The AIS is essentially a ship position reporting system that automatically broadcasts ship and voyage-related data that is received by other AIS-equipped ships and shore stations.AIS promotes maritime domain awareness in the ship-to-shore mode, and provides a way of efficiently exchanging ship information with VTS (Vessel Traffic Services) or surveillance authorities on shore.At least one country has to be chosen as a target country for validation, otherwise the patent will have no effect.In certain countries the European patent can still be validated for an extra fee for a timeframe of additional 3-6 months.In this context, after a site survey was conducted to identify a suitable location for the base station, the VHF cell range over the sea was calculated and validated, the AIS traffic load on the base station cell was evaluated, the cell load handling capability was demonstrated, and research was conducted and documented on applicable standards, techniques and combined concepts of AIS coverage.The report also briefly addresses future AIS areas of application, and identifies the applicable standards and the International Bodies that rule on this field.
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Only transponders of class-A type, which are installed on commercial ships and base stations ashore, are referred in the project context.
For AIS to operate in all environments and in all traffic situations a combination of VHF cellular broadcast, synchronization mechanisms and organization of transmissions is required.
This project addresses the VHF part of the AIS network, by providing information on how the service is supported, the AIS effective coverage over a designated AOI is calculated and achieved within an acceptable traffic load level.
In order to do that, a careful research and detailed examination of the applicable standards and techniques was done, including the nature of the messages exchanged, the core role that the SOTDMA protocol plays in AIS with its self-organizing technique, the major differences between the TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) variants, and the concept of coverage.