Just as in aviation, in shipping it is essential that the position and speed of vehicles can be accurately monitored. This is exactly what AIS transponders make possible, as they allow positioning and identification.
The transponder transmits both static and dynamic data: the former category includes, for example, the vessel's ID, name and call sign, while the dynamic data includes position, speed, heading and voyage data (dive, destination, estimated time of arrival, deliveries).
The AIS beacon also transmits data on the vessel's voyage: destination, planned arrival, loaded dive, etc. This allows all vessels within range to have a clear and real-time view of other traffic and, of course, to monitor traffic at the base station. The AIS transponder has its own display, but the data can also be accessed on a computer using the appropriate application.
What is the difference between a Class A and a Class B transponder?
Class A AIS devices
Class A AIS transponders are mandatory equipment above a certain vessel size, just like VHF marine radios. This mainly concerns industrial vessels involved in the transport of cargo, goods or passengers. Since time and position are key factors in traffic data, Class A transponders also include a synchronised internal clock and GPS.
Vessels equipped with a transponder, as well as AIS shore-based inland base stations, can display vessels within range that are transmitting identification signals, giving the skipper a continuous overview of the water traffic in the vicinity, either on the AIS display itself or on an ECDIS display.
It is important to note that the current regulations on the Hungarian section of the Danube require certain navigational facilities to use AIS equipment. It is therefore not allowed to sail on a river vessel without a transponder or with a defective transponder. In the latter case, you can use the portable inland AIS transponder available in our webshop, which you can buy or rent from our company.
The mobile inland AIS transponder is available in 12, 24 and 230V versions, and the waterproof case ensures safety. The built-in battery provides up to one hour of operation and the GPS and VHF antenna are standard. The portable transponder is capable of positioning, real-time traffic monitoring and lock management, just like the installed devices.
Class B AIS devices
While Class A devices are used in industrial shipping, smaller, simpler Class B transponders are used on recreational vessels (but are not mandatory). On a fishing, sailing or motor yacht, an AIS transponder can be a great help, and like its Class A counterpart, it has both a VHF and GPS antenna. Smaller, cheaper devices typically include a USB port, so they can be easily connected to a laptop or computer.
Class B transponders are able to receive both AIS Class A and B signals, thus increasing the safety of navigation. A display is available on a number of models, showing potentially dangerous vessels in a different colour (typically red). The displays are designed to be easily and clearly readable both day and night.
Both Class A and B devices are subject to radio authorisation and may in some cases require programming by the seller!
Contact us: we will find the ideal AIS transponder for you, help you obtain the licences and of course help you with the programming and installation!