Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a standard for exchanging vessel location and other information using VHF radio signals.
SEAiq can acquire information about vessels either from VHF-based AIS receiver/transponder, or indirectly over the internet via SEAiq AIS Sharing. Additionally, SEAiq Pilot supports connection to a separate network feed. Note that SEAiq allows any or all of these AIS data acquisition methods to operate at the same time.
AIS targets from Settings / NMEA & AIS are colored a blue or red color (depending on Settings / Vessels / Use Red for Targets). Targets from Settings / AIS Network Feed and AIS Sharing are colored orange.
On this tab, you can see AIS targets. Tap on one in order to get detailed information.
Once you have AIS configured, you should be able to see vessels on your Navigation Tab that are reporting their position via AIS. You may notice that after first turning on AIS, the ships are shown according to their MMSI number. After a brief wait, you should see the ships name appear in place of the MMSI number. The delay is because the detailed vessel information is not broadcast as often as the ships location information.
The number of current AIS targets is displayed as a badge on the AIS tab.
The Settings / Vessels menu affects display of AIS vessels, as well as your own vessel. For instance, enabling Beam Lines will turn on Beam Lines for your vessel and for AIS vessels.
If you enable the True-scale Display under Vessel settings, then you can see the actual shape of the ship as adjusted for antenna location, but only when zoomed in sufficiently close for the ship to be at least 6mm long.
You can see all AIS targets by selecting the AIS tab. The targets are listed according to the distance from your vessel, with closest first. By selecting one of the vessels, you can access all the detailed information that is reported by AIS. If you have a connection to the internet, you can press the search button at the top to look up the vessel at www.vesselfinder.com.
You can select a vessel by single tapping it. A selection box will wrap the vessel and information about the vessel will appear in a box next to it. The vertical status bar will display information about this vessel until you select a different AIS target. Double tapping the selected vessel provides detailed AIS data for that vessel. Yet more detail can be found by further selecting Full Information.
Alternatively, you can double tap a vessel and select "Details for this Location." You will the vessel listed along with other nearby features.
The following data is available for AIS target vessel. In many situations, only some of the data may be available for a particular target.
- Vessel Name: Name of the vessel (for Vessels)
- ATON Name: Name of the aid-to-navigation (for ATONs).
- MMSI: MMSI stands for Maritime Mobile Service Identity. It is a unique 9 digit number assigned to vessels and other maritime related entities.
- Call Sign: Radio call sign
- Ship Type: Type of vessel, eg Cargo Ship. Also may include information hazardous cargo.
- Aid Type (only for ATONs): Type of ATON
- Fixed/Floating (only for ATONs): Whether ATON is fixed or floating.
- Real/Virtual (only for ATONs): Whether ATON is real or virtual.
- Off Position (only for floating ATONs): Indicates if the ATON is off-position.
- Status: Current operational status. For example: "Underway using engine" or "at anchor." Note that it is common for the status to be inaccurate.
- Bearing: Bearing from Own-Ship
- Distance: Distance from Own-Ship
- Closest Approach: Estimated Closest Point of Approach to Own-Ship. The estimate uses both vessel's current, course, speed, and relative position. The estimate does not account for Rate-of-Turn.
- Latitude: Vessel's latitude (LAT)
- Longitude: Vessel's longitude (LON)
- Course Over Ground: Current course (COG)
- Speed Over Ground: Current speed (SOG)
- Heading: Current speed (HDG)
- Rate-of-Turn: Current Rate-of-Turn (ROT)
- Destination: Current Destination. It is common for this the destination information to be incorrect.
- ETA: Current Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). As this information is manual input by the crew, it is common for it to be out-of-date or incorrect.
- Maneuver: Indicates whether vessel is under a special maneuver.
- Length: Length of vessel
- Width: Width of vessel
- Draft: Draft of vessel
- IMO Number: International Maritime Organization (IMO) numbers are unique identifiers for ships and for registered ship owners and management companies.
- Vendor ID: Vendor of AIS hardware.
- Fix Type: Type of position fix.
- RAIM: Receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (RAIM) is a technology developed to assess the integrity of global positioning system (GPS) signals in a GPS receiver system. This field indicates whether RAIM is in use.
- Accuracy: Indicates the expected level of accuracy of position information.
- Report: The type of the last AIS report (message) that was received for this vessel.
- Age: Time since receipt of the last report.
- True-scale Outlin:Indicates the scale at which a True-Scale outline will be used to for this vessel. Or if True-scale is not enabled, gives diagnostics listing the required information that is missind.
- To Bow: Distance from the GPS antenna to bow of the vessel.
- To Stern: Distance from the GPS antenna to the stern of the vessel.
- To Port: Distance from the GPS antenna to the port side of the vessel.
- To Starboard: Distance from the GPS antenna to the starboard side of the vessel.
- Accurate Rate-of-Turn: Indicates whether this vessel appears to have an accurate Rate-of-Turn indication. ROT is considered "accurate" if a non-zero ROT has been reported in the last 6 minutes. Vessels that have only reported non-numerical To Starboard, To Port, and Zero ROT are considered to be "inaccurate." Note that this is not a evaluation of the actual accuracy of the ROT being reported, only whether the vessel seems to be reporting values indicating it has an accurate ROT sensor.
The accuracy information is used to determine how course information for vessels is displayed. If ROT is inaccurate, the course vector is drawn from the GPS antenna position along the centerline of the vessel. If ROT is accurate (and other conditions are met), the course vector is drawn from the center of the vessel (which requires accurate ROT information to correct the COG/SOG for any rotational movement of the GPS antenna.
- Advanced (Only SEAiq Pilot)
- Virtually Board this Vessel: Selecting this row will enable Virtual Boarding for this vessel. The vessel will be treated as Own-Ship. For instance, it will drawn using black colors.
- Select for Navicom Dynamics ChannelPilot: Selecting this option will cause a special message to be sent to a ChannelPilot to inform it that this vessel is the Own-Ship.
- Copy to Simulator: Selecting this item causes information about this vessel to be copied to the Simulator. The simulator will appears directly on this vessel and have the same course, speed, and heading.
Organization of Targets
Vessels can be organized in several different ways. The current format is indicated in a button on the toolbar at the top. Different formats may be selected by pressing the button.
- Default: The default format organizes targets according to estimates of importance in the current situation.
- Vessel Name: Vessels are listed according to their name
- Distance from Own-Ship: Vessels are listed according to their distance from Own-Ship
- CPA: Closing/Opening: Vessels are grouped depending on whether they are approaching Own-Ship or moving apart.
- Route Traffic (Only SEAiq Pilot): Vessels are listed according to their position along the current route, with items included also for waypoints and vessel meetings points.
AIS targets are listed in multiple groups. The targets are assigned to groups in this order of precedence:
- Dangerous: Targets at most 0.1nm from your vessel.
- Approaching: Targets at most 0.5nm from your vessel with a TCPA of at most 5 minutes.
- Lost Target (Close): Targets that have not reported their position in the last 10 minutes and are at most 10nm from Own-Ship.
- Unknown Position: Targets with no known position. Note that this is not necessarily an error. Sometimes targets report their general information before reporting their position.
- Nearby: Targets at most 5nm from your vessel.
- Other: All other targets.
Vessels are listed in alphabetical order according to the vessel name. Vessels whose names are unknown are listed in a separate section at the bottom according to their MMSI number.
Distance from Own-Ship
Vessels are listed according to their distance from Own-Ship, with closer vessels listed first. For vessels whose distance is unknown, they are listed in a separate section at the bottom.
Vessels are listed in three different groups:
- Closing: The vessel is approaching Own-Ship, with a CPA at where the vessels are at most 5nm apart.
- Opening: The vessel is moving away from Own-Ship, but the current distance between vessels is at most 5nm.
- Other: All other vessels, listed in order of their distance from Own-Ship.
Route Traffic (Only SEAiq Pilot)
The Route Traffic display is intended for use when you are following a route. The idea is to display information about Own-Ship, Waypoints, AIS Targets, and Meeting Points with AIS Targets in a simple format.
If you are not currently following a route, no useful information will be shown.
All information is displayed in a table format. The table is oriented according to the position on the route relative to the location and direction that Own-Ship is following. Each item other than Own-Ship itself is shown with distance from Own-Ship. Except for waypoints, only objects from 10nm astern of Own-Ship to 50nm ahead of it are displayed.
Own-Ship and AIS targets are shown using unscaled icons that are oriented relative to the direction of the route. For example a vessel that is crossing the route at 90 degree angle will be shown on the table oriented sideways, regardless what the direction of the route is at that point. A vessel that is following the route exactly will be shown oriented vertically.
Each row in the table corresponds to one of the following items:
- Own-Ship: Shown as a black symbol, along with COG, SOG, LOA, and XTD. Own-Ship is by definition at position 0.
- Waypoint: Waypoint along the route. Tapping on the row will bring up information about the Waypoint.
- AIS Target: Shown as a triangular symbol, along with COG, SOG, LOA, XTD, and information about meeting point with Own-Ship. Tapping on the row will bring up all details about the AIS target.
- Meeting Point: Shown as a magenta or green symbol indicating the type of meeting point (overtake or passing) and textual description of when the meeting point will occur. Tapping on the row will change the location displayed in the Navigate tab to center on the location of the meeting point.
Route ETA (Only SEAiq Pilot with Enterprise Subscription)
The Route ETA display is intended for use in monitoring ETA of vessels at particular waypoints in a route. Two waypoints can be specified, an Incoming and an Outgoing waypoint. The route does not need to be your active route.
All information is displayed in a table format in 3 sections. The first section shows ETAs of vessels at the Incoming waypoint. The second section shows ETAs of vessels at the Outgoing waypoint. The final section allows you to specify the route and two waypoints.
Only vessels moving in the direction of the route are listed as Incoming. Only vessels moving in the opposite direction of the route are listed as Outgoing.
Vessels must be at least the Meeting Point "Small Vessel Length" to be listed. This allows small vessels to be filtered out.
Vessels outside the actual route may be listed. Their position must be in a 270 degree arc centered on the direction of the first or last segment in the route. The vessels course must be within 30 degrees of the first/last waypoint.