Expanding the capabilities and use of Automatic Identification Systems

Expanding the Capabilities and Use
of Automatic Identification Systems
Amit J. Mokashi
Richard D. Stewart
Scope & Motivation
• CFIRE project on mining AIS data (RI-4).
• UWS tasks:
– to review literature on use of AIS
– prepare write up on why AIS was developed and
original intended uses
– prepare case studies of current uses of AIS
The Sailboats of Ancient Mesopotamia
2000 – 3000 BC
Thomas W. Lawson 1902
Ancient Chinese Compass
4th Century BC
Modern Chinese Compass
Ancient Arab Sextant
9th Century
Modern Sextant
Other Navigational Aids
NRL's XAF “flying bedspring”
Radar 1938
Decca Navigator System 1945
Other Navigational Aids
Limitations of Legacy Navigation Aids
• Lack of two-way communication
– Communication of ship’s position to other
vessels/entities has to be done by traditional VHF
• Increased risk of error due to bad communication
• Inadequate support for Search-and-Rescue
– Radar-SART (Search And Rescue Transponder)
requires continuous updates for a rescuer to lockon to.
S-Curves of Innovation Applied to
Navigation Aids
Effort (Time/Funds)
Foster, R.N., Innovation: The attacker's advantage. Vol. 152. 1986: Summit Books New York.
AIS Performance Standards
MSC.74(69) Annex 3
AIS functional requirements:
• Efficient navigation of ships
– Collision avoidance
• Protection of the environment
– Information about ship and cargo
• Operation of Vessel Traffic Services (VTS)
– Static, dynamic & voyage data
AIS Time-division Multiple Access
AIS Limitations
• Human Element
– Garbage in - Garbage out (Gi-Go)
• Default, inaccurate, vague, flippant data entries
– Improper technical setup
– Intentional (hacking) /unintentional (TV) interference
with GPS signal used by AIS
– Policy & management issues
• Frequency allocation, enforcement & data sharing
AIS Limitations
• Technical
– Limits of propagation due to earth’s curvature
• 50nm (Shore stations)
• 20nm (Ships)
– Limits of TDMA technology (slot collision)
– AIS Receiver with VHF antenna required
• Limited portability
– Inherited limitations of positioning system
• GNSS satellite geometry
• Can source location data using other means
Expanding Capabilities of AIS
• Satellite – AIS (S-AIS)
– Overcomes the range limitation of AIS
– Some service providers use own satellites
(exactEarth and LuxSpace) other source data from
them or governments.
– Data can be augmented by feed from other
sources such as Long-Range Identification and
Tracking (LRIT) and Space-based Radar (e.g.
Satellite - AIS
Expanding Capabilities of AIS
• Web-based Access to AIS Data (WebVTS)
– Live streaming
– Free & subscription based services
– Improvement in coverage using novel approaches
• Free sharing of AIS data in lieu of installation of AIS
Expanded Uses of AIS
• Vessel Monitoring
– Extension of AIS role from
coastal to remote
– Silent VTS
– Traffic analysis
– Risk assessment
• Security
• Environment
– Monitoring of sensitive &
protected areas
– Identification of source and
severity of incidence
– Calculation of footprint
– Risk assessment
– Faster response for security • Search and Rescue
triggered by lack AIS signal
– Especially with S-AIS
– Anomalies in vessel
– Last known vessel position
– GPS fed AIS–SART as an
– Risk assessment
alternative to RADAR-SART
– “Reward” assessment 18
Survey of AIS Data Service Providers’ Users
21/48 responses
Vessel Operators
Bunker Providers
• Law Enforcers
• Ports
Freight Shippers
Environmental NGOs
Weather Bureaus
Defense Agencies
Counter Piracy
Search & Rescue
• Fisheries
• Accident/Oil Spill
Concluding Observations
• Growing diversity and numbers of users and
uses of AIS
• Expect increasing capability and reduced cost
of AIS units as the technology matures
• Understanding new capabilities would lead to
identification of new opportunities
• Above points should result in better value/$
for users leading to further adoption even
amongst vessel types not mandated leading to
even higher value to all users.
CFIRE consortium
Survey respondents
Student Research Assistants
Mr. Chandler Smith of exactEarth
Anonymous reviewers
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