The Ins and Outs of Satellite Vessel Tracking

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  • The Ins and Outs of Satellite Vessel Tracking

Portvision Director of Products Dean Rosenberg recently wrote a blog post that did a great job of capturing how Automatic Identification System (AIS) evolved and where it stands today with satellite vessel tracking. If you are new to AIS and want to learn a bit more about this technology and its applications to the maritime market, I recommend you take a look at what he wrote.

What really stood out for me is how he clearly articulated the benefits and drawbacks of terrestrial AIS and satellite AIS. Terrestrial AIS provides cost-effective, near-real-time vessel tracking from space when vessels are in coastal waters. However, once a ship is in open seas and away from shore, terrestrial AIS becomes less effective. As Dean pointed out, shore-based AIS receivers are limited to about a 50 mile (80 km) radius.

If you are talking about Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and having visibility of vessels that are going to transition from international waters to coastal waters, terrestrial AIS is limiting, This is where satellite AIS comes in.

According to the blog post, satellite AIS offers the following benefits:

  • Ability to track any AIS-transmitting vessel globally
  • Ability to support search-and-rescue and anti-piracy measures by increasing the visibility of ships at sea by first responders and security personnel
  • Ability to provide market intelligence through aggregating data across many vessels and regions to answer business questions
  • Ability to support compliance and law enforcement activities

For these reasons, Satellite AIS is a critical tool for organizations that are responsible for maritime security-based applications and/or MDA.

As Dean also pointed out on his blog post, Satellite AIS does have its disadvantages and in my next blog post I am going to look at these and tell you how the launch of ORBCOMM’s next generation OG2 satellites is going to benefit users of ORBCOMM’s Satellite AIS system.

If you can’t wait and want to learn more about Satellite AIS today, I recommend you download our latest white paper: Understanding Satellite AIS and SDPOB Advantage”.

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