AIS (Automatic Identification System) units form part of AtoN (Aids to Navigation) in marine environments. They differ from a RACON in that they transmit information on the VHF Marine Band to IEC standards defining the functions and message structure contained within the AIS AtoN message. Units supplied by Radio Systems comply with IEC and ITU requirements as well as IALA recommendations and are BSH approved
An AIS remote unit will broadcast its position and identity along with all the other information back to vessels fitted with AIS transceivers or to shore located base stations. The additional information is dependent upon configuration but for a buoy could be status of the lantern, as well as live data from sensors such as weather and sea state at the location of the buoy.
Having worldwide coverage prediction mapping software tools enables Radio Systems to design the optimum placement of shore based AIS Base Stations.
All AIS remote units will require a power source. By implication, buoys will have no inherent power source and must rely upon solar power. Radio Systems has software planning tools at its disposal for the design of solar power systems by buoy geographic location that will provide the most economical 365/24/7 AIS operation.
Further to AIS, buoys can be fitted with Fog Signals, supplied by Radio Systems. The units are United States Coast Guard approved, comply with all IALA recommendations and are UL listed as suitable for use in Class I, Division 2, Group C and D hazardous locations.
The units are engineered for unattended operation but again require a solar power source that Radio Systems can supply, designed for specific buoy location and specified duty cycle.