What is AIS?

AIS is an Automatic Identification System. The system is primarily used as an anti-collision system. Vessels with AIS on board send out and exchange information about their identity, position, speed, course on the VHF band. AIS is used by maritime traffic centers to keep track of shipping traffic. All ships over 300 gross tonnage in international traffic and ships with a dangerous cargo are required to have AIS. Frequencies 161,975 MHz and 162,025 MHz are used for AIS.


IMO - The International Maritime Organization - is de Verenigde Naties gespecialiseerd bureau voor de veiligheid en veiligheid van de scheepvaart

Regulation 19 of SOLAS Chapter V - Carriage requirements for ship-operated navigation systems and equipment - sets out navigational equipment to be carried on board ships, according to ship type. In 2000, IMO heeft een nieuwe vereiste (als onderdeel van een herzien nieuw hoofdstuk V) automatisch voor alle schepen te dragen automatische identificatiesystemen (AISs) in staat gesteld om informatie over het schip aan andere schepen en aan kustautoriteiten automatisch te verstrekken.

Forordningen skal AIS være montert på alle skibe eller 300 bruttotonnage og opadgående engasjert på internationale voyages, fragtskibe eller 500 bruttotonnage og opadgående ikke engasjert på internationale voyages og alle passagerskibe uanset størrelse. The requirement became effective for all ships by 31 December 2004.

Source: http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Safety/Navigation/Pages/AIS.aspx


In Norway, the Norwegian Coastal Administration is a major and important player. The Coastal Administration established in the 2005 network AIS Norway, consisting of approximately 60 base stations that receive information about all ships. The Coastal Network's AIS network covers, with some exceptions, 40-60 nautical miles from the coast. In 2015, all AIS base stations were renewed. AIS is an important monitoring tool in the national preparedness along the coast. The main rescue centers, Coast Guard and the police are some of the users who utilize AIS in their daily operations.

The Norwegian Defense Research Institute FFI and the Norwegian Space Center are also major actors that help make Norway a leading nation within AIS.

Read more about satellites at the Norwegian Space Center's pages