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Old 15-11-2006, 09:20   #1
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AIS land stations open to the public

Hi all..
Can anybody tell me whether there exists any land based
AIS (VTS) stations in Florida or the Caribbean which is
accessable to the public? As you may know, there are
hundreds of stations in Europe. There are a few in the
St.Lawrence Gulf entrance, also around Norfolk and now
and again in Seattle area. New York also have very
rare appearances. All these private AIS receiver are set up
and maintained mostly by existing radio hams at no charge.
Shipplotter ( has established a central
server in th UK where all their members can access shared
AIS stations all over the world by using their in-expensive
downloadable software. All the shared info is distributed
over the internet. I would encourage more of the US
yachties to consider setting up a ship monitoring station
at home. The cost of AIS receivers have come down a lot
and you can use an ordinary VHF antenna.

You are welcome to check out MY system here in the
Costa Verde- Brazil:

Happy sailing!!
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Old 18-11-2006, 02:53   #2
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Long range identification and tracking (LRIT)

AIS, as a system based on VHF radio signals transmitted from the ship, has only a short range (about 20nm). This is understandable in consideration of the original purpose to be a ship-to-ship identification tool. Coastal States concerned with maritime domain awareness for security reasons can extend the range of AIS for their tracking purposes in a variety of ways. Positioning receivers on towers, on sea buoys, positioning patrol boats in areas off the coast in areas of concern and conducting air-patrols involving aircraft with AIS equipment on board.

Taking ship tracking to the next level, the IMO (International Maritime Organization) has adopted* proposals to amend the SOLAS convention in order to establish a system named Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT). Unlike AIS, LRIT will be a satellite-based system, thereby enabling global tracking of ships. This does, however, raise the issue of who will be allowed to track ships. For the purpose of LRIT, it is only the Contracting States to the SOLAS Convention that will have this right, however, subject to certain limitations. Only Flag States will have unlimited access to tracking information in respect to the ships entered amongst their fleets.

* The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), at its 81st session in May 2006, adopted new regulations for the LRIT together with associated performance standards and functional requirements.

Goto LRIT:
And AIS:
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 18-11-2006, 09:40   #3
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Just to put your minds at rest....

LRIT is not designed to supplement, replace or compete with AIS, which provides short range information only. Broadcast via VHF is completely unreliable beyond line of sight. AIS remains an important feature for all ships at sea wherever they are, but has limited usefulness when approaching a VTS. The AIS system has already been “boosted” in the U.S. by placing AIS receivers on NOAA Weather Buoys, and the received data is up-linked via satellite transponders to shore facilities. But that is still in Sea Area A-1 and parts of A-2, and only selected areas at that. There is also no fear of piracy in U.S. boundary-waters, whereas some of the Sea Areas that will be covered by LRIT have major piracy concerns.

Secondly, AIS is designed as a component of GMDSS, and is primarily for navigational safety, intended to supplement radar as an anti-collision tool. A secondary benefit of AIS, again in conjunction with radar, is to assist in VTS management. LRIT has no design-purpose for either of the reasons AIS exists, it is intended to provide mandatory position reporting as a SAR tool (replacing AMVER), and as a security tool for states port control. All that is really left to decide is how much (and for how long) the United Nations will foot the bill for satellite uplink costs for each vessel to comply with LRIT. The US Coast Guard has volunteered to be the first repository of LRIT information, until such time as the UN decides on a permanent agency/site for it.
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