AIS (Automatic Identification System) represents a major advancement in maritime safety. Its primary objective is to enhance visibility and provide mariners with information about their surroundings, thereby bolstering safety during all weather conditions.
This is achieved through the continuous transmission of vital data, including a vessel’s identity, position, speed, course, and other pertinent details, to all nearby AIS-equipped vessels. Moreover, when integrated with a shore station, AIS extends its utility, granting port authorities and maritime safety organisations the capability to effectively manage maritime traffic and mitigate the perils associated with marine navigation.
Coastal or terrestrial AIS signals have a horizontal range of around 40 nautical miles or 74 km. This means that AIS traffic information is only available around coastal zones or ship-to-ship.