Automatic Identification System (AIS)

One of the emerging components of VTS systems in recent years is Automatic Identification System (AIS).  AIS uses transponders which operate in the VHF maritime radio band and are capable of sending information such as vessel identification, positions, heading, vessel length and hazardous cargo information to other vessels and land-based stations via a digital data link.  AIS information is used for collision avoidance and for maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements.

AIS Class A has been mandated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for vessels of 300 gross tonnage and upwards engaged on international voyages, cargo ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards not engaged on international voyages, as well as passenger ships (more than 12 passengers), irrespective of size.  AIS Traffic can be displayed in real time onto Electronic Chart Systems and alarms can be configured based on availability and status.