The International Maritime Organization (IMO) recently met to shape the Polar Code, a legally binding set of rules for shipping in Polar Regions. The target completion date for this Polar Code was initially 2012, but now has been moved to 2014/15 at the earliest. Although the final Polar Code won’t be adopted this year, recommendations made now will strongly influence the environmental provisions of the final Code.
Last week, I attended a joint WG3 and WG4 (communications and AIS) e-NAV subcommittee meeting to define e-Navigation communications.
As we enter into 2012, I wanted to share some of my predictions for what I believe the year ahead has in store for Satellite AIS.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will be deciding whether to allocate specific channels for satellite detection of AIS. The decision is scheduled during the next world radio conference (WRC) in January/February of 2012. Early speculation leads me to believe that the ITU will approve these channels so I’ve started pondering the implications. Once approved, Satellite AIS will enter a new phase in the political arena where it will be recognized as a technology that is positioned to support future developments such as inclusion in the next generation GMDSS (global maritime distress and safety system), small vessel tracking, and possibly even inclusion into the IMO LRIT system for vessel tracking.