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.

datauri-file (002)

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

AISNET Plus – A powerful new AIS Base Station Receiver

AISnet+ is a new enhanced version of our popular AISnet AIS base station receiver.  Both models will continue to be available but AISnet+ features some new, unique interfacing capabilities.

Both devices are fitted with a network/RJ45 interface.  They are designed for installation on shore side facilities such as ports, marinas or platforms for connection to the internet via a suitable router.  Local AIS traffic decoded by the AISnet receiver can then be sent to AIS internet providers such as Marine Traffic and AISLive.

aisnet plus The new AISnet+ device brings new connectivity options with a sophisticated internal router allowing for Open VPN connections and wireless connectivity as well as via a LAN cable.  Like the AISnet receiver, it has also has a USB interface for a local PC or MAC.  Open VPN allows for secure AISnet to server communications for high reliability and security – its ideal for military applications.

AISnet+uses the very latest generation, high sensitivity dual channel AIS receiver for the best possible receiver performance.  Both Class A and Class B transmissions are fully decoded including ATONs, SARTs and other specialist AIS signals.  Indicator lights are now built in showing receiver and network status.

aisnet base station-01

AISnet+ ships with a 110/220V AC adaptor (with universal plug adaptors for global markets) and a simple to use configuration application/CD for both PC and MAC.  It can also be powered from 12V DC.  It is available now priced at £1000 plus VAT where applicable ($1600/EUR1400)

AISNET – A great solution for vessel tracking

AISNET is Digital yacht’s low cost AIS base station receiver.  It’s designed to be mounted ashore and connected to the internet via its RJ45 network interface.  Local AIS data can then be uploaded to websites such as Marine Traffic to allow easy web viewing of AIS traffic in your region.  It’s also fitted with a USB connection for a local PC.  Here’s Paul Sumpner, Digital Yacht’s CTO at METS 2014 telling us a bit more about this niche product.

 

New Improved Marine Traffic AIS Service

New Marine Traffic

Marine Traffic, the popular live AIS website, has had a major upgrade. First released in 2007, Marine Traffic has grown to be the most popular vessel tracking service in the world, with a large network of contributors that have installed AIS receiving stations (like our AISNet product)  in their homes or offices.

During the past few months they have completed a full redesign of their website and mobile applications, with more data and many new features. A video that shows the new features can be viewed by clicking here.

While keeping the basic service free, they have introduced a number of paid plans, built for users that need to make intensive use of the system resources and wish to access the value-added services, such as:

  • SAT-AIS  –  Satellite AIS data for global AIS coverage, including mid-ocean vessel tracking.
  • Detailed Nautical Charts  –  global Nautical Charts for in-depth insight and situational awareness.
  • Export AIS data  –  Export data to CSV files directly from the website.
  • AIS API  –  Use MarineTraffic API data services to feed data directly into your applications.
  • Historical AIS data  –  Retrieve historical AIS data within the billions of position records archived from 2009 onwards.

For Professional users they can now offer extended fleet management and notifications, via email and SMS alerting services.

Anyone who has an office or home near the sea (with an internet connection) who would like to contribute to Marine Traffic can use one of our AISNet Base Station units, which are easy to install and configure and just need a network connection to your wireless router and an external VHF antenna (mounted as high as possible) to receive the AIS transmissions.  Contributors to the Marine Traffic network, get free access to many of the paid services and if your area is not that well covered, you will be helping the whole community in improving the network of receiving stations.