Automatic Identification System (AIS)

Ensuring greater safety at sea with automatic tracking system testing and certification

Ensuring greater safety at sea with automatic tracking system testing and certification

What is an Automatic Identification System (AIS)?

An AIS is an automatic tracking system that is used on ships, leisure boats and by vessel traffic services. It assists a vessel's operators and allows maritime authorities to monitor vessel movements by automatically exchanging electronic data with other nearby ships and base stations. Information provided by AIS equipment, such as unique identification, position, course and speed, can be displayed on a screen or an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). The AIS integrates standardised VHF transceiver systems and Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers with other electronic navigation sensors, such as a gyrocompass or rate of turn indicator.

AIS products are split into two different classes:

  • Class A products - for ships over 300 tonnes, or which are SOLAS vessels and are required to meet the guidelines set out in the Marine Equipment Directive (MED), as well as FCC and ISED Canada certification for North America.
  • Class B products - for non-SOLAS vessels which require testing and certification under the Radio Equipment Directive for the European Union, as well as FCC and ISED Canada certification for North America. 

Why is AIS testing important?

To ensure greater safety at sea many countries are now insisting that AIS equipment is installed on every vessel above a certain tonnage. Tests are therefore required to prove compliance with each of these countries’ regulations, and ships which are shown not to be using correctly certified AIS equipment will be fined.

To ensure that an AIS can communicate with any other AIS equipment and also integrate with marine products effectively, such as the communications and navigation systems, type testing is required. This includes testing to standards such as IEC61993-2 (Class A), IEC62287-1 and IEC62287-2 (Class B), IEC62320-1 (base stations) and IEC 60945, which covers a range of EMC, environmental and safety testing.


Why choose TÜV SÜD for AIS?

The AIS equipment test and certification process is complex, taking a minimum of four weeks to complete the wide range of tests required under regulatory testing. This time will extend if a manufacturer works with separate test houses. As a world-leading environmental, radio frequency, EMC and safety testing laboratory, TÜV SÜD offers all these services which helps you to achieve market access more quickly.

TÜV SÜD’s Services

Our comprehensive testing laboratories are fully equipped to conduct all of the testing required under one roof, minimising testing time and optimising time to market for your products, including:

  • Class A - IEC 61993-2
  • Class B - IEC 62287-2 (SOTDMA)
  • Class B - IEC 62287-1 (CSTDMA)
  • Base stations - IEC 62320-1
  • Repeater stations - IEC 62320-3
  • AIS AtoN - IEC 62320-2
  • AIS-SART - IEC 61097-14
  • AIS Inland Waterways - CCNR Edition 2.0

If a Class A or B device is for sale in the USA and/or Canada, we can provide a test and certification service for both countries. TÜV SÜD also conducts factory audits under the MED module D and can perform testing at a manufactures premises if requested for MED testing. Our certification bodies, TÜV SÜD BABT / TÜV SÜD DANMARK, are Notified Bodies under the MED and can carry out conformity assessment procedures for Modules B, D, E, F and G. Once a technical file has been compiled, a successful certification assessment from TÜV SÜD BABT / TÜV SÜD DANMARK will allow you to display the MED Wheel Mark on your products, to prove product compliance to your customers.

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