AIS (Automatic Identification System) is an International Maritime Organization (IMO) standard requiring all vessels of 300tons and over, and all passenger vessels, to carry an AIS transponder. This broadcasts information such as vessel name, position, speed and course plus information such as dimensions and the details of the current voyage. The AIS transmitter includes GPS capability for very accurate positioning.
The range of AIS reception between vessels is typically 15-20 nautical miles. Land stations with well placed antennas can get data from over 100 nautical miles away. Data can even be monitored via satellite for true global coverage!
What is AIS used for?
AIS was originally intended for collision avoidance.
Ships, yachts etc carrying AIS receivers can pick up all of the local positional information which provides a very accurate view of the movements of all vessels in the area. Navigational aids etc also transmit and can be detected.
Since 2004 the use of AIS data continues to grow and new uses continue to be found.
There are now a large number of AIS data networks across the world used by port authorities, shipping companies and people like Pinkfroot who present the data via Ship Finder
5G will also open a new avenue of opportunities to explore. The introduction of drone technology will combine with 5G and AIS to make coordinated deliveries on the high seas very possible.
A printed circuit board on the Electric blinds broken? No problem. A drone will be delivering that to you shortly sir.
The future is splendid with possibilities. As the song by ZZ Top goes: the future is so bright you got to wear shades