Over 80% of our oceans are currently unexplored. For a geographical feature that covers most of the Earth’s surface, that’s a huge amount!
They say space is the last frontier, but it’s evident we have our own discoveries to make here on Earth. That’s why maritime tracking is so important. Thousands of vessels at a time sail across our oceans, and being able to monitor and contact these boats is crucial to the safety and success of these voyages.
Tracking a vessel by name is the easiest way to track a ship, but how?
If you own a boat, then stay tuned. We’re going to discuss what maritime tracking is and what steps are taken that allow us to monitor marine traffic by name.
What Is Maritime Tracking?
Maritime tracking is how all marine traffic is monitored. As a VTS or vessel traffic service, it can detect what, when, and where every ship is traveling, and how fast and often they do.
But how does it track the traffic?
There are multiple methods to maritime tracking, but a key way is through AIS data.
The Power of AIS Data
AIS, or automatic identification system, is your first step to tracking vessels by name.
You can use it as an individual on your boat to track others, but it’s also used by authorities. It tracks ships across the world, offering real-time information.
For AIS to work, a ship must be fitted with the technology. In 2004, it became mandatory for boating vessels over 300 gross tonnages to have AIS equipment. However, every ship, no matter the size, benefits from this tracking system. It transmits and receives static and dynamic information to and from other AIS compliant sources.
Transmitted about every 6 minutes, static information includes:
- IMO number
- Beam and length
- Vessel type
This is where vessel tracking via a name comes in. As long as you and the corresponding boat have this system, you can receive and transmit static information, including the name.
There will also be voyage information transmitted every 6 minutes. This includes information about the type of cargo, destination, ETA, and various safety-related information.
Dynamic information is not dependent on time, but rather speed and course alteration. It transmits information containing:
- Overground speed
- Overground course
- Navigational stats
- Rate of turn
Think of dynamic information as the data that’s constantly changing and evolving. Static information represents the data that stays the same.
The communication of this information is vital to the safety and well being of boats and their passengers, and in this post, you can see more on why understanding conditions at sea is so important.
Get Ready to Set Sail on Your Vessel
To track a vessel by name, it needs to be set up with AIS technology. So, your first and final step is to get your boat fitted with this cutting edge system and gain access to one of the most prolific tracking technologies available.
Did you find this article helpful? We hope so! If you have any questions or interest in learning more, then check out our blog. We provide access to information on all things travel, business — and so much more!