Automatic Identification System (AIS) devices allow ships to broadcast their location, identity, direction, and speed every few seconds. AIS was initially designed for safety and to help prevent crashes at sea but has recently taken on a new role by allowing the public to monitor and track these ships, from their fishing spots to which ports they visit and their location in relation to other vessels. Let’s look at how AIS serves a critical role in maritime communications and safety.
What is AIS?
Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a system that provides real-time tracking and monitoring information for ships and other machine vessels designed to improve safety. AIS functions by acquiring GPS coordinates and exchanging real-time data with other ships through the use of radio transmissions. AIS information includes the ships’ positions, identity, course, speed, and additional navigation information.
Benefits of AIS
AIS is highly beneficial for traffic monitoring and vessel assistance. Boaters and maritime authorities rely greatly on AIS to supplement information from traditional radars for location tracking, which is used to detect and avoid vessel collisions. AIS has been installed in thousands of vessels worldwide and is set up to improve safety on the open water. AIS has also been shown to be vital in accident investigation and search-and-rescue missions. Commercial fishing is the deadliest job in the U.S., with an on-the-job fatality rate much higher than the national average. Ship collisions and other accidents can happen anywhere at any time. AIS helps to prevent these incidents from happening and allows for faster response times when they do.
Installing AIS on Your Boat
For an AIS device to function well, it must be properly installed. All AIS devices have internal GPS installed. Some AIS units have internal GPS antennas that can be helpful but are prone to malfunctioning belowdecks, so you may also need an external GPS antenna. You can also combine your VHF system with an AIS device. In fact, most major electronic companies make VHFs with built-in AIS, allowing you to track nearby vessels so you can see all traffic in your area. VHFs also comes with GPS that can be integrated and displayed on your onboard electronics. You can also connect your AIS to WiFi, USB devices, or other navigation equipment to protect your boat and prevent any unfortunate accidents.
Marine Electric Systems, LLC is a Leader In the Maritime Industry
We here at Marine Electric Systems have over 30 years of industry experience. You can trust our team for reliable service and expert craftsmanship in the Maryland, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Baltimore city areas! We’re highly certified and adhere to all ABYC and NMEA regulations. We specialize in top-notch electrical solutions for recreational, commercial, and government boating clients. Anything from electrical refits, to navigation systems, or boating maintenance. To stay up to date on our services, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also contact us at 410-263-0807.