National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Marine Observing Applications Using AIS: Automatic Identification System


The National Weather Service uses historic AIS to assess ship avoidance practices during hazardous weather and weather warnings. This work has expanded to include the integration of real-time weather and vessel positions. NOAA uses AIS data to monitor and analyze fishing activity, improve marine mammal protection, and prioritize charting and surveying activities based on measured traffic volumes.

In early 2019, NOAA began working on a pilot project which will utilize AIS to transmit automated weather observations from ships. The objective is to expand observations and improve the quality of weather forecasts. NOAA also hopes to push environmental data out to ships along the coast via AIS to promote safe navigation.

Overview of AIS