The Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) is an international non-profit scientific, professional and educational organization. RTCM members are organizations (not individuals) that are both non-government and government. Although started in 1947 as a U.S. government advisory committee, RTCM is now an independent organization supported by its members from all over the world.
We keep our members involved on regional and international maritime radionavigation and radiocommunication policy issues, regulatory changes, and technical standards development.
Our Special Committees provide a forum in which government and non-government members work together to develop technical standards and consensus recommendations in regard to issues of particular concern.
We are actively engaged in the development of international standards for maritime radionavigation and radiocommunication systems through our involvement in:
- the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
- the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI)
- the International Loran Association (ILA)
We also contribute to the relevant work of:
- the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
- the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)
- the International Association of Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA)
- the Comité International Radio-Maritime (CIRM)
- the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA)
- the Mobile Satellite Users Association (MSUA)
RTCM has over 130 member organizations, including:
- Manufacturers of radionavigation and radiocommunication systems,
- Government agencies concerned with standards for maritime radionavigation and radiocommunication systems,
- Government agencies and commercial entities involved in operation of maritime radionavigation and radiocommunication systems,
- Associations with an interest in maritime radionavigation and radiocommunication systems and related public policy,
- Ship owners and operators,
- Educational institutions, and
- Sales and service providers
RTCM's Special Committees
RTCM Special Committees are chartered to address in-depth radiocommunication and radionavigation areas of concern to the RTCM membership. The output documents and reports prepared by these Committees are usually published as RTCM Standards. Special Committees are chaired by a subject expert, appointed from an RTCM member organization. All RTCM member organizations are eligible to participate in any Special Committee activity. Participation may be both by correspondence (usually E-mail), and through attendance at meetings. Special Committee output documents in the form of RTCM Recommendations have been widely accepted for both voluntary and mandatory use, and the Special Committees routinely update the Recommendations to reflect ongoing changes in technology. Current Special Committees include:
RTCM also has a number of subject-specific interest groups which are not currently developing or maintaining RTCM standards. These include:
- Special Committee (SC) 101 on Digital Selective Calling (DSC)
- Special Committee (SC) 104 on Differential Global Navigation Satellite Systems (DGNSS)
- Special Committee (SC) 109 on Electronic Charting Technology
- Special Committee (SC) 110 on Emergency Beacons (EPIRBs and PLBs)
- Special Committee (SC) 112 on Ship Radar
- Special Committee (SC) 117 on Maritime VHF Interference
- Special Committee (SC) 119 on Maritime Survivor Locator Devices
- Special Committee (SC) 121 on Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and Digital Messaging
- Special Committee (SC) 123 on Digital Message Services over Maritime Frequencies
- Special Committee (SC) 127 on Enhanced Loran (eLoran)
- Special Committee (SC) 128 on Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (SEND)
- Special Committee (SC) 129 on Portrayal of Navigation-Related Information on Shipboard Displays
- Special Committee (SC) 130 on Electro-Optical Imaging Systems
- Special Committee (SC) 131 on Multi-system Shipborne Navigation Receivers
- Special Committee (SC) 132 on Electronic Visual Distress Signalling Devices
- Mailing List (ML) 107 on Maritime Safety Information Dissemination
- Mailing List (ML) 120 on High Speed Craft
- Mailing List (ML) 122 on Ship Security Alert Systems
- Mailing List (ML) 124 - Maritime HF Users Interest Group
- Mailing List (ML) 126 - Voyage Data Recorders
The current technical standards developed by the Special Committees include:
RTCM Recommended Standards can be purchased online.
RTCM Recommended Minimum Standards for Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Equipment Providing Minimum Distress and Safety Capability, Version 1.0 (RTCM Paper 56-95/SC101-STD)“ This standard is referenced in the regulations of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and defines minimum functions for DSC transceivers used in the U.S.
- RTCM 10150.0 Standard for VHF-FM Portable Marine Radiotelephone Equipment with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Location Function
- RTCM 10402.3 RTCM Recommended Standards for Differential GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) Service, Version 2.3“ This standard is used around the world for differential satellite navigation systems, both maritime and terrestrial.
- RTCM 10403.2, Differential GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) Services - Version 3 - A more efficient alternative to RTCM 10402.3
- RTCM 10410.1, Standard for Networked Transport of RTCM via Internet Protocol (Ntrip) - An application-level protocol that supports streaming Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data over the Internet.
- RTCM 10401.2, Standard for Differential Navstar GPS Reference Stations and Integrity Monitors (RSIM) - A companion to RTCM 10402.3, this standard addresses the performance requirements for the equipment which broadcasts DGNSS corrections.
- RTCM 10900.5, RTCM Standard for Electronic Chart Systems (ECS), July 15, 2011 - A new edition of RTCM’s ECS standard, it defines requirements for Electronic Chart Systems which are not intended to meet the international requirements of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), and includes certain voyage data recording functions.
- RTCM 11000.3, Standard for 406 MHz Satellite Emergency Position-Indicating Radiobeacons (EPIRBs). This standard is referenced in the regulations of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and defines performance requirements for EPIRBs used on U.S.-registered vessels.
- RTCM 11010.2, Standard for 406 MHz Satellite Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs)“ Closely related to the previous standard, it too is referenced in the regulations of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and defines performance requirements for PLBs used in the U.S., primarily in terrestrial applications.
- RTCM 11020.1, Standard for Ship Security Alert Systems (SSAS) using the Cospas-Sarsat System, Version 1.0 (RTCM Paper 110-2004/SC110-STD) - Minimum requirements for the functional requirements and technical performance of maritime satellite Ship Security Alert Systems (SSAS) operating in the 406 MHz band through the Cospas-Sarsat satellite system.
- RTCM 11701.0, Standard for Installed Maritime VHF Radiotelephone Equipment Operating in High Level Electromagnetic Environments (RTCM Paper 87-99/SC117-STD)“ Defines a test program to demonstrate satisfactory operation of INSTALLED VHF radios in areas where they might be susceptible to interference from other radio frequency devices, such as pagers.
- RTCM 11702.0, Standard for Portable Maritime VHF Radiotelephone Equipment Operating in High Level Electromagnetic Environments“ Defines a test program to demonstrate satisfactory operation of PORTABLE VHF radios in areas where they might be susceptible to interference from other radio frequency devices, such as pagers.
- RTCM 11901.1, Standard for Maritime Survivor Locating Devices (MSLD) Addresses the several ways in which man-overboard devices can operate.
- RTCM 12301.1, Standard for VHF-FM Digital Small Message Services - Specifies the minimum functional and technical requirements for VHF-FM Digital Small Message Services (VDSMS). VDSMS are intended to provide for short messaging from ship-to-ship, shore-to-ship and ship-to shore
- RTCM 12800.0 Standard for Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (SEND) - Contains minimum requirements for the functional and technical performance of Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (SENDs) operating over any satellite system except Cospas-Sarsat.
RTCM Annual Assembly Meeting and Conference
The RTCM Annual Assembly Meeting and Conference, which is open to both RTCM members and non-members, is structured to provide attendees with an overall update on the changing world of maritime radiocommmunications and radionavigation. The program includes a series of paper presentations, panel sessions, workshops, and RTCM Special Committee meetings dealing with issues of current concern to the maritime community. Other organizations such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA), the U.S. National GMDSS Implementation Task Force, and the NOAA SARSAT Beacon Manufacturers Workshop, also typically hold meetings in conjunction with the RTCM Assembly. All attendees are invited to participate in all sessions. Through the cooperation of RTCM members exhibitors, latest technology providing radiocommunications and radionavigation equipment capability capabilities and services are on display.
Registration materials and information can be found on this site.
Upcoming meetings are scheduled as follows:
- 28 April - 2 May 2014 - Joint annual meeting with CIRM - Loews Annapolis Hotel, Annapolis, Maryland, USA
RTCM is chartered in the District of Columbia, USA, as a non-profit scientific and educational organization, focusing
on all aspects of maritime radiocommunications, radionavigation, and related technologies.
Founded in 1947 as a U.S. State Department advisory committee, it is now an independent non-profit
membership organization. RTCM standards are incorporated by reference into U.S.
Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Coast Guard regulations. They
have been used as the basis for requirements in standards of the International Electrotechnical
Commission (IEC), which are now mandatory under Chapters IV and V of the International Convention
for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).