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
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.