Integrating AIS with Other Navigational Systems Onboard

The Automatic Identification System is a tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and AIS base stations. Information such as vessel identity, type, position, course, and speed are broadcasted at regular intervals, offering a comprehensive view of maritime traffic […]

Setting Up Your Vessel for AIS

Choosing the Right AIS System The first decision point in choosing the right AIS system is determining whether you need a Class A or Class B transceiver.  Class A AIS is mandatory for all commercial vessels over a certain size and for all passenger ships irrespective of size. Class A devices broadcast more frequently and […]

AIS and Search and Rescue Operations

The Automated Identification System or AIS is an automatic tracking system that uses transponders on ships and is used by vessel traffic services (VTS). When vessels are outfitted with AIS transceivers, they can broadcast and receive real-time data such as their identity, position, speed, course, and other relevant information to other nearby ships and AIS-equipped […]

The Importance of AIS Data Exchange in International Waters

When vessels traverse international waters, they venture beyond the comfort of a single nation’s jurisdiction and into a realm where cooperation is not just ideal but important. AIS data exchange serves as an electronic lookout, enabling vessels from different nations to share necessary navigation information. It reveals ships that could potentially cross paths and subsequently […]

AIS for Yachting Enthusiasts

Each AIS system uses a combination of GPS technology, VHF radio frequencies, and digital processing to share and receive information about a vessel’s identity, type, position, course, speed, and other critical data points. AIS improves situational awareness for anyone at the helm of a vessel equipped with this capability. Every few seconds to a couple […]

The Evolution of AIS Technology Over the Years

Before AIS By observing celestial bodies, ancient mariners could determine latitude and plot a rudimentary course. Near the shore, prominent features like headlands, mountains, or even constructed towers served as guideposts for sailors, ensuring that they could find their way to safe harbors. The 20th century marked a significant shift with the advent of radio […]

Understanding AIS Signal Dynamics – The Elements Shaping Range and Clarity

The nuances of AIS signal propagation are profoundly shaped by the essential architecture and specifications of the AIS equipment onboard a vessel. This involves a maze of variables, ranging from the transmitter’s power output to the sensitivity of the receiver, and from the characteristics of the antenna to the quality of installation and maintenance.  Firstly, […]

Interpreting AIS Signals

To truly leverage the immense capabilities of the Automatic Identification System (AIS), we must embark on a deep dive into the heart of its operations. At its most fundamental level, AIS operates by leveraging VHF radio frequencies which carry packets of data through the airwaves over a maritime domain. These packets deliver a digital trove […]

AIS vs. Radar for Vessel Safety

Among the most significant innovations in navigation technology are the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and Radar. Both systems are widely used for ensuring safety on the water, but they serve distinct functions and have different strengths and weaknesses.  Understanding AIS The Automatic Identification System (AIS) represents a significant leap forward in maritime safety and navigational […]

Understanding AIS Class A and Class B Transponders

Navigating through the vast waters of the world’s oceans and seas requires sophisticated technology to ensure the safety of vessel traffic. One such technology is the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which significantly enhances the safety and efficiency of maritime navigation. AIS transponders are specialized tracking devices that allow ships to broadcast their location, course, and […]