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Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00537

Marine Observing Applications Using AIS: Automatic Identification System

 Darren Wright1*,  Carol D. Janzen2 and Robert Bochenek3
  • 1National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States
  • 2Alaska Ocean Observing System, United States
  • 3Axiom Data Science, LLC, United States

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a real-time network of transmitters and receivers that allow vessel movements to be broadcast, tracked and recorded. Though traditionally used for real-time maritime applications related to keeping track of vessel traffic for collision avoidance, there is increasing interest in using AIS data and the AIS platform for maritime safety planning, resource management and weather forecasting. AIS data are being made tractable for alternative non-real-time applications like determining trends and patterns in vessel traffic and helping to prioritize where modern bathymetric surveys are needed to ensure safe maritime transit. The AIS is also being used for widespread transmission of critical environmental conditions information, such as sea state and weather, to mariners, forecasters and emergency response providers. Several pilot projects are underway that demonstrate the capacity and promise of AIS data and the AIS platform to serve multiple purposes, providing overall maritime domain awareness while maintaining its most important objective of tracking vessels.

Keywords: AIS (Automatic Identification System), Ship tracking, Weather observations, nautical charting, Oil spill risk, Subsistence use, Hydrography and bathymetry

Received: 31 Oct 2018; Accepted: 15 Aug 2019.

Edited by:

Laura Lorenzoni, University of South Florida, United States

Reviewed by:

Vicki Ferrini, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), United States
Elizabeth Nyman, Texas A&M University at Galveston, United States
Kurt Schwehr, Google (United States), United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Wright, Janzen and Bochenek. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mr. Darren Wright, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), La Jolla, United States,