Marine Data Systems Offers AIS Solutions

Marine Data Systems is a South African-based company, 80 percent of which is owned by Transnet, a group of transport related companies. The company is almost focused singularly on the development and manufacture of Automatic Identification Systems (AIS). To ensure that its technology is relevant to market needs, MDS has been actively involved in forums with the leading international authorities in creating the technology standard.

The company is currently launching its third generation AIMS Automatic Identification and Data Management product, which will be compliant with the required international AIS specifications and supported on a global basis.

To further hone its products, MDS is participating in AIS projects together with port and inland waterways authorities in various parts of the works, such as the Pacmar Group in Vancouver; AW the Transport Research Group in the Netherlands; and various organizations in the U.K.

The Next Step MDS has recently introduced the AIMS Network Software (ANS), in essence the software used to set-up, operate and manage an AIS network.

Since the introduction of AIS, the concept has rapidly evolved from the means of a vessel to accurately and automatically communicate position and movement, to one that allows communications between ship and shore, allowing for a more accurate vessel traffic management scenario and further enhancing the safety of navigation. ANS is deployed as a series of Microsoft Windows applications that can be installed on IBM compatible PC. The system has the ability to group certain vessels together in fleets, which typically would be all of the vessels from a specific company, or for example, all of the tugs in a given harbor. One of the major uses of the system will be for binary messaging, as the system provides a mechanism for external applications to send and receive binary messages.

The ANS also has a complete alarm management system networked over any existing network infrastructure and monitored from a central control.

Depending on the type of alarm, acknowledgements can be relayed back to the alarm source.

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