 For a selective call directed to a group of ships in a particular geographic area a numerical geographic coordinates address consisting of ten digits (i.e. 5 characters), is constructed as follows (see Fig. 6 and Note 1):

NOTE 1 – In order to comply with commonly accepted practice, the order of entry and read-out should be: first latitude and then longitude.

5.3.1 the designated geographic area will be a rectangle in Mercator projection;

5.3.2 the upper left-hand (i.e. North-West) corner of the rectangle is the reference point for the area;

5.3.3 the first digit indicates the azimuth sector in which the reference point is located, as follows:

5.3.3.1 quadrant NE is indicated by the digit "0",

5.3.3.2 quadrant NW is indicated by the digit "1",

5.3.3.3 quadrant SE is indicated by the digit "2",

5.3.3.4 quadrant SW is indicated by the digit "3";

5.3.4 the second and third digits indicate the latitude of the reference point in tens and units of degrees;

5.3.5 the fourth, fifth and sixth digits indicate the longitude of the reference point in hundreds, tens and units of degrees;

5.3.6 the seventh and eighth digits indicate the vertical (i.e. North-to-South) side of the rectangle, Dj, in tens and units of degrees;

5.3.7 the ninth and tenth digits indicate the horizontal (i.e. West-to-East) side of the rectangle, Dl, in tens and units of degrees.

6 Category

6.1 The "category" information is coded as shown in Table 9 and defines the degree of priority of the call sequence.

6.2 For a "distress" call the priority is defined by the format specifier and no category information is included in the call sequence.

6.3 For safety related calls, the "category" information specifies:

6.3.1 distress (RR No. 3143); or

6.3.2 urgency; or

6.3.3 safety.

6.4 For other calls, the "category" information specifies:

6.4.1 ship’s business; to cater for shore-to-ship communications having priority category 6 as defined in RR No. 4441. Some coast stations do not use the ship’s business priority category;

6.4.2 routine.

7 Self-identification

7.1 The maritime mobile service identity (MMSI) assigned to the calling station, coded as indicated in  5.2 and its Note 1, is used for self-identification. The MMSI should be stored in the DSC unit and it should not be possible for the user to easily change it.

8 Messages

The messages that are included in a call sequence contain the following message elements, which are listed in the order in which they would appear in each message:

8.1 For a "distress" call (see Table 4 and Fig. 4a)) the distress information is contained in four messages in the following order:

8.1.1 Message 1 is the "nature of distress" message, coded as shown in Table 10, i.e.:

8.1.1.1 fire, explosion;

8.1.1.2 flooding;

8.1.1.3 collision;

8.1.1.4 grounding;

8.1.1.5 listing, in danger of capsizing;

8.1.1.6 sinking;

8.1.1.7 disabled and adrift;

8.1.1.8 undesignated distress;

8.1.1.9 abandoning ship;

8.1.1.10 piracy/armed robbery attack;

8.1.1.11 man over board;

8.1.1.12 emergency position-indicating radiobeacon (EPIRB) emission.

8.1.2 Message 2 is the "distress coordinates" message, consisting of ten digits indicating the location of the vessel in distress, coded on the principles described in Table 2, in pairs starting from the first and second digits (see Note 1 to 5.3):

8.1.2.1 The first digit indicates the quadrant in which the incident has occurred, as follows:

8.1.2.1.1 quadrant NE is indicated by the digit "0",

8.1.2.1.2 quadrant NW is indicated by the digit "1",

8.1.2.1.3 quadrant SE is indicated by the digit "2",

8.1.2.1.4 quadrant SW is indicated by the digit "3".

8.1.2.2 The next four figures indicate the latitude in degrees and minutes.

8.1.2.3 The next five figures indicate the longitude in degrees and minutes.

8.1.2.4 If "distress coordinates" cannot be included, or if the position information has not been updated for 23 hours, the 10 digits following the "nature of distress" should be automatically transmitted as the digit 9 repeated 10 times.

8.1.2.5 DSC equipment should be provided with facilities for automatic position updating in accordance with NMEA 0183 (or IEC-1162) for input of data from a navigation equipment.

8.1.3 Message 3 is the time indication (UTC) when the coordinates were valid consisting of four digits coded on the principles described in Table 2, in pairs starting from the first and second digits.

8.1.3.1 The first two digits indicate the time in hours.

8.1.3.2 The third and fourth digits indicate the part of the hours in minutes.

8.1.3.3 If the time cannot be included the four time indicating digits should be transmitted automatically as "8 8 8 8".

8.1.4 Message 4 is a single character to indicate the type of communication (telephone or teleprinter) which is preferred by the station in distress for subsequent exchange of distress traffic (RR No. 3143). This character is coded as shown in Table 11.

8.2 For other types of calls (see Table 5 and Figs.2 and 3) except "distress relay", "distress relay acknowledgement" and "distress acknowledgement" calls (see 8.3), two messages are included in the following order:

8.2.1 Message 1 is the "telecommand" information and consists of 2 characters (first and second telecommand) coded as shown in Tables 11 and 12;

8.2.1.1 if no information additional to that conveyed by the first telecommand character is required, then the second telecommand signal should be symbol No. 126 (no information) – see Table 12;

8.2.1.2 if no telecommand information is used, symbol No. 126 is transmitted twice.

8.2.2 Message 2 may contain two "channel or frequency message" elements, each of which always consists of three characters, "character 1", "character 2" and "character 3", indicating the proposed working frequency (in the F1B/J2B mode the assigned frequency should be used) in multiples of 100 Hz or the channel number (coded in accordance with Table 13) or the ship’s position. The first frequency element (the RX field) in the call indicates the called station receive frequency and the second frequency element (the TX field) indicates the called station transmit frequency. In acknowledgements the RX and TX fields indicate the receive and transmit frequency of the acknowledging station respectively (see also Fig. 2 and Note 1).

NOTE 1 – If only one channel or frequency message element is used, this indicates the called station receive channel or frequency or a two-frequency (paired) channel. A second channel or frequency message element may be used to designate the called station transmit channel or frequency. If the calling station indicates only the called station receive

frequency (for broadcast mode transmissions) then the symbol No. 126 repeated three times should be transmitted instead of the called station transmit channel or frequency message element. If no "channel or frequency message" elements are used, the symbol No. 126 is transmitted six times. For calls using the semi-automatic/automatic VHF service (see Table 7) then only one "channel or frequency message" element is transmitted which indicates the paired channel number. In the absence of this element the symbol No. 126 should be transmitted three times.

8.2.2.1 Frequency information

The frequency (in the F1B/J2B mode the assigned frequency should be used) in multiples of 100 Hz may only be indicated as such when the frequency is below 30 MHz. The three characters provide for the required six decimal digits. Character 1 represents the units (U) and tens (T) of 100 Hz, character 2 the hundreds (H) and thousands (M) and character 3 the tens of thousands (TM) and hundreds of thousands (HM) of 100 Hz.

8.2.2.2 Channel information

8.2.2.2.1 HF and MF channels

If the HM digit is 3, this indicates that the number represented by the digits TM, M, H, T and U is the HF/MF working channel number (either single frequency or two frequency channels).

8.2.2.2.2 VHF channels

If the HM digit is 9, this indicates that the number represented by the values of the digits M, H, T and U is the VHF working channel number. If the M digit is 1, this indicates that the ship stations transmitting frequency is being used as a simplex channel frequency for both ship and coast stations. If the M digit is 2, this indicates that the coast stations transmitting frequency is being used as a simplex channel frequency for both ship and coast stations.

8.2.2.3 Ship’s position information

8.2.2.3.1 Message 2 may contain the ship’s position, consisting of the digit 5 repeated two times and ten digits (five characters) indicating this position, coded in accordance with 8.1.2 to 8.1.2.3 (see Table 14).

8.2.2.3.2 If a reply to a calling sequence requesting ship’s position is required (see Fig. 3d) then message 2 consists of twelve digits (six symbols), the first of which should be coded in accordance with 8.1.2 to 8.1.2.3 followed by one symbol No. 126.

8.2.2.3.3 Message 3 follows message 2 in this case and contains the time (UTC) when the coordinates were valid, coded as indicated in 8.1.3 to 8.1.3.3.

8.2.3 Message 3 follows message 2 when using the DSC system for calls initiated by ship stations requiring a semi-automatic or automatic connection (see Table 7) and contains the public switched network number (e.g. telephone number). In this case the format specifier used is symbol No. 123.

8.2.3.1 This number is coded by up to nine symbols in a manner similar to that shown in Table 2, except that the first character transmitted should be either symbol No. 105 or No. 106 to indicate whether the network number contains an odd or even number of significant digits. As an example, the number 0012345 would be coded as symbol numbers 105 00 01 23 45 whereas the number 00123456 should be coded as symbol numbers 106 00 34 56.

8.3 For "distress relay" including shore-to-ship alerts, "distress relay acknowledgement" and "distress acknowledgement" calls, the message formats are indicated in Figs. 4b) and 4c) respectively.

8.3.1 For a distress relay where the identity of the station in distress is unknown, the "identification of the station in distress" should be automatically transmitted as the symbol No. 126 five times.

8.3.2 Distress call cancellation

To cancel an inadvertent transmitted "distress" call, a "distress cancellation" call in the format indicated in Fig. 4c) may be transmitted with the ship's own MMSI inserted as identification of ship in distress. This cancellation should be followed immediately by a voice cancellation procedure, as described in Recommendation ITU-R M.541.

8.4 For test calls on the exclusive distress and safety calling frequencies on MF and HF, the call sequence is given in Table 6 (see also Recommendation ITU-R M.541, Annex 1). Technical means should be included to prevent the transmission of this sequence on VHF. Furthermore, the first telecommand symbol No. 118 (see Table 3) should only be capable of being inserted into the sequence given in Table 6.

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9 End of sequence

The "end of sequence" (EOS) character is transmitted three times in the DX position and once in the RX position (see Fig. 1b)). It is one of the three unique characters corresponding to symbol Nos. 117, 122 and 127 as follows:

9.1 symbol No. 117 if the call requires acknowledgement (Acknowledge RQ);

9.2 symbol No. 122 if the sequence is an answer to a call that requires acknowledgement (Acknowledge BQ);

9.3 symbol No. 127 for all other calls.

10 Error-check character

10.1 The error-check character (ECC) is the final character transmitted and it serves to check the entire sequence for the presence of errors which are undetected by the ten-unit error-detecting code and the time diversity employed.

10.2 The seven information bits of the ECC shall be equal to the least significant bit of the modulo-2 sums of the corresponding bits of all information characters (i.e. even vertical parity). The format specifier and the EOS characters are considered to be information characters. The phasing characters and the retransmission (RX) characters shall not be considered to be information characters. Only one format specifier character and one EOS character should be used in constructing the ECC. The ECC shall also be sent in the DX and RX positions.

10.3 Automatic acknowledgement transmissions should not start unless the ECC is received and decoded correctly. A received ECC which does not match that calculated from the received information characters may be ignored if this was due to an error detected in the ten-unit error-detecting code of the information characters which was correctable by use of the time diversity code.

11 Distress call attempt

11.1 Distress calls may be transmitted as a single frequency or a multi-frequency call attempt preceded by a dot pattern. Where a distress call attempt contains more than one consecutive distress call on the same frequency (see Recommendation ITU-R M.541, Annex 1, 3.1.3), these consecutive calls may be transmitted with no gap between the end of one call and the start of the dot pattern of the following call to enable bit synchronization to be maintained (see Fig. 1c)).

11.2 A distress call should be activated only by means of a dedicated distress button which should be clearly identified and be protected against inadvertent operation. The initiation of a distress call should at least require two independent actions.

11.3 Calls with format specifier "distress" or category "distress", "urgency" and "safety" should be initiated manually only. This applies also for ships equipped for automatic DSC operation. For automatic repetition of distress calls see Recommendation ITU-R M.541, Annex 1, 3.1.3 and 3.3.5.

12 Audible alarm

An audible alarm and visual indicator should be provided upon reception of a distress call or a call with category distress (see Recommendation ITU-R M.541, 3).

FIGURE 0493-9-01

FIGURE 0493-9-02

FIGURE 0493-9-03

FIGURE 0493-9-04

FIGURE 0493-9-05a

FIGURE 0493-9-05b

FIGURE 0493-9-06Top of Page


TABLE 4

Call sequences of "distress call" and "all ships call"

(2)
Format

(5)
Adress

(1)
Category

(5)
Self-

Message


(1)*


(1)

specifier

   

identification

1

2

3

4

EOS

ECC

Distress
call 112

______

________

00-------99

(1)

Nature of distress
100---------124

(5)

Distress
coordinates
00-----------99

(2)

Time

(1)**

Telecom-mand
100,
109 ou 113

127

ECC

All ships
call
116

______

Distress
112
Urgency
110
Safety
108


00-------99

(2)

Telecommand
100---------126
except 117,
122 and 125

(6)

Frequency
or channel
00-----------99



not
used



not
used



EOS
127


ECC

( ): number of characters

* See 9.

** Type of subsequent communication, see Table 11 and 8.1.4.

TABLE 5

Call sequences of selective calls

(2)
Format

(5)
Address

(1)
Category

(5)
Self-

Message *

(1)**
EOS

(1)
ECC

specifier

   

identification

1

2

   

Geographical area call
102

00------99

Distress
112

Urgency
110

Safety
108

 

(2)

(6)

EOS
127

 

Ships having common interest call
114




See 5 of
Annex 1

Ship’s business
106

00-------99

Telecommand
100---------126

except

117, 122 and 125

Frequency,
channel or ship’s
position ***
00-----------99

 

ECC

Individual
call
120

 

Routine
100

     

Ack. RQ 117

or Ack.
BQ 122
EOS
127

 
( ) : number of characters

* A message 3 is required for a reply sequence to a request for ship’s position (see Fig. 3d)).

** See 9.

*** See 8.2.2.3.1 and 8.2.2.3.2.

TABLE 6

Call sequence of selective calls for testing the equipment used
for distress and safety calls

(2)
Format

(5)
Address

(1)
Category

(5)
Self-

Message

(1)*
EOS

(1)
ECC

specifier

   

identification

1

2

   

Individual
call
120


00------99

Safety
108


00----------99

(2)
First
telecommand
118;
second
telecommand
126

(6)

Frequency or
channel 126
transmitted
six times


Ack. RQ
117
or
Ack. BQ
122




ECC

( ) : number of characters

* See 9.

TABLE 7

Call sequence of semi-automatic/automatic ship-to-shore call

(2)
Format

(5)
Address

(1)
Category

(5)
Self-

Message

(1)*
EOS

(1)
ECC

specifier

   

identification

1

2

3

   








123








00-----99








Routine
100








00---------99

(2)

VHF calls –
first
telecommand
100, 101, 104, 105, 106, 121 or 124;
calls – first telecommand
102 ... 124, except 110, 112, 117 or 122; second telecommand
in accordance with Table 12

(6)**






Frequency,
channel or
ship’s
position
00---------99

(2-9)






Selection information 105 or 106, followed by
00----------99
see 8.2.3.1








Ack. RQ
117

or

Ack. BQ
122










ECC

( ) : number of characters

* See 9.

** Only 3 for VHF calls.

TABLE 8

Format specifier

Symbol No.

Format specifier

112

Distress call

116

All ships call
  Selective call to:

120

– Individual stations

102

– Ships in a particular geographic area

114

– Ships having a common interest

123

Semi-automatic/automatic service

TABLE 9

Category

Symbol No.

Category

  Safety related:

112

Distress

110

Urgency

108

Safety
  Others:

106

Ship’s business

100

Routine

TABLE 10

Nature of distress

Symbol No.

Nature of distress

100

Fire, explosion

101

Flooding

102

Collision

103

Grounding

104

Listing, in danger of capsizing

105

Sinking

106

Disabled and adrift

107

Undesignated distress

108

Abandoning ship

109

Piracy/armed robbery attack

110

Man overboard

112

EPIRB emission

TABLE 11

First telecommand character

Symbol
No. (1)

Use and/or mode

Terminal equipment

100

101

102

103

104

105

106

107

108

109

110

111

112

113

114

115

116

118

119

120

121

123

124

126

F3E/G3E simplex

F3E/G3E duplex

(2)

Polling

Unable to comply(3)

End of call(4)

Data(5)

(2)

(2)

J3E

Distress acknowledgement

H3E

Distress relay

F1B/J2B FEC

(2)

F1B/J2B ARQ

F1B/J2B receive

Test(7)

F1B/J2B

A1A Morse

Ship position or location registration

updating

A1A Morse

F1C/F2C/F3C

No information(8)

Telephone

Telephone

Modem

Telephone

Telephone

Teleprinter(6)

Telex/teleprinter(6)

Teleprinter

Teleprinter

Tape recorder

Morse key/head-set

Facsimile machine

(1) Symbols 117, 122, 125 and 127 should not be used.

(2) Currently unassigned – for future use.

(3) One of second telecommand symbols 100-109 must follow (see Table 12).

(4) Only used for semi-automatic/automatic service.

(5) One of second telecommand symbols 115-124 should follow (see Table 12).

(6) Equipment according to Recommendation ITU-R M.476 or Recommendation ITU-R M.625.

(7) See 8.4.

(8) See 8.2.1.2.

TABLE 12

Second telecommand character

Symbol
No. (1)

Meaning

For use with the following
first telecommand signals

100

101

102

103

104

105

106

107

108

109

No reason given(2)

Congestion at maritime switching centre(2)

Busy(2)

Queue indication(2)

Station barred(2)

No operator available(2)

Operator temporarily unavailable(2)

Equipment disabled(2)

Unable to use proposed channel(2)

Unable to use proposed mode(2)

104 (Unable to comply)(3)

110

111

Ships and aircraft according to Resolution No. 18 (Mob-83)

Medical transport (as defined in 1949 Geneva Convention and additional Protocols)

Any except 104, 105, 106, 110, 112 or 118

112

113

114

Pay-phone public call office

Facsimile/data according to Recommendation ITU-R M.1081

(4)

100, 101, 109, 115 or 124

106

115

116

118

119

120

121

123

124

Data V.21(5)

Data V.22(5)

Data V.22 bis(5)

Data V.23(5)

Data V.26 bis(5)

Data V.26 ter(5)

Data V.27 ter(5)

Data V.32(5)

106 (Data)

126

No information(6) Any except 104, 110 or 112
(1) Symbols 117, 122, 125 and 127 should not be used.

(2) Currently unassigned when used with first telecommands other than symbol No. 104 – for future use.

(3) When second telecommands 100-109 are given alternative assignments (see (2)), they may be used with first telecommands other than symbol No. 104.

(4) Currently unassigned – for future use.

(5) Data communication in accordance with these ITU-T Recommendations may require special provision at coast stations and may not be practicable in all frequency bands.

(6) See 8.2.1.1.

TABLE 13

Frequency or channel information


Frequency

0
1
2

X
X
X

X
X
X

X
X
X

X
X
X

X
X
X

The frequency in multiples of 100 Hz as indicated by the figures for the digits HM, TM, M, H, T, U.
 

3

X

X

X

X

X

The HF/MF working channel number indicated by the values of the digits TM, M, H, T and U.

Channels

8

X

X

X

X

X

Only used for Recommendation ITU-R M.586 equipment.
 

9

O

X(1)

X

X

X

The VHF working channel number indicated by the values of the digits M, H, T and U.
 

HM

TM

M

H

T

U

 
 

Character
3

Character
2

Character
1(2)

 

(1) If the M digit is 1 this indicates that the ship stations transmitting frequency is being used as a simplex channel frequency for both ship and coast stations. If the M digit is 2 this indicates that the coast stations transmitting frequency is being used as a simplex channel frequency for both ship and coast stations.

(2) Character 1 is the last character transmitted.

TABLE 14

Position information (Annex 1, 8.2.2.3)

 

Quadrant digit
NE
= 0


Latitude


Longitude

 

NW = 1
SE
= 2
SW
= 3

Tens
of
degrees

Units
of
degrees

Tens
of
minutes

Units
of
minutes

Hundreds
of
degrees

Tens
of
degrees

Units
of
degrees

Tens
of
minutes

Units
of
minutes

55

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Character
6

Character
5

Character
4

Character
3

Character
2

Character
1(1)

(1) Character 1 is the last character transmitted.

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ANNEX 2

Equipment classes

1 Class A equipment, which includes all the facilities defined in Annex 1, will comply with the IMO GMDSS carriage requirements for MF/HF installations.

Class B equipment providing minimum facilities for equipment on ships not required to use Class A equipment and complying with the minimum IMO GMDSS carriage requirements for MF and/or VHF installations.

Class D equipment is intended to provide minimum facilities for VHF DSC distress, urgency and safety as well as routing calling and reception, not necessarily in full accordance with IMO GMDSS carriage requirements for VHF installations.

Class E equipment is intended to provide minimum facilities for MF and/or HF DSC distress, urgency and safety as well as routine calling and reception, not necessarily in full accordance with IMO GMDSS carriage requirements for MF/HF installations.

Class F equipment is intended to provide for VHF DSC distress, urgency and safety calling and also for reception of acknowledgements to its own distress calls (in order to terminate the transmission) (see Note 1).

Class G equipment is intended to provide for MF DSC distress, urgency and safety calling and also for reception of acknowledgements to its own distress calls (in order to terminate the transmission).

NOTE 1 – Class C equipment as defined in earlier versions of this Recommendation (e.g., Recommendation ITU-R M.493-5 (Geneva, 1992)) has been replaced by Class F equipment.

2 The technical requirements for Class B, D, E, F and G are given in 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 below.

3 Class B (MF and/or VHF only)

3.1 Transmit capabilities

3.1.1
Format specifier: Distress call
All ships call
Individual station call
Semi-automatic/automatic service call.

3.1.2 The numerical identification of the called station (address).

3.1.3 Category: Distress
Urgency
Safety
Routine.

3.1.4 Self-identification (automatically inserted).

3.1.5 Messages

3.1.5.1 For distress calls:

Message 1: Nature of distress, defaulting to undesignated distress

Message 2: Distress coordinates

Message 3: Time for last position update

Message 4: Type of subsequent communication:
MF: H3E or J3E
VHF: F3E/G3E simplex

3.1.5.2 For distress relay calls:

First telecommand: Distress relay

Identification of the ship: As defined in Annex 1

Messages 1 to 4: As 3.1.5.1

3.1.5.3 For distress acknowledgement calls:

First telecommand: Distress acknowledgement

Identification of the ship: As defined in Annex 1

Messages 1 to 4: As 3.1.5.1

3.1.5.4 For all other calls:

First telecommand:

Unable to comply

MF: for individual station calls H3E, J3E or "test" (see Annex 1 8.4); for calls using the semi-automatic/automatic MF-services H3E, J3E or "end of call".

VHF: for individual station calls F3E/G3E simplex or duplex; for calls using the semi-automatic/automatic VHF-services F3E/G3E simplex or duplex or "end of call".

Second telecommand: No information

Frequency/channel or ship’s position: As defined in Annex 1

Selection information
(semi-automatic/automatic service): Telephone number of public telephone subscriber

3.1.6 End of sequence character: as defined in Annex 1.

3.2 Receive capabilities

3.2.1 Receive and be capable of displaying all the information in calls listed in 3.1 plus all distress relay calls having the format specifier "geographical area calls", all distress acknowledgement calls and all "unable to comply" calls.

3.2.2 Audible alarm upon reception of any DSC call.

4 Class D (VHF only)

4.1 Transmit capabilities

4.1.1
Format specifier:
Distress call
All ships call
Individual station call.

4.1.2 The numerical identification of the called station (address).

4.1.3 Category: Distress
Urgency
Safety
Routine.

4.1.4 Self-identification (automatically inserted).

4.1.5 Messages

4.1.5.1 For distress calls:

Message 1: Nature of distress, defaulting to undesignated distress

Message 2: Distress coordinates

Message 3: Time for last position update

Message 4: Type of subsequent communication: F3E/G3E simplex.

4.1.5.2 For all other calls:

First telecommand: F3E/G3E simplex
Unable to comply

Second telecommand: No information

Frequency/channel information: VHF working channel, defaulting to channel 16 for urgency and safety calls.

4.1.6 End of sequence character: as defined in Annex 1.

4.2 Receive capabilities

Receive and be capable of displaying all the information in calls listed in 4.1 plus all distress relay calls except those having the format specifier "geographical area calls", all distress acknowledgement calls and all "unable to comply" calls.

5 Class E (MF and/or HF only)

5.1 Transmit capabilities

5.1.1
Format specifier:
Distress call
All ships call
Individual station call.

5.1.2 The numerical identification of the called station (address).

5.1.3 Category: Distress
Urgency
Safety
Routine.

5.1.4 Self-identification (automatically inserted).

5.1.5 Messages

5.1.5.1 For distress calls:

Message 1: Nature of distress, defaulting to undesignated distress

Message 2: Distress coordinates

Message 3: Time for last position update

Message 4: Type of subsequent communication: H3E or J3E

5.1.5.2 For all other calls:

First telecommand: J3E telephony
Unable to comply
No information

Second telecommand: No information

Frequency/channel information: MF/HF working channel, on MF defaulting to 2 182 kHz for urgency and safety calls.

5.1.6 End of sequence character: as defined in Annex 1.

5.2 Receive capabilities

Receive and be capable of displaying all the information in calls listed in 5.1 plus all distress relay calls having the format specifier "geographical area calls", all distress acknowledgement calls and all "unable to comply" calls.

6 Class F (VHF only)

6.1 Transmit capabilities

6.1.1
Format specifier:
Distress call
All ships call.

6.1.2
Category:
Distress
Urgency
Safety.

6.1.3 Self-identification (automatically inserted).

6.1.4 Messages

6.1.4.1 For distress calls:

Message 1: Undesignated distress

Message 2: Distress coordinates (see Note 1)

Message 3: Time for last position update (see Note 1)

Message 4: F3E/G3E simplex.

NOTE 1 – The distress coordinates and time information may be provided solely by means of the interface specified in Annex 1, 8.1.2.5. In the absence of this information, Annex 1, 8.1.2.4 and 8.1.3.3 apply.

6.1.4.2 For all other calls:

First telecommand: F3E/G3E simplex

Second telecommand: No information

Frequency/channel information: channel 16.

6.2 Receive capabilities

The equipment should be able to receive acknowledgements to its own distress calls.

7 Class G (MF only)

7.1 Transmit capabilities

7.1.1
Format specifier:
Distress call
All ships call.

7.1.2
Category
Distress
Urgency
Safety.

7.1.3 Self-identification (automatically inserted).

7.1.4 Messages

7.1.4.1 For distress calls:

Message 1: Undesignated distress

Message 2: Distress coordinates (see Note 1 of 6.1.4.1)

Message 3: Time for last position update (see Note 1 of 6.1.4.1)

Message 4: J3E telephony.

7.1.4.2 For other calls:

First telecommand:
J3E telephony

Second telecommand: No information

Frequency/channel information: 2182 kHz.

7.2 Receive capabilities

The equipment should be able to receive acknowledgements to its own distress calls.


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