Not all AIS receivers are the same….

BoatBeacon (a company with some brilliant marine telematics capabilities) are rapidly expanding their AIS base station coverage and utilising Digital Yacht AIS products for exceptional performance.  A recent installation in Benidorm shows that not all AIS receivers perform the same.  The picture below shows previous coverage using a 3rd party AIS.

AIS BENIDORM BEFORE

They then upgraded to a Digital Yacht AIS receiver and the performance improvements are dramatic – an 8 fold increase in data received and over 4 times as many ships all from the same location and antenna.  You’ll notice too how ATONs and AIS base stations are correctly decoded by all Digital Yacht receivers

AIS BENIDORM AFTER

You can also see the dramatic increase in data traffic in the graph below when the new receiver was turned on at 2:10pm.  Digital Yacht – better AIS solutions.

AIS TARGET GRAPH

AISNet helps improve OnLine AIS coverage of Puget Sound

Puget

Arguably the most beautiful sailing location in the USA, it is no surprise that there are always lots of pleasure and commercial vessels in the Puget Sound. This week, we helped one of our customers to upgrade his shore based AIS reception station to one of our latest AISNet units and in so doing helped to improve the AIS coverage, in Puget Sound, of Marine Traffic the world’s largest online AIS network.

Ralph an experienced radio ham, whose home on the Olympic Pennisular is perfect for good AIS reception, contacted us when his initial attempts to send data to Marine Traffic failed. His old setup which required a PC to be permanently on, had been working well for some time but he hoped the new AISNet would free up the PC and reduce power consumption. It quickly became clear that his AISNet was receiving AIS targets and after setting up a test server, in our UK office, we also confirmed that the UDP and TCP data feeds were OK.

AISnet+ Receiver-LR

We have been selling AISNets since 2010, so they are a well proven design, but earlier this summer we released a new version that had a completely new AIS receiver and Network adaptor. Despite the fact that we had done lots of testing in the lab, including sending data to different web servers, there was a nagging doubt that perhaps this new design was not compatible in some way with Marine Traffic. Fortunately the technical support team at Marine Traffic are really fast and efficient and over the course of a couple of nights (due to the time differences), we managed to test and get Ralph’s unit working, by just a simple change to the TCP mode setting.

On  the original AISNet we had always used and recommended “TCP Mixed Mode” for Marine Traffic servers, but with the new AISNet we found that we had to select “TCP Client Mode” or “UDP Mode” to make everything work OK. With the new settings made, Ralph’s data started streaming in and by looking at the statistics found that his new AISNet was giving significantly better reception coverage than his previous setup; 15000km² compared to 3500km².

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The improved receiver sensitivity of our AISNet, plus the fact that it was a true dual channel receiver, simultaneously monitoring both AIS channnels and never missing a message, all contributed to the improved coverage. In fact AISNet was on average receiving nearly four times the number of targets per hour compared to Ralph’s old system. As you can imagine, Ralph was very pleased, as were Marine Traffic who now have much better coverage of this area and ultimately everyone sailing in the Puget Sound will benefit from an even better free online AIS service.

datauri-file

AIS BASE STATION

Monitoring vessel movements from the shore is useful not just for friends and family but also for security and planning apps – we even keep an eye on our  supplies coming via container ships!  To make fitting and setting up an AIS Base Station easy, we’ve developed AISNET – a one box solution that has a network interface to connect directly to a router and the internet.  Its a highly sensitive dual channel AIS receiver with outstanding performance in terms of target processing capability.  It also has a USB interface for a local PC.  Supplied with 110/220v ac power pack, all that’s required is a suitable VHF/AIS antenna on the building and you’re in business.

The pic below shows one of pur latest installations on a radar monitoring station – cool eh….