AIS data profiling for error analysis in Indian Ocean Region (Date: 19/10/2021)

Overview

Transmission of erroneous information by AIS is an important issue that can affect its usefulness. Thus, there is a need to target specific dominant errors present in AIS and form regulations and suggestions on remedial actions to be taken for the prevention of errors in AIS. There have been studies in the UK and Singapore related to analyzing the errors in AIS, however, there has not been a similar kind of research done in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). This paved the path to take inspiration from the studies done outside and undertake error analysis for IOR. This project involves real-time analysis of the data which can be a challenge as AIS data updates after every 6 minutes for Class A and every 2-30 seconds for Class B.

Key highlights

● The International Maritime Organization (IMO) objectives for implementation of Automatic Identification System are to enhance safety and efficiency of navigation, safety of life at sea, and maritime environmental protection.
● Transmission of erroneous information by AIS is an important issue that can affect its usefulness.
● Thus, there is a need to target specific dominant errors present in AIS and form regulations and suggestions on remedial actions to be taken for the prevention of errors in AIS. This might eventually help in preventing accidents.
● To analyze AIS data, one needs to be familiar with various Python modules like NumPy, Pandas and Matplotlib which are specialized for visualizing data and making interactive plots and chartings.
● As there are seven or more broad AIS fields needed for this research, it becomes complex to write a Python script for the same.
● For the validation part, one needs a shipping registry containing the data of most of the ships in that region.

Various fields that come inside the AIS data are as follows:

● MMSI (Maritime Mobile Security Identification) number: It is a number that uniquely identifies a vessel (or shore station).
● Ship’s name and call sign: Generally, Vessel Names are required to contain at most 20 characters.
● Vessel Navigational status: Navigation Status is a one- or two-digit number used for denoting the status of the ships.
● Length and beam of the ship: A ship’s Length Overall [LOA] is measured in feet and inches from the extreme forward end of the bow to the extreme end of the stern.
● Ship’s position: By taking compass bearings of suitable objects on the shore and transferring these bearings onto the chart, the point of intersection of the bearings, called a fix, gives the ship’s position.
● Draught: Draught is defined as the distance from the keel to the waterline (WL), as measured at the forward and aft ends of the ship.
● Destination and ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival): Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) must be encoded in Universal Time Coordinated (UTC), and not local time.

"The responsibility of the correct installation, connection and configuration of these devices rely solely on the technical units in charge of the operations. With proper training and awareness, one can reduce the errors in AIS"

1280 867 Maritime Research Center

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