Automatic Identification Systems (AIS)

Every now and then stories on collisions between commercial vessels and private yachts are making headlines. There are several ways to prevent these from happening, and one development in particular will help reduce colission risks. Automatic Identification Systems (AIS). Furuno won a contract to supply more than 300 of its FA100 Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) to Tidewater Marine, so let’s have a look at their product.
“How does AIS work? AIS is a shipboard VHF broadcast system that transmits and receives information that is pertinent to the safe navigation of ships. This data may be shown on the display of the AIS equipment, or RADAR/ECDIS equipment. Each AIS system consists of one VHF transmitter, two VHF TDMA receivers, one VHF DSC receiver, and a communications link (IEC 61162/NMEA 0183) to shipboard display and sensor systems. Static and dynamic Navigational data is sent via VHF from ship to ship using SOTDMA. Position and timing information is normally received from an internal or external global navigation satellite system (e.g. GPS) receiver, including a DGPS receiver for precise position in coastal and inland waters. Other information broadcast by the AIS, if available, is electronically obtained from shipboard equipment through standard marine data connections.”

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