This was fun, until Bob lost his lunch… LOL
Customer needed to know what was going on around him while he was out on the water. As a commercial fishing vessel, he needed a solution and AIS was the answer. Automatic Identification System (AIS) provides automatic tracking of ships and identifies vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships, AIS base stations, and satellites.
In this case, the client wanted to take his laptop out on the boat and overlay his charts with the AIS data to provide him with electronic intelligence: Who else is fishing in the area (assuming they have an AIS)? What large vessels are likely to interfere with fishing operations? What vessel is closest in the event of an emergency? ASI can provide all this information in an easily digested format.
In this case, the client needed the system set up, installed and tested on-board the vessel. A trip out with the boat into open waters during a crab-run seemed like a great time to do this. We were able to set the unit up and do some preliminary testing, but wanted to see how the package would work under real conditions, so we headed out to pick up the pots. Probably shouldn’t have stayed below-deck with the diesel fumes, probably should have eaten something before going out, a few different lessons learned in the process that resulted in an engineer hanging over the gunwale looking at the water as it flew by.
The test was productive and the outcome positive, at least for the AIS project. A few hours of presence on semi-dry land restored the engineer’s stomach. What a fun experience!