Within a new project sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the German Aerospace Center DLR and the Nuremberg-based Weatherdock AG will pool their competences.
The goal of this research project is the improvement of the nowadays existing AIS standard to create a reliable AIS position reporting of vessels in high traffic areas and/or bad transmitting conditions.
What is AIS?
AIS (Automatic Identification System) is a self-organizing maritime transponder/receiver radio system broadcasting relevant trip data (position, heading, vessel call sign, vessel name, etc.) of every vessel through two worldwide standarized VHF frequencies. This broadcast is received by other vessels. AIS main objective is to improve maritime safety with collision avoidance. Since 2006 AIS is mandatory for commercial vessels bigger than 50.000gt and has become part of the vessels’ equipment. For fishing vessels or other smaller vessels, AIS is not mandatory but not forbidden.
With the present technical condition, AIS will reach its limits in some parts. The suggested system is compatible with the existing AIS system and enables, in areas of very high traffic, a solid and secure detection of the needed information.