This project will enhance maritime safety and environmental protection in Alaska through providing real time, environmental information to vessels over the AIS (Automatic Identification System) and other emerging technological tools used by mariners (apps, web sites, etc.) The wide variances in environmental conditions presents a threat to mariners that can be averted by having access to real time weather information. This project builds on and complements the tools and efforts undertaken by the National Weather Service.
This project comports to the AOOS missions and goals that state in part that AOOS strives to;
- Increase access to existing coastal and ocean data
- Package information and data in useful ways to meet the needs of stakeholders
- Increase observing and forecasting capacity in all regions of the state
AOOS programmatic focus areas include “safe marine operations”. Accurate, real time weather information provided to mariners plays an important role in aiding safe maritime operations.
An extensive AIS network has been established in Alaska with over 120 AIS receiving stations in place throughout the State. AIS technology was designed to track vessels as well as communicate safety and environmental information to mariners. This project applies AIS technology towards attaining the following AOOS goal: “Support navigation safety, weather, climate, and marine forecasting, marine commerce” The Marine Exchange has worked with the U.S. Coast Guard in a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to develop the Arctic Next Generation Navigational Safety Information System that utilizes AIS transmitters to send environmental and safety information to mariners to aid safe and environmentally sound maritime operations.
With AOOS funding, the Marine Exchange has tested and developed the technology to obtain and transmit environmental information to mariners via AIS and the internet accessible by smart phones, computers. All information is also provided to the National Weather Service that uses the information to aid forecasting and the dissemination of real time weather information via their VHF broadcast and web notification system.
Provide additional weather stations that are co-located with AIS stations and/or installed in other areas where environmental data is desired by mariners and provides data into the AIS communications network. Additionally, these additional environmental stations will provide a means of transmitting this information via the cell network using apps and websites.
Based on input received from pilots, recreational vessel operators, fishing vessel operators, ports and other mariners, install weather/environmental sensors tied into the AIS network at the following locations:
- Point Gardner (Admiralty Island): Weather sensor with data dissemination incorporated into an AIS transmitter station for this region of Southeast Alaska
- Nome: Weather sensor at Port breakwater with data dissemination incorporated into an AIS transmitter station for this region.
- Ketchikan: Weather sensor in port area and AIS transmitter station
Akutan: Weather sensor in port area with data dissemination incorporated into an AIS
transmitter station for this region.
- Fire Island (Port of Anchorage): Weather sensor with data dissemination incorporated into an AIS transmitter station for this region.