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AIS has not passed its zenith and is far more than a ship spotter’s tool, as a recent study of its uses among commercial shippers demonstrates, writes Argyris Stasinakis, MarineTraffic Lately there has been much talk surrounding space-based AIS, with companies starting to offer or publicise future services and signing agreements with satellite operators, and in some cases even national space agencies.
Automatic identification systems (AIS) consist of a transponder aboard a ship with a GPS and VHF transmitter. The VHF transmits GPS information to coastal or spacebased (satellite) receiving stations. The information is then interpreted by software enabling it to be visually displayed. Optimised global coverage is achieved by effectively leveraging the coverage achieved by networks of terrestrial AIS stations and the unlimited range of spacebased AIS systems. Lee el resto de esta entrada
exactEarth has released two new products to complement its Satellite AIS services – exactAIS Density Maps and ShipView
exactAIS Density Maps enable customers to view the density of ship AIS messages produced by its exactAIS service.
The mapping can be used to analyse shipping patterns and trends at differing scales, says the Canadian provider of Satellite AIS data.
According to exactEarth, data on shipping density can be useful in assessing ship strike risk, developing mitigation
measures, analysing the efficiency of shipping routes and for investigation into shipping activity around sensitive areas such
as the nearly 6,000 Marine Protected Areas across the world.
exactAIS Density Maps will be offered in both a pre-generated or customisable version to suit users’ needs and areas of interest.
“We have seen a steady increase in the amount of customers using our global data feed or archived data to create a series of
density maps to be used to perform indepth vessel pattern analysis,” said Bruce Winter, product manager of Data Services
“In an effort to provide the most complete shipping data solutions available on the market, exactEarth is excited to be
rolling out this new Density Map product to aid in this critical process.” ShipView meanwhile is a web-based
map viewer for customers of the exactAIS service, including many of the same features as the company’s existing exactAIS
Viewer, but with the addition of tools such as single line searching and downloadable data.
Users can filter the display to only include ships or areas of interest, and can also download vessel tracks or create ship
lists of vessels in the current view. "exactEarth ShipView represents thenext generation of a ship viewing platform,"
said Taylor Nicholls, product manager of Geospatial Services at exactEarth. "We’re committed to bringing our customers
the best Satellite AIS data solutions and products available on the market. ShipView is an extension of that commitment
and is the perfect viewing tool for quickly assessing all maritime traffic currently traversing our oceans."
exactEarth’s Satellite AIS products will also be enhanced by a recent expansion of the company’s strategic partnership with
Genscape, the parent company of Vesseltracker.
Vesseltracker, which provides terrestrial AIS information and ship databases, will now also be available on exactAIS. In turn,
exactEarth will be providing its Satellite AIS data services to Genscape for the creation of derivative products including
summary flow reports and critical analysis assessments.
exactEarth and Genscape will also jointly explore the development and distribution of new AIS-based data products and
"We are excited to enter into this agreement with Genscape” said Peter Mabson, president of exactEarth.
“We will now be able to offer the rich maritime information databases of Genscape to our valued customers.”
The release of these new services comes as exactEarth celebrates six years of operation of its Satellite AIS system.
Its first dedicated AIS satellite, NTS, was launched from India on 28 April 2008. Originally built as an experimental AIS
payload with a design life of three months, the satellite is still in operation today and has now completed 2,235 days and 33,100
orbits of the Earth. From a demonstration concept, NTS matured to an operational mission, providing
the Canadian government with shipping traffic around Vancouver duringthe 2010 Winter Olympics. The following
summer, it was tasked with covering South African waters during the 2010 football World Cup.
NTS was used in the early stages of the exactView constellation but with the addition of five more technologically advanced
satellites, it is now used primarily for research and development purposes. exactEarth says that the exactView constellation
continues to grow with additional launches and ground stations scheduled throughout the coming year.
“We are committed to expanding the most robust Satellite AIS constellation available to ensure our customers receive
the highest quality, timely and most up to date maritime information possible,” said Mr Mabson.
“When NTS was launched, it took nearly three months to map the world’s shipping traffic with the high detection quality
exactEarth offers today every few hours. When our constellation and ground station deployment is complete, we will do so
every hour and make the information available to our customers in minutes.”
Iridium says it is moving closer to being recognised as a provider of mobile satellite communications for the Global Maritime
Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) after its application was approved by the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Navigation,
Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR). The application will now proceed to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at
its next meeting in November. A group of experts will then carry out a technical and operational evaluation, and their report
will be reviewed by the NCSR sub-committee before the MSC decides whether to grant final approval.
"This is a victory for Iridium and the maritime industry," saidIridium’s CEO Matt Desch, after the NCSR
sub-committee advanced the application to the following stage of evaluation.
"The overwhelming support for our application to provide the industry an
alternative and equally capable option for GMDSS services is a testament to the value and benefit the Iridium network can provide
to maritime safety."
Without naming Inmarsat, Iridium notes that "the incumbent GMDSS provider is not able to provide service" in
the Polar regions, which are only covered by its own constellation of 66 Low Earth Orbit inter-connected satellites.
Iridium, which will begin deploying its second generation constellation (Iridium NEXT) in 2015, says that in
anticipation of IMO recognition it is working with equipment manufacturers for the production and certification
of GMDSS terminals that use its network. Once approved, the shipboard terminals will meet both the GMDSS and operational
communications needs of a vessel, says Iridium, which expects them to be available before the end of 2015.
The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) claims that 58 per cent of all tankers obliged to implement an ECDIS system by July 2015 have yet to do so.
Over 8,500 tankers will fall under the new regulations next year, but according to the UKHO, just 3,600 have adopted the technology ten months before the deadline.
The UKHO data also shows divergence in ECDIS adoption between different tanker sizes and types. Just 23 per cent of the global product tanker fleet is already using an ENC service, compared to 44 per cent of crude tankers and 63 per cent of LNG tankers.
The amendments to the SOLAS Convention requiring the mandatory carriage of ECDIS were adopted in 2009, with deadlines for different vessels phased over a number of years.
Captain Paul Hailwood, who delivers seminars on ECDIS for the UKHO, said: “The transition to ECDIS is a very complex and significant undertaking, whether it is for a single ship or an entire fleet. This data on the current state of ENC use across the global tanker fleet reveals that there is still a long way to go in a short period of time if the fleet is to be fully ready to comply with the SOLAS regulations, even allowing for exemptions and the grace period until a ship’s first survey date.”
“Any tanker owner or operator beginning or yet to begin preparations for the adoption of ECDIS should have a plan in place by now in order to make the transition in a safe, compliant and efficient manner and to avoid the risk of failing to comply with the regulations. It is a misconception to think ‘because I can navigate with paper, I can navigate with ECDIS’.”