Last week, I attended a joint WG3 and WG4 (communications and AIS) e-NAV subcommittee meeting to define e-Navigation communications.
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.