What is AIS?
The marine Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a location and vessel information reporting system. It allows vessels equipped with AIS to automatically and dynamically share and regularly update their position, speed, course and other information such as vessel identity with similarly equipped craft. Position is derived from a GPS system and communication between vessels is by VHF digital transmissions (on channels specifically allocated within the normal marine VHF spectrum). A sophisticated and automatic method of time sharing the radio channel is used to ensure that even where a large number of vessels are in one location, blocking of individual transmissions is minimised with any degradation of the expected position reporting interval indicated to the user. Even if the unit suffers extreme channel overload conditions it will always recover to normal operation.
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There are two classes of AIS unit fitted to vessels - Class A and Class B. In addition, AIS base stations may be employed by the Coastguard, port authorities and other authorised bodies. AIS units acting as aids to navigation (A to Ns) can also be fitted to fixed and floating navigation markers such as channel markers and buoys. Class A units are a mandatory fit under the safety of life at sea (SOLAS) convention to vessels above 300 gross tons or which carry more than 11 passengers in International waters. Many other commercial vessels and some leisure craft also fit Class A units.
Class B units are currently not a mandatory fit but authorities in several parts of the world are considering this. Class B units are designed for fitting in vessels which do not fall into the mandatory Class A fit category. The Digital Yacht SMARTERTrack AIT250 is a Class B unit.
- Full CLASS B AIS transponder compliant to IEC62287-1 and CE0168
- Sends and receives AIS data so your position, course, speed, heading and identity are transmitted to other AIS users as well as receiving other CLASS A and CLASS B data transmissions for viewing on a compatible plotter or PC charting system
- Built in GPS - provides compatible devices with a position data feed
- Built in dual channel receiver with NMEA/RS232 output for connection to compatible plotter or PC charting system
- Silence mode switch - turn off the transponder if appropriate
- Supplied complete with GPS antenna and suitable for DIY installation
- Measures just 190 x 175 x 91mm
- 12V DC (9.6-15v) operation. Average power consumption 4W
- Built in integrity testing for constant monitoring and easy to view LED status lights
- Optional distress function with safety related message (SRM) capability
Supplied with dedicated GPS antenna