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AIS

AIS also known as automatic identification system is a safety device used by sea vessels in order to send and/or receive information about a vessel's position, identification, course, speed and navigational status. AIS systems allow busy ports and vessels traveling at night to receive and transmit information about their own ship as well as receive information about those ships around them that have been properly fitted with automatic identification systems. Commercial vessels are normally required to have this apparatus because it significantly decreases the risk of collision and it increases the likelihood that passangers and cargo will arrive safely at their designated ports of arrival. AIS systems are classified as either receiving and/or transmitting vessel information. Some will only receive and other will do both. In addition, AIS systems are classified as either being Class A or Class B as a way to designate whether they meet SOLAS requirements or if they are more suitable for international voyages or coastal navigation or inland lake travel. Generally, commercial vessels will buy the Class A AIS and recreational and coastal mariners will opt fir the Class B AIS version, although many recreational boaters like the added peace of mind that more expensive Class A units provide.

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