Olex is a uniqe system for navigation and charting, developed by the Norwegian company Olex AS. The system is used in fisheries, aquaculture, and maritime contracting.
Olex calculates a sea floor map using data from GPS and echosounder. For each new measured depth, the map improves. The survey takes place automatically and requires no operation.

Consist of three main elements:
* Functions for seabed, water colomn and currents mapping.
* Navigation, and display of digital vector charts.
* Plotting functions

The system works under UNIX, for the time being Linux. All software is manufactured by Olex AS, except the tide calculations which are handled by XTide2 The system continuously upgrades its own world map. The measured data are always ready for use.

The system runs with electronic vectorized charts. Effective use of digital charts requires fast computer processing. The chart cells are converted into an internal compact format, where they are kept in different crude scaling levels. To achieve this, the coastline and other details have to be recalculated and reduced. In this way the time and memory requirement of the visualization program are kept at a fairly limited and constant level at any zoom scale. The screen will not be filled up with unnecessary information. In the crude scaling level, the visualization program scales the charts in several steps. In this way a fine and seamless interactive scaling is achieved, without any annoying details related to the organisation of the cells.

By continuously recording depth and position the system builds a database where the sea floor is divided into squares of any resolution. The default resolution is 5X5 meter, an adjustment of today’s GPS equipment, but the user can easlily create new sea floor databases in any resolution down to a few cm. The squares may be considered as a grid covering the surface of the hole earth. They contain a depth value which are either measured, calculated or unknown. New measurements will result in a recalculation of the unmeasured squares in some radius from the considered point.

Lino is a proffesional chart plotter based on the same platform as Olex charting system. Lino holds all necessary functions and tools for safe navigation and fishery plotting.

Lino is used by leisure-boats, freight-ships, passenger-vessels and smaller fishing vessels. Because of it’s reasonable price, easy operation and stabile software, Lino is often used as a backup-plotter on ships whic

Olex LT is an office-version of Olex. It holds the same functions for presentation of sea floor data, data storage and plotting as an Olex full version, but will not listen to NMEA-sentences from GPS or echosounder. LT follows the same softwareupdates as Olex fullversion and lates software-upgrade is always available free of charge from our webite.

The office version is a freestanding system which later may be upgraded to a full Olex. Any vectorcharts must be purchased separately.

If needed Olex LT can be amended with additional modules to process and display sea floor hardness and multi beam data from Atec, Wassp and Seapix (the MBES module is not available for LT).

M4 Specifications:
CPU: i7 – 7700T 2,9 GHz
4 serial ports / 6 USB 3.0
DC 9 – 36 V power
HDMI and VGA video output
Single or Dual display choice at start up
Trackball mouse
Dimension: Width 28 cm, Depth 16 cm, Height 7 cm
Power consumption: >2A at 30V

GRIB: Weather Forecast System with automatic file download

The Weather Forecast System automatically downloads the latest information about currents, waves, wind and air pressure, and display the weather with colors, arrows and graphs. See the weather as it is now, in the future or what it will be like when the vessel pass through different areas.

Information about wind, current, and air pressure can be downloaded from met.no, or from any other provider of grib files. The presentation in the Olex is inspired by yr.no.

The GRIB-module can also be set to download certain types of plotter data, such as fishing facilities, boundaries and restriction areas, and send own tracks to a predefined email address

The weather module are activated with a GRIB software key, purchasable through an Olex dealer, and then accessible through the Weather Forecast button in the Settings menu.

When the Weather Forecast button is clicked, a window with several options will appear. Here you can see and choose which downloaded sec/filer to use. There are also buttons and sliders for speed shift and clock skew or what type of weather information to display.

With speed shift you can use the actual speed of the vessel or set it manually to see what the weather will be like under way. The two settings Speed shift and Clock skew can be used at the same time. You can also hide the weather forecast menu or click “Finish” to go back to the regular Olex screen.

In the “Downloads” menu in “Settings” you can define which URLs Olex should use for fetching weather files or other data. The download frequency can be adjusted between 1-24 hours. If set to 0 it will not automatically update the information, but you can still click “Download all now” to update manually. After successfully fetching weather information from an URL a message will appear on the right side of the URL that reads “OK” as well as time since last update. Should you get an error check that you are connected to the internet and the URL is correct.

HT – seafloor discrimination

Some echosounders can measure the seafloor’s ability to reflect sound as well as the depth. By analyzing data from these sounders, Olex are able to calculate the hardness of the sea floor.

The system take into account parameters like: pulslength beamwith and transducer type, and calculates a bottom echo based on hydroacoustic theory. The calculated hardness values is integrated in the seafloor map together with the topographic depht values.

The hardness is displayed in colors. From deep purple for soft, to light yellow for hard seafloor. Depending on type of data input from the ecodounder, various tools for signal processing, settings and history can be opened in separate windows on the screen.

ITI – positioning of trawl and ROV

Olex can be connected to various trawl and ROV positioning systems. The trawl is visualized on the Olex screen in 2D and 3D with distance, direction, and door spread. It is also possible to track each trawl door in addition to own vessel.

ROV positioning with NMEA $PSIMSSB

The NMEA sentence $PSIMSSB comes in different varieties. Those understood by Olex, contains a bearing from the boat to the ROV. Others will give format errors. The equipment that generates the message must know the boat’s true heading.

The sentence should contain at least 10 fields separated by commas, the first one being a time stamp. The second is a name of the ROV target, and the third should be “A”. The fourth field is empty, and the fifth should be “C”. The sixth should be either “N”, “E” or “H”, and the seventh can be any character. Fields number 8 and 9 is the horizontal distance in meters from boat to ROV, and number 10 is the vertical distance.

Here is an example of a correct $PSIMSSB, as described above:


Should the sixth field be “H”, the sentence $PSIMSNS must be received on same port as $PSIMSSB, to convey the heading of the boat.

Below is an example of $PSIMSSB which would not work, but instead give format error:

$PSIMSSB,170800.82,B01,A,,U,E,M,329643.883,6596305.382,-0.977, 0.0,N,,*43

The error is that field 5 is “U” which means the sentence provides an absolute position in UTM instead of a relative bearing.