AIS capability

Which device types are for which application?

The standards for “Class A” and “Class B”


Reception of AIS data
with multiplex receivers

AIS standards
The class A AIS service is described in the ITU-R M.1371-1 document. The -R stands for recommendation. This standard is a general document for the AIS service containing recommendations for the class A and B services. The document dated in 2001.

Operation of class A transponders is described in the EN61993-2. This document is obligatory for class A and was published in 2002.

Operation of class B transponders is described in the EN62287. This document is obligatory for class B and was published in 2005.

Class A: EN61993-2-2002:


The class A operation consists of three different types of messages:


  • Dynamic information:
  • MMSI number
  • position of the ship (derived from GPS)
  • time, when the position was measured in UTC
  • course over ground (COG)
  • speed over ground (SOG)
  • heading (HOG)
  • ship status
  • rotational speed/turn rate


  • Static information:
  • call sign and name of the vessel
  • ength and width of the vessel
  • IMO-number of the vessel, if existent
  • type of vehicel
  • position of the GPS sensor onboard
  • Journey-related information:
  • draught of the vessel
  • type of cargo
  • port of destination and estimated time of arrival (ETA)
  • route plan, optional

The block of dynamic information is the most important block looking for threatening collisions. Therefore this block of information is transmitted in a compulsory way, depending on the vessels movement.

The following table shows the mandatory repetition rate of class A transmissions linked to the ships movement:

Anchored vessels: 3 minutes
Vessels at 0 – 14 kn: 10 seconds
Vessels at 14 – 23 kn: 6 seconds
Vessels at > 23 kn: 2 seconds
Vessels at 0 – 14 kn, fast manoeuvre: 3.3 seconds
Vessels at 14 – 23 kn, fast manoeuvre: 2 seconds
Vessels at > 23 kn, fast manoeuvre: 2 seconds

Static information as well as information belonging to the journey is dispersed every 6 minutes. The reporting intervals correspond to both radio channels (161.975 MHz, 162.025 MHz) together.

Class B: EN62287, 2005: class B operation is described in the standard EN62287, published in 2005. This document is obligatory for class B. Pages 15 and 38 describe the operation:
Reporting intervals are:

Dynamic ship data:

  • Boats at < 2kn: 3 minutes
  • Boats at > 2kn: 30 seconds

Static ship data (similar to class A): 6 minutes

These intervals are the standard operation modes.

Competent authorities, like base stations, can have influence on the reporting intervals (as they do with class A as well). Interval timing can be reduced down to 5 seconds in exceptional cases. There is no automatism to change the 30sec/3min dynamic intervals by the ship itself.


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