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German company looks for research partners in the field of Automatic Identification Systems (AIS)

Country of Origin: Germany
Reference Number: TODE20190131002
Publication Date: 26 February 2019


A SME located in Northern Germany provides Automatic Identification System (AIS) data services that enable the real-time tracking of ships around the globe through terrestrial base stations in combination with satellites. The company seeks research institutes for research or technical cooperation agreements who are based near the water in Italy, France, Spain, Greece and Albania.


The company was founded in 1996 and performs successfully in the fields of web design, database technology and the design of mobile software. The company is international experienced and has  customers in more than 100 countries.  

As pioneer in the field of real-time AIS tracking of ships, the company has thousands of AIS base stations around the world. Information provided by these terrestrial stations is complimented by data received from its partners’ AIS satellites. More than 450,000,000 AIS messages are received and stored daily. In order to complete its terrestrial network the company looks especially research institutions which are located in Italy, France, Spain, Greece and Albania and will use the AIS data for research activities.

Roles within the partnership: The research partner receives the necessary equipment (AIS receiver hardware and antenna) free of charge and can use the received data for his own research purposes. The antenna can be easily erected by the partner with the help of an instruction manual. After 1 year of use, the antenna will be modified or the hardware will be replaced, again at no cost for the partner. It is intended that the partnership will continue over a number of years to the mutual benefit of both parties. The data received from the year can be further examined for scientific purposes. There are a lot of application fields based on AIS data assessments (see in Advantages).

As example, the company offers its customers current and historical vessel positions as well as access to its comprehensive vessel database. Additional products include vessel performance monitoring, determination of the condition of sea terminals, traffic area monitoring, alarm functions and comprehensive traffic flow analyses. The company seeks for partners who are interested in joint evaluation activities by testing different hardware in the context of AIS signal distribution.

The advantages for partners are:
- Access to the data of their Global Terrestrial AIS network via web accounts. A web map displaying the signals received through their antenna (e.g., http://www.philaport.com/about/live-vessel-map/)
- Ability to evaluate the impact weather conditions have on the data provided by the station.
- A further goal is to build up trust for possible future research projects through this technology cooperation. The company has a great interest in being involved in collaborative projects as an associated partner.

In technical regard, the cooperation aims at finding the optimal hardware combination in long-term scientific investigations.
- Different antennas
- Effect of directional antennas
- Different AIS receiver hardware
- Deviating cable lengths
- Effect of temperature and weather conditions



Advantages and Innovations

AIS is an automatic tracking system used on ships for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships, AIS base stations and satellites. 

Real-time AIS ship tracking and a huge historical AIS databank enable to monitor approximately 4,500 ports with information about more than half a million vessels.

If partners decided to collaborate they would be privileged to use the stand alone characteristics of the technology: The company combines the reliability of AIS tracking with the reach of satellite-based tracking in a comprehensive fleet monitoring solution with powerful reporting tools and flexible IT integration options.
The company’s network of AIS base stations is already comprehensive, with thousands of stations around the world. But some marine areas are still missed.

Different antenna locations, different weather conditions and different hardware result in different results. The aim is to find the most suitable combinations under different conditions.

This offer is therefore aimed at institutions that are interested in operating AIS stations with different hardware. The parameters of the received data (e.g. amount of data depending on the weather) can later be investigated in the context of student projects.

The advantages can be summarized as follows:
- Live real-time monitoring and nautical supervision
- Cost-efficient: lowest satellite airtime cost, flat-rate pricing
- Full-featured reporting and management tools on secure website
- Flexible web map components - fleet position display on the internet

Stage Of Development

Already on the market

Stage Of Development Comment

Research is required to determine the most effective combination of AIS Receiver Hardware and antennas.

Requested partner

- Type: research organisations with maritime or electro-technical faculties, authorities, maritime facilities that  are located on coast, including by rivers.
- Activity: the partner can profit from research and investigation into the influence of weather and other conditions on data reception of ship traffic. Possibility for student theses based on data.
- Role: To test various constellations of hardware. The partner must erect a rod or directional AIS antenna on its roof and receive and forward AIS data through the hardware. The partner incurs no costs for equipment or postal fees.

Dissemination Countries

Albania, Spain, France, Greece, Italy

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