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Maritime Mobil (MMSI) - Definition



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Automatic Identification System


BoatWiki - Definitions


An automatic identification system (AIS) in boating terms is a system that allows vessels to transmit their position through a network of ground stations and satellites. It is used in conjunction with mobile maritime services identities (MMSI) which are assigned by the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva Switzerland. This allows for vessel tracking throughout the world and provides their current location, identity, course, and speed.  This is accomplished through onboard devices which send and  receive such data.


The AIS system is designed for safety at sea in order to avoid collisions and identify locations in the event of emergencies. There are currently over 400,000 transponders in use throughout the world's oceans.


Although an AIS system may be required on large ships and commercial fishing vessels, it is optional for recreational yachts.


The AIS is not generally of concern for smaller boats, but operators of larger yachts and vessels should become familiar with such devices.

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