AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM
    Namibian Coastline

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  Walvis Bay Harbour, Namibia

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  Luderitz Harbour, Namibia

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What is AIS ?

 

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automatic tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services (VTS) for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships, AIS base stations, and satellites. When satellites are used to detect AIS signatures then the term Satellite-AIS (S-AIS) is used.

 

AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transport. Information provided by AIS equipment, such as unique identification, position, course, and speed, can be displayed on a screen or an ECDIS. AIS is intended to assist a vessel's watchstanding officers and allow maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements.

 

AIS integrates a standardized VHF transceiver with a positioning system such as a GPS or LORAN-C receiver, with other electronic navigation sensors, such as a gyrocompass or rate of turn indicator. Vessels fitted with AIS transceivers can be tracked by AIS base stations located along coast lines or, when out of range of terrestrial networks, through a growing number of satellites that are fitted with special AIS receivers which are capable of deconflicting a large number of signatures.

 

The International Maritime Organization's International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea requires AIS to be fitted aboard international voyaging ships with gross tonnage (GT) of 300 or more, and all passenger ships regardless of size.

AIS may also be compulsary if deemed so by the vessel's flag state or class association.

 


                                                                                                                                                       ~wikipedia~

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