What is AIS?


The so-called 'Automatic Identification System' (AIS) is known as an automatic tracking system for along the coastline and in the open sea. If AIS is employed, all ships, ferries, tankers, cargo ships and all other ships and boats equipped with AIS systems can communicate. The data is sent from ship to ship and so-called AIS base stations. As each ship is normally equipped with its own MMSI number, each ship is known by a name. AIS information is therefore used interactively. Radar and marine radio communications will be used as a standard navigation with radar and radio as the main functions for collision avoidance at sea.


AIS information from our system, which indicates the unique ID (MMSI), position, course and speed can be displayed on a screen with map features or an ECDIS. AIS should serve as a support for guiding the ever-increasing maritime traffic and as monitoring of freight traffic.

AIS systems include as standard a VHF reception unit which displays the relevant data with a positioning system (GPS). Ships that are outside the AIS range can be located with a so-called Long Range Identification Tracking (LRIT) system.


AIS Collision Avoidance System


AIS is mainly used in navigation as a support for 'collision avoidance'. AIS systems calculate the course. An alarm is issued when other ships are on a collision course. Ships can coordinate and initiate an avoidance route through further navigation and radio systems. Due to the technical limitations of high frequency technology and the fact that AIS systems are only starting to become standard equipment for smaller boats, AIS is currently considered as support and not as the main navigation tool.