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AIS is a tracking system that uses radio transmissions to identify and locate vessels on the water. It is an essential tool for maritime safety and security, providing critical information about the boats in the area. AIS also helps ships avoid collisions with other vessels or objects by broadcasting their positions, course, and speed. It also allows for better navigation and traffic management, giving real-time information on vessel movements in congested areas. AIS is also used for port operations such as mooring, anchoring, berthing, etc. With its increasing popularity in maritime navigation, AIS has become an essential tool for the safe operation of ships at sea. AIS uses radio transmissions, a standard technology, to send and receive signals. To be compatible with AIS, vessels must have suitable “transponders” installed on board. The transmitted signals are received by AIS receivers at coastal stations and displayed in real-time on the receiver’s screen. In addition to being used for maritime safety and security purposes, several other applications are also possible such as: As well as providing navigation data for ships. For the system to function correctly, all parties involved must be compatible with one another’s equipment.

What Is Automatic Identification System (AIS)?

Numerous questions arise when exploring AIS (or Automatic Identification System), such as “what is AIS?” Why do I require it? Also, “What kind of AIS does my ship have or need?”

An automated tracking system that shows nearby vessels is known as an automatic identification system (AIS). The mobile marine band of the VHF broadcast transponder system is where it works.

If your ship is equipped with AIS, it will also appear on the screens of other nearby vessels. There is only information sharing on ships via AIS if AIS is installed or turned on.

Unless the Master determines that it must be turned off for security or other reasons, the onboard AIS must always be active. The AIS operates in a continuous, autonomous mode.

Unless the Master determines that it must be turned off for security or other reasons, the onboard AIS must always be active. The AIS operates in a continuous, autonomous mode. It might not be easy to navigate the AIS (Automatic Identification System) environment. An automated tracking system that shows nearby vessels is known as an automatic identification system (AIS). The mobile marine band of the VHF broadcast transponder system is where it works. If your ship is equipped with AIS, it will also appear on the screens of other nearby vessels. There is no information sharing on ships via AIS if AIS is not installed or turned on.



What Are The Uses Of Automatic Identification System (AIS) In Ships?

Automatic Identification System (AIS) has become an essential tool for navigation and transportation in the maritime industry. AIS is used to help identify and track ships, boats, and other vessels on the water. By providing real-time information about vessels’ position, speed, course, destination, and other data such as cargo types and dimensions. AIS helps to improve safety, efficiency, and environmental protection. The AIS system consists of shore-based and vessel-mounted transponders that communicate with one another via a nautical cable. The shore and vessel transponders are connected via the Transporter Interface Unit (TIU), plugged into a computer network such as the Internet to transmit data. AIS has many applications, including maritime operations, marine security/safety, port management, marine traffic management, and disaster response. AIS also helps reduce the risk of collision by providing visibility of ships in a congested area or proximity to each other.

AIS is also used to provide vessel information through a graphical image displayed on a screen and on other devices. This is known as AIS data streaming. The AIS data stream allows the user to view information such as cargo, type of vessel, speed, heading, position, and other navigation-related data. It is important to note that an AIS receiver requires a transceiver and antennae, usually fitted outside the vessel, for GPS positioning support. It is also used for security by enabling authorities to detect unauthorized activities such as smuggling or illegal fishing.

Additionally, AIS can be used for marine traffic monitoring and analysis to forecast demand for services such as harbor management or maritime safety regulations enforcement. The Automatic Identification System is an integral part of a marine system, which gathers and provides information about the identity and movement of vessels, boats, or other watercraft in a given area. The AIS uses different methods for transmitting data, including satellite-based systems, shore-based systems with fiber optic cable connections to shore, and low-power radio frequency (LPRF) signals. AIS also can be used with AIS receivers installed on vessels (ships) or ships equipped with transponders that transmit their LPRF signal. The Automatic Identification System can gather information through many different types of sensors and radio receivers, such as radar or LPR. These devices can detect the position, direction, speed, and course of a vessel using these sensors.


How To Use Automatic Identification System (AIS) In Ships?

AIS is a maritime navigation system used by ships to communicate with other vessels and naval authorities. It is a system that transmits information such as the ship’s position, speed, heading, course, and navigational status to other vessels in the vicinity. AIS helps ships to avoid collisions and maintain safe communication between boats. It can be an invaluable tool for any captain or seafarer since it provides them with important information about the whereabouts of their ship and other vessels in the surrounding area. Furthermore, it keeps track of the vessel’s movements and can identify and analyze potential dangers at sea. AIS systems are typically used on larger commercial ships that frequently travel between ports since they require more technical equipment than smaller boats or recreational boats. This equipment is usually installed on a roof or in the boat’s cabin. Some AIS systems have been designed to work with certain types of ships, such as fishing boats, ferries, and cargo ships. These systems are typically used on smaller vessels traveling in more restricted areas than larger commercial ships.

There are two types of AIS systems: “AIS-On” and “AIS-Off”. An AIS-On system transmits information about the ship’s position, speed, heading, course, and navigational status to other vessels in the vicinity. An AIS-Off system does not share any information. An Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver is typically a small device connected to a small antenna on top of the boat. The antenna is designed to capture the signal from the GPS satellites and beam them through a simple, low-power transmitter. The AIS receiver measures the time it takes for the call to travel from one satellite to another and then displays this information on a screen in digital format. This system allows boaters to locate their position anywhere in an ocean or other large body of water, to give that position a name, and then to create a way home from it, such as a point on the shore or the center of an island. The system is simple and can be learned by anyone in less than an hour. It’s been used since 1980 by commercial marine radio operators and is now adopted commercially by many recreational boaters who want to avoid getting lost while on the water.


The Troubleshooting Ways For An AIS

Please ensure that the AIS receiver’s power is turned off before connecting it to a computer or chart plotter. Turn on the AIS receiver after you are sure the cabling to the external device is right.

Issue : The AIS receiver may be damaged if these instructions are not followed.

The following should occur if your AIS Receiver is functioning properly:

  • When you give the device 12VDC electricity, the LEDs should briefly light up.
  • For Smart Radio devices, the red LED should typically flicker on and off at random intervals if an antenna is attached.
  • This shows that the device is receiving radio signals. The mere fact that there is some radio reception on the AIS frequency does not necessarily suggest that these radio communications are AIS transponder signals.
  • Each time a valid AIS phrase is sent via the serial connection, the channel LED(s) will blink. It could be challenging to observe the green flashes as this LED only moments briefly after each statement. If required, turn down the lighting in the space where the device is situated, and stare straight ahead—not at an angle—at the LEDs. You won’t see anything if you don’t have a VHF antenna attached or are far from any shipping activity with AIS-equipped transponders. By default, the machine outputs serial data at 38400 baud. The most straightforward approach to determine whether the device is producing legitimate serial data is to:
  • Cut off the unit’s power.
  • Connect the device to a computer’s working serial port. Use the unit’s included serial or USB cable (and a serial-to-USB converter if necessary). Run a terminal emulator application on the computer (such as HyperTerminal or PuTTY on a Windows-based PC) and configure it to use the proper COM port and 38400 baud rate.
  • The unit’s power should be turned on.

Best AIS In The Market


A Class B Automatic Identification System (AIS) transceiver from Raymarine, the AIS700 is intended for use with any multifunction navigation display system. The AIS700, a Class B AIS transceiver, receives transmissions from other vessels and sends data about your boat, making it easier for other ships to spot you.

Garmin AIS™ 800 Blackbox Transceiver

While receiving AIS target data, simple, dependable communication sends information about your vessel to other AIS receivers nearby.

More quickly than ever before, positional reporting is provided by five watts of transmit power with Class B/SO1.Built-in GPS with an optional external antenna connection.

Easy interaction with appropriate chartplotters and multifunction displays thanks to NMEA 2000® connectivity

VHF and AIS may both use the same antenna thanks to an internal VHF antenna splitter.

Acrartex :AISLINK CB2

To aid in preventing maritime traffic collisions, the AISLink CB2 AIS Transponder is a fully compliant, waterproof Class B+ transceiver. The AISLink CB2 has intrinsic benefits over all Class B AIS devices on the market that employ the more dated CSTDMA (Carrier Sense Time Division Multiple Access) technology since it uses the more recent SOTDMA (Self Organized Time Division Multiple Access) technologies from Class A transponders.

SAILOR 6280 AIS System

The SAILOR 6280 AIS System is one of the most modern Class A compliance systems on the market because to its dedication to providing safe and flexible operation based on trustworthy AIS data.

It will reliably transmit your AIS data and show you other nearby vessels’ data, allowing you to sail securely and effectively. You may use the SAILOR 6280 AIS System just like you would a smartphone, by enabling the appropriate app from the screen’s menu. This idea has the potential to completely alter the way bridge maintenance is performed.

Contact us to know more information.

Related FAQs

Through the vessel’s GPS or internal sensors embedded into the AIS device, AIS determines the location and motion of the boat. To identify ships and navigational markings, it is installed aboard ships. However, it should not be utilized to avert collisions as it is merely a navigational aid.

AIS is divided into two categories: A and B. The former is required for all passenger ships and boats 300 GT and higher operating on international journeys. The latter is designed for non-SOLAS boats and has restricted capabilities. It is mainly employed in leisurely crafts.

Static data, which includes details on the ship’s characteristics, is one of three types that make up AIS data. The second is dynamic data which is ever-changing owing to the ongoing movement of vessels, and the last is the current voyage-related data.

Unless the Master determines that it should be turned off for security reasons, the AIS must always be active. The AIS is an essential tool on a ship since it continuously analyses and updates data.

A ship’s position, identification, and other details can be automatically transmitted to other ships and to coastal authorities using automated identification systems (AIS) transponders.


  • AIS improves maritime safety by providing ships and shore-based authorities with real-time vessel tracking and collision avoidance information.
  • It enhances situational awareness, improves efficiency, and reduces operational costs for vessel operators.


  • AIS may be unreliable in some situations, such as when vessels turn off their transponders or in areas with poor signal coverage.
  • The system is vulnerable to hacking and cyber attacks, which can compromise the accuracy and reliability of the information transmitted.

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