October 30th, 2011
Marine Data Solutions... Maritime Marking (SATCOM)
MARITIME technology provider, Marine Data Solutions of Cape Town, South Africa, has begun implementing an Automatic Identification System (AIS) coastal network with Aids to Navigation (AtoN) capabilities along the South African coast. The company, which specializes in Vessel Traffic Management and Information Systems and other maritime domain awareness solutions, was awarded the turnkey contract by Lighthouse Services, a business unit of Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA). The scope of work includes installing new base stations and AtoN AIS at selected lighthouses along the South African coastline. Steve Nell, Marine Data Solutions’ managing director, says the AIS coastal network will bring South Africa in line with many other coastal countries worldwide and will greatly enhance South Africa’s current maritime domain awareness capabilities.
Marine Data Solutions previously played the crucial role of systems and display integrator for the South African Maritime Authority’s (SAMSA) Satellite AIS initiative, which is proving to be of great value. AIS was first introduced as a mandatory carriage requirement for ships in July 2002, and under the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) SOLAS Convention all ships on international voyages were compelled to have been fitted with AIS by the end of 2004. AIS, using maritime VHF frequencies, provides real time automatic transmission and reception on suitably equipped ships with a range of information relating to course, speed, position and other important data. AIS information can also be received ashore for the purpose of vessel tracking and management. This technology is essentially a business intelligence tool, offering VTS management, vessel tracking, search and rescue and virtual AtoN, etc. (Source: Cape Business News)