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MCP Documents

This page contains all official documents describing the MCP.

MCP Concept Document

The initial concept document for MCP was released by the consortium in 2019, shortly after the consortium was formed, so an update of this central overview of MCP was due.
This document is a conceptual overview of the maritime connectivity platform (MCP) with a description of three core components – the MIR (Maritime Identity Registry), MSR (Maritime Service Registry), and MMS (Maritime Messaging Service).
Also –  the general principles and relations to other maritime standards, including the governance of MCP – the MCP Consortium (MCC)- are described in the document.

Maritime Identity Registry

The MIR is responsible for identity management and providing security functionality to the entities of the
MCP. In particular, the MIR will provide the following functionality:

Firstly, Identity Management: The MIR enables that each maritime entity (such as a device, human,
organization, service, or ship) can be registered as an entity of the MCP and be equipped with a
unique identity (by assigning a Maritime Resource Name (MRN)).

Secondly, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI): The MIR ensures that each MCP entity holds a
corresponding cryptographic identity, ie a public / private key pair and a certificate with the public
key bound to their identity.

 Thirdly, the MIR provides the infrastructure for authentication, which enables authorization and
secure integration of web services, based on the established internet standards (OAUTH 2.0 / OpenID

While the MIR will be distributed trustworthiness will be made transparent by the definition of MCP security
profiles and the audited procedures MSP instance providers need to follow to adhere to them.

The following documents define the criteria for being an MCP identity service provider:

Maritime Service Registry

The MSR does not provide actual maritime information but a specification of various services, the information
that they carry, and the technical means to obtain it. An MSR instance contains service specifications
according to a Service Specification Standard (which is identical to IALA Guideline 1128) and provisioned
service instances implemented according to these service specifications.

The functionality of the MSR is twofold: service discovery and service management. It enables service
providers to register their services in the MCP and allows an end-user to discover those services. Services
and service instances can be searched via different criteria such as keywords, organizations, locations, or
combinations, and more. The management of a service encapsulates the functions to publish a service
specification and register / publish a service instance.

Maritime Messaging Service

The MMS is a messaging service intended to offer transparent seamless information transfer across different
communication links in a carrier agnostic and geolocation-context sensitive manner.
The MMS primarily addresses ship-shore communication based on internet connectivity, yet any number of
alternative communication services may be connected to and utilized by the MMS via dedicated gateways.
As an example, a message, sent by one specific ship using INMARSAT access to the MMS, may be received
via a VSAT terminal on another ship, an HF data connection on yet another ship, or a VTS operator on a DSL
landline internet connection. In the current implementation the MMS enables the transfer by using the MRN
of an entity as an end-point address.
Each communication service will impose technology and situation specific limitations in terms of restrictions
to capabilities, bandwidth availability, size of transferrable data packages, latencies, etc. – but basic transfer
of text or structured data (e.g. using XML) will be possible.

It is the intend that the MMS will be standardised through RTCM – and a dedicated working group has been established in RTCM to work on this topic. The following document is a DRAFT working document describing the overall architecture and the main MMS protocol (Maritime Message Transfer Protocol MMTP). As a draft – this document has obviously neither been adopted by the MCC nor RTCM.

Latest draft from RTCM MMS working group:

Maritime Messaging Service Architecture and Protocol