***This article originally appeared in the October issue of Offshore Magazine. You can read it by clicking through THIS LINK.
All fixed subsea and surface assets, such as pipelines and offshore platforms, are at risk of nearby vessels impacting them. There are three primary reasons a vessel could threaten an asset:
Automatic Identification System (AIS) tracking is a method of contact identification and analysis used by vessel operators to avoid collisions at sea. Most commercial vessels are required by regulation to transmit an AIS signal on the VHF marine band which includes information such as the ship’s name, position, call sign, course and speed. Vessel owners can purchase an AIS transceiver that will translate the signal and plot the positional data on an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) or any number of marine charting platforms. The vessel captain has a common operational picture of their surroundings and can use this information to safely navigate and identify vessels that may pose a risk of collision.