OneNet Promises A Faster Network Standard

OneNet Network StandardDieter Loibner

As this Nordhavn 47 illustrates, the demands for onboard data networks have increased dramatically with more electronic devices to integrate. To that end, NMEA released OneNet, its new network standard, designed for IP networking of marine electronics on and off the vessel.

The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) released its latest protocol, the NMEA OneNet standard, Version 1.000. This is an open industry standard based on Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) and the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Local Area Network. It is designed for standardized IP networking of marine electronic devices on and off the vessel.

OneNet provides a common network infrastructure for marine electronic devices and/or services on IPv6. All OneNet application protocols, such as NMEA 2000 PGN messages, are designed to use a standard IPv6 network protocol stack. The NMEA One­Net Committee utilized many existing standards, and input from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This should significantly reduce implementation cost and ensure compatibility with existing TCP/IP networks around the world.

We saw “the need to increase system connectivity between ship systems for a more interconnected vessel,” explained Mark Reedenauer, NMEA’s president and executive director. “One­Net is the culmination of two previous interface standards, NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000. The [new] standard allows the user to interconnect into several data categories one would observe aboard a vessel, and can serve all aspects of NMEA standard messages and applications.”

Technically this protocol will allow vessel manufacturers to design future-proof systems, as IPv6 adoption continues to grow in nonmarine market segments. Reedenauer: “I see a data highway interconnecting ships with big basic data, [like] position, course, and speed, to name a few. The interconnection of all systems aboard a ship poses a beautiful, economical solution. The OneNet standard [also] has a robust security section, which uses many modern IP security measures.”

OneNet Network Standard Features and Objectives:

• NMEA 2000 data transfer over IPv6 in a standard format

• high-bandwidth applications such as radar, video, and more that are not possible via NMEA 2000

• support of Ethernet and TCP/IP at 1 gigabit and faster speeds

• use of standardized connectors (RJ-45 and X Coded M12), depending on installation

• robust, industry-standard cybersecurity requirements

• NMEA 2000 gateway compatibility

• mandatory device and application certification by the manufacturer, then verified by NMEA

Certification for OneNet will be similar to that for NMEA 2000, but a new certification tool will be used. The OneNet certification tool is planned for completion by the end of 2021. Until it is released, NMEA will not charge manufacturer members for the standard itself if they want to certify a OneNet device or OneNet application. The NMEA member price of $2,000 USD will be deferred until the end of 2021 (or after), when the tool is ready for release.

All manufacturer members who request the standard will need to sign a legal purchase agreement, stating they will pay the associated fees at the time of device or application certification. Non-NMEA-member companies must join NMEA as a manufacturer member and sign the legal purchase agreement, after which the standard will be issued to them.

Asked about the impact of the OneNet network standard on boatbuilders and service yards, Reedenauer compared it to diagnostic data retrieved via download from a vehicle at the repair shop: it outlines the problem and also suggests appropriate repairs or upgrades. “An interconnected boat can do this for you in terms of maintenance schedule and supply-chain delivery. Any retrofit nowadays has begun to lay the foundation of a connected boat. OneNet can move big data to smart systems, and possibly in the immediate future, data will leave the ship to corporations, governments, space.”

National Marine Electronics Association, 846 Ritchie Highway, L4, Severna Park, MD 21146 USA; tel. 410–975–9425.