Automatic Identification System (AIS)
What is AIS technology used for?
AIS is used by ship operators to provide the highest level of navigational safety. It is also used by some ports to enhance security. AIS uses a shipboard VHF broadcast system to transmit and receive information about other ships, safety messages, environmental conditions and the status of aids-to-navigation (buoys).
As of January 1, 2005, nearly every commercial ship over 65 feet in length in U.S. waters is required to send out identification and GPS information.
How does AIS work?
Static and dynamic navigational data is sent via VHF from ship to ship. Thanks to GPS technology, this data can include a ship's position. Other information broadcast by AIS is electronically obtained from a ship's Gyro Compass.