AIS is a new-generation shipboard transponder system in which ships continually transmit their ID, position, course, speed and other data to other nearby ships and shore stations on a common radio channel. It is made possible by a revolutionary new data communications scheme called Self-Organizing Time Division Multiple Access (STDMA) that permits a large number of transmissions to share the same radio channel simultaneously.
Leica Marine GPS has announced the publication of "A Complete Guide to Automatic Identification Systems" explaining all aspects of AIS technology. The guidebook discusses AIS technology and the STDMA communications scheme, shipboard AIS specifications, international carriage requirements and equipment standards and other useful information.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted carriage requirements mandating that all new ships over 300 grt must be fitted with an approved AIS transponder system after July 1, 2002. Existing ships must be retrofitted with AIS over the next six years, according to a schedule of deadlines based on vessel type and size.
"AIS technology will have far-reaching effects on the commercial marine industry, including shipboard collision avoidance and shore-based vessel traffic control," stated Gunnar Mangs, marine business area director. "The AIS guidebook was published to give shipowners, ship managers, shipyards, VTS centers and other affected groups a clear, concise explanation of thenew technology and how it will affect them."
Copies of "The Complete Guide to Automatic Identification Systems" are available on request from Leica Geosystems Inc.