The Difference Between AIS and LRIT

Posted by Julie Zamarripa


What is AIS?

AIS, short for Automatic Identification System, is an automatic ship tracking system used onboard ships as well as onshore VTS (Vessel Traffic Service) systems to monitor vessel movements around the world. An AIS signal is sent from a transponder onboard a vessel to a receiver located onshore or on another vessel. AIS was originally created to supplement marine radar tracking for collision avoidance and safety efforts on the waterway.

What is LRIT?

Long Range Identification and Tracking is an international tracking and identification system incorporated by the IMO under its SOLAS convention to ensure a thorough tracking system for ships across the world. Established in 2006 by the International Maritime Organization per recommendations of the Maritime Security Committee for all SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea) cargo vessels 300 gross tons or more, passenger vessels and mobile offshore drilling units.  Vessels are required to report to their position four times per day or upon poll requests for an on‐demand position reporting through the flag states selected LRIT data center. Most vessels have adopted a system that will automatically report via satellite.

The Difference Between AIS and LRIT

The only similarity is that both AIS and LRIT collect the location vessels but AIS requires no action from the vessel except to have their receiver turned on. LRIT requires the active participation by the vessel and vessel owner.

AIS is a public transmission originally used primarily for collision avoidance by VTS units.  Since AIS is a public transmission, the maritime community has adopted the tracking feature for real-time position reporting and historical reporting.  LRIT remains a secure transmission to only the flag state through a designated data center.

Why Both AIS and LRIT Are Needed

The information collected from AIS and LRIT are complementary and satellite AIS does not negate or overshadow LRIT in any manner.  Both reporting systems are needed. LRIT as a reporting system for flag states to enhance maritime safety, security and to protect the marine environment.  AIS based solutions such as PortVision 360, have been proven useful to the commercial maritime industry to promote operational efficiency and reduce fuel costs. Accordingly, historical reporting and playback has increased market visibility.  If you have a question about vessel movements and events anywhere around the world PortVision 360 can answer it.

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Posted on Sep 18, 2018 6:07:00 AM

Topics: AIS, Vessel Tracking, PortVision 360, Satellite AIS