SMARTER THAN YOUR AVERAGE SENSOR: AIS SENSOR THAT INTELLIGENTLY RE-TRANSMITS MEANINGFUL INFORMATION DERIVED FROM RAWAIS DATA IN NETWORK LIMITED AREAS
AIS is a transponder based, anti-collision system used by the majority of ocean traffic. Ships regularly transmit their identity, position and speed. The information used to populate the AIS fields come from ship based sensors, such as GPS, and user populated fields, such as the vessels name and MMSI number.
These fields are susceptible to spoofing and can be changed to hide the identity or location of a vessel. This is often done to disguise the vessel as a different class to avoid inspections or to enter a protected area without raising alarms.
The AIS system has found great utility in monitoring global shipping trends and traffic but this was never intended when the protocol was designed. Docked vessels still transmit messages regularly that contain no new information. These, and other redundant messages, are still transmitted and stored. In situations where a sensor is remote and has limited access to the Internet this can become costly. The Smart-AIS sensor records all incoming messages locally and makes a decision on whether the message is of special interest or not. Messages of interest are re-transmitted to an external AIS database.