The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a revolutionary automatic tracking and collision avoidance system originally developed as part of the GMDSS system. Although only required to be fitted by GMDSS mandate vessels, low cost AIS receivers developed for small craft mean that many leisure users are also now benefiting from the system.
A vessel fitted with an AIS transponder automatically transmits boat id, navigational status, position, course and speed data via VHF. AIS data from other vessels within range is received and can be shown on a dedicated text display or overlaid on a chart if interfaced with a chartplotter/ECDIS. As data is continually received and updated in real time, the movements of all AIS equipped vessels can be accurately plotted and their movements predicted. The Closest Point of Approach (CPA) data calculated for each vessel allows an alarm to be triggered if a collision is likely.
Designed to be fitted to large commercial vessels, Class A AIS transponders transmit at 12W and comprise of an integrated display, internal GPS receiver and interfacing capability. Class A transmissions are sent every few seconds and are prioritised within the AIS system. Class B systems are aimed at smaller commercial and leisure vessels, these transmit every 30 seconds at 2W, also feature an internal GPS and are usually a “black box” solution, designed to be integrated with a chartplotter or ECDIS display. Class B receivers are also available for small leisure vessels who wish to use AIS for collision avoidance – these do not transmit your own boat data, but enable AIS transmissions from other vessels in the area to be overlaid onto a chartplotter display.
A compact, low cost Class A AIS transponder and the first to include an MOB alert function; view up to the minute information on the status and position of other AIS-equipped vessels around you, while transmitting your own vessel’s information at the same time. Information is easily viewed on the bright 3.5in colour display and operation is made simple using the “juggle” control to navigate the menus and functions.
Perfect for smaller non SOLAS vessels, the SmartFind M10 Class B Transponder transmits vessel position information as well as receiving all AIS targets within 20 miles of the boat. Using the built-in GPS receiver, the SmartFind M10 determines position, speed and course, and once this is combined with other navigational information, it is automatically transmitted without any user interaction. The SmartFind M10W features the added benefit of Wireless connectivity to a user’s smart device.
Now everyone can benefit from the AIS safety revolution! The SMARTFIND M15 is a low cost “black box” dual channel receiver for use on recreational and other non-mandate vessels. Designed to be integrated with a chartplotter, PC or Mac, it allows you to view up to the minute information on the status and position of other AIS-equipped vessels within range around you. The SMARTFIND M15S has the added innovation of a built in VHF Splitter.