Raymarine AIS GuideDate November 14, 2013
By Hudson Marine Electronics
Operating in the VHF maritime band, the AIS (Automatic identification System) system enables the wireless exchange of navigation status between vessels and shore-side traffic monitoring centres. Commercial ships, ocean-going vessels and recreational boats equipped with AIS transceivers broadcast AIS messages that include the vessel’s name, course, speed and current navigation status.
Models – Raymarine offers a full range of AIS, both receivers and transceivers.
About AIS -AIS is one of the most significant developments in navigation safety.
How AIS Works – AIS uses VHF radio and GPS technology to communicate.
Classes of AIS – Class A, Class B, Receive Only.
Features – See and be Seen, Buddy tracking, Silent Mode.
MFD Integration – AIS connects to MFD’s on SeaTalk ng or NMEA 0183.
Installation – VHF antenna and or splitter required.
Warranty – 2-3 year return to base and Onboard warranty available.
Full range of AIS units
AIS (Automatic Identification System) is the mariner’s most significant development in navigation safety since the introduction of radar.
The system was originally developed as a collision avoidance tool to enable commercial vessels to ‘see’ each other more clearly in all conditions and improve the helmsman’s information about his surrounding environment. AIS does this by continuously transmitting a vessels identity, position, speed and course along with other relevant information to all other AIS equipped vessels within range. Combined with a shore station, this system also offers port authorities and maritime safety bodies the ability to manage maritime traffic and reduce the hazards of marine navigation.
Due to the great safety benefits offered by AIS, this technology was made compulsory throughout the world in 2002 for all passenger ferries and vessels over 300 gross tonnes.
How AIS Works
The Automatic Identification System was developed to allow ships and coastal stations to accurately locate and identify one another. An AIS transceiver uses VHF radio and GPS technology to communicate with other nearby ships.
An AIS transponder determines its own position, speed and course using a built in GPS receiver. This information is combined with other important navigation information and automatically communicated between AIS equipped vessels without any user interaction.
AIS transponders on other vessels and coast stations receive this information and use it to build up a live graphical display of traffic in the area. The transponder can be connected to many types of chart plotter or PC charting software to give a RADAR type display of vessel positions. AIS does not require a radar, but can offer similar capabilities and even enhance a radar image if a radar has already been fitted to the vessel.
The range or coverage of the system is similar to a VHF radios. The system also has the advantage that VHF radio signals will travel around bends and over islands giving better coverage than RADAR or enhancing a RADAR picture when used together.
Classes of AIS
Receive-only systems are inexpensive and low-powered, these systems only receive Class A and Class B AIS.
Class B systems provide less expensive AIS functionality for smaller commercial vessels and pleasure vessels that do not need to comply with IMO/SOLAS regulations. Class B uses lower transmission power and transmits a shortened and simplified set of AIS information at a slightly less frequent rate compared to Class A.
Class A is a regulatory requirement for IMO/SOLAS commercial vessels; Class A transmits and receives the full set of AIS information.
All Raymarine’s models Receive position, speed over ground, course over ground, name and call sign of both class A and B transmitting vessels in VHF range.
Buddy Tracking – Both the AIS350 and AIS650 supports Raymarine’s exclusive Buddy Tracking feature when used with Raymarine multifunction displays. This allows you to save AIS targets of interest with a special icon and “friendly” name. Buddy tracking makes it easy to spot the boats of friends and family out on the water, or to identify other vessels-of-interest with ease.
Silent Mode – The AIS650 also features both hardware and software enabled Silent Mode, which enables the captain to switch off the AIS transmitter for reasons of security or privacy. When connected to Raymarine Multifunction Displays, silent mode can be enabled or disabled at-will from any display on the network. This feature is most often employed by tournament captains who do not want to reveal the position of their hot fishing spot, but is also vital to cruising power and sailing vessels who may want to temporarily disable broadcasting their position out of concern for vessel security.
Raymarine’s AIS650 and AIS350 have a SD Card Slot for recording of AIS data
Both the AIS350 and AIS650 are engineered for seamless integration with Raymarine multifunction displays and offer multiple connection options including SeaTalkNG, NMEA2000, NMEA0183 and USB.
Both the AIS350 and AIS650 have Built-in NMEA multiplexer simplifies integration with legacy Multifunction Displays, VHF radios and 3rd party devices.
Once AIS is connected the MFD calculates CPA (closest point of approach) and TCPA (time to closest point of approach)
See our Raymarine MFD Guide for more details and a full product range
VHF antenna and or splitter required
All AIS units need to be connected to a VHF antenna to work. The higher this antenna is the greater your receive and transmitted range will be. On a power boat we would recommended fitting a dedicated VHF antenna to the AIS. On a sail boat we would recommend fitting a VHF antenna mast head shared with your VHF radio using a splitter.
To get Raymarine’s full onboard warranty your AIS needs to be Installed / Commissioned by a Certified Raymarine Dealer.