Background of AIS+

A more efficient utilisation of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) plays an essential role for the improvement of onboard communication and reporting procedures and of the safety of navigation. To this end, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved a set of novel Application-Specific Messages for AIS communication. Since the present standard AIS software is unable to display such messages, the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) has initiated a project to solve this highly unsatisfying situation. The project partners are Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), IBM Finland, the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and the Finnish Transport Agency (FTA) (formerly Finnish Maritime Administration). The project forms the Baltic Sea Action Summit Commitments given by the partners.

AIS+ is the result of work done as VTT's and IBM's Baltic Sea Commitments for developing and implementing of an external user interface for displaying AIS Application-Specific Messages. FTA and FMI have contributed with their expertise and message content (meteorological/hydrological data). The concept has been presented and well received at the 55th session of IMO's Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation in July 2009. The goal was to demonstrate the benefits, technical implementation and usability aspects of the targeted system. AIS+ version 1.00 was released in June 2010.