Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Class B AIS Approved...

For many of you this will be meaningless techno babble, but for one (maybe two) it might be of interest -- the FCC just issues an order fully approving Class B AIS devices and dealt with side issues like frequency allocation.

Why you might ask is this significant?

As you know, the Automatic Identification System (AIS) was developed to allow ships and coastal stations to accurately locate and identify one another. An AIS transceiver uses VHF radio and GPS technology to communicate with other nearby ships. Vessels broadcasts include: their location; speed; course; vessel type; and other elements of safety critical data. AIS is clearly the most significant development in navigation safety since the introduction of radar.

Before this new ruling you had to purchase an expensive and cumbersome Class A commercial AIS transmitter to be able to broadcast your position. With this new rule you can now use a much less expensive (and less complicated) Class B device.

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