Virtual AIS Beacon


Easily Make Hazards Visible

The world’s first Virtual AIS Beacon™ makes hazards at sea visible when costly physical infrastructure is not appropriate or is impossible to deploy. These electronic virtual markers are recognized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a Virtual Aid to Navigation (VAtoN).
When a Virtual AIS Beacon electronically marks hazards they become visible on ECDIS, chart plotting and other AIS systems and can be used to prevent collisions and other marine accidents.

  • Easy to install and maintain with very little user training
  • Allows AtoN marks to be placed in locations where it is impossible to install physical markers
  • A fast and cost-effective way to place up to 65 AtoN ‘ร
  • Add, remove or change positions of markers according to changing conditions such as tide, wrecks or temporary safety zones
  • Much lower cost than AIS base stations or multiple physical AIS AtoN’s

Port authorities, companies and organizations with Oil & Gas, Offshore Fishing, Aquaculture or Marina operations can enhance safety and marine communications in a fast, efficient and cost-effective way.

Example Use Cases

Mark shipping channels to “join the dots” between physical buoys to improve shipping lane visibility
Mark areas where navigation conditions change frequently. For example, overhead clearance, ice or water levels
Mark both visible and invisible hazards, including platforms, bridges, piers, reefs or shellfish beds
Mark moving hazards such as sand bars to regularly provide changes in location and provide alerts and warnings
Create temporary cordons around hazardous spills, wrecks, marine protected areas, boat or yacht races and swim events

A Complete Shore station

Using secure, encrypted communications, the Virtual AIS Beacon provides AIS source information for the WatchMate Asset Protection service.
As a standalone shore station, the Virtual AIS Beacon enables you to:

  • Mark hazards or protection zones providing visibility to vessels
  • Monitor all AIS traffic in the vicinity
  • Communicate using AIS alert messages sent directly to the vessel

When combined with WatchMate Asset Protection, you can guard your marine assets 24/7 with smart rules automating alerts to you and at-risk vessels.

Perenco Oil & Gas – Africa

Perenco, an independent oil and gas company based in London and Paris with activities in sixteen countries owns and manages both onshore and offshore liquid natural gas (LNG) rigs. Instead of deploying a costly AIS AtoN on each rig, Perenco used a single Virtual AIS Beacon to electronically mark not only each rig, but anchorages and dangerous areas. This approach increased safety at the same time as reducing install and ongoing maintenance costs.

Towed Streamers for Seismic Data

CGG operate the world’s largest fleet of geological and geophysical survey vessels.These vessels tow an array of cables up to 5 miles long.Spanning an area of up to 3 square miles, this presented a large yet invisible hazardto nearby shipping, resulting in frequent damage and interruptions to operations. Following successful trials of the the Virtual AIS Beacon on several vessels,CGG decided to implement the solution on all the ships in their fleet.

Access mode RATDMA, FATDMA
Transmission mode Type 3 AtoN operates in mode A, B or c
Radio frequency Dual channel AIS transmit & receive. Default AIS 161.975 / 162.025 MHz
AtoN marks Maximum of 65 (dependent on configuration)
Message formats ITU-R M.1371 – Message 6, 8, 12, 14,21 (others available)
Number of transmitters 1 X AIS
Number of receivers 2xAIS, 1 xGPS (50 channel)
AIS receiver sensitivity -113dBm
GPS receiver sensitivity -142 dBm acquisition, -159 dBm tracking
Power supply 12VDC, 5A. Includes isolated AC power pack
Transmission power output Configurable up to 12.5W (41 dBm)
GPS antenna connector TNC connector-GPS antenna included with surface or pole mounting
VHF antenna connector S0239 connector. 50 ohm, max 2:1 VSWR
Serial data 1 X RS232, 1 X RS422 (opto-isolated)
Networking Ethernet optional (TCP/IP, SSL)
Size 162mm by 122mm by 90mm high (6.32” X 4.8” X 3.54” high)
Environmental Waterproof (IPx7). Excluding AC power pack
Operating temperature -25°c to +55°c (-13°F to 131°F)
Indicators Multi-color LED indicators for power, status, transmit, networking and error
Compliance certificates FCC, 1C CE, BSH, BABT, US Coast Guard
• ITU-R M.1371, Technical characteristics for an automatic identification
system using time-division multiple access in the VHF maritime mobile band
• IEC 62320-2, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) – Part 2, AIS AtoN
Stations – Operational and performance requirements, method of testing
and required test results
• IALA Recommendation O-143: On Virtual Aids to Navigation
• IALA Recommendation A-126: On The Use of the Automatic Identification
System (AIS) in Marine Aids to Navigation Services


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