Navigating Busy Waterways: There’s an App for that!

August 22, 2016

1All drivers know the rules of the road: stay in your lane, abide by traffic signals, stay below the speed limit, etc. Lines, signs and other physical markers make it easy for drivers to understand and (mostly) follow these rules. Navigating a ship through a busy waterway, with no lines or traffic signals, can be a bit more of a challenge…

Ship navigators rely on navigational aids (AtoNs) such as buoys and beacons to guide them. Technology can also lend a big hand – many AtoNs are equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) transceiver, which can track passing vessels while also broadcasting weather information and the position of buoys and other important maritime structures.

AXYS is pleased to now be offering our signature wave buoy series, TRIAXYS, with integrated AtoN AIS. This application will provide navigators with not only buoy position information, but also oceanographic data from the sensors on board the buoy, such as ocean current speed and direction. Messages 8 and 21 are supported and broadcast every 3 minutes by default through alternating channels (A/B) on FATDMA transmit scheme.  RATDMA transmit mode is also available, with certain restrictions. The AIS device properties are completely customizable: messages can be enabled/disabled and transmit periods, slots and schemes can be configured.

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This new feature is advantageous not only to navigators, but also helps protect the buoys by avoiding collisions: when a ship’s crew can see the buoy on the navigation systems, they can easily avoid it, saving the owner of the buoy both time and money.

Wether you drive a car or a cargo vessel, technology plays an ever-growing role in making travel safer for everyone – just don’t let us catch you texting and boating!