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What are the different AIS products PredictWind offers
What are the different AIS products PredictWind offers
Keryn McMaster avatar
Written by Keryn McMaster
Updated today

PredictWind is committed to the safety of our customers, and AIS visibility, both coastally and offshore, is key for vessel tracking, collision avoidance, and search and rescue operations. To achieve this, we invest significantly each year in acquiring top-tier AIS data from providers like Spire and Exact Earth. Additionally, we bolster our capabilities with our own network through AIS aggregation utilizing the DataHub platform. You do not need an AIS receiver to see our AIS; you can use the PredictWind App, PredictWind website or Offshore App, and you will see AIS data that we source from our partners.

AIS data in PredictWind can be used via five different platforms:

  1. AIS in the PredictWind Website & PredictWind App

  2. AIS in the Offshore App

  3. Over The Horizon AIS

  4. AIS Explorer App (AppStore/ PlayStore)

  5. AIS aggregator/DataHub

1. AIS in the PredictWind website & PredictWind App

You can view thousands of AIS vessels using the PredictWind App or the PredictWind Website on a PC/ Mac.

  • Free & Basic PredictWind subscriptions allow you to see AIS vessels collected from terrestrial (land-based) stations.

  • Standard and Professional subscriptions unlock satellite AIS and DataHub AIS vessels and allow you to save your favourite vessels.

  • From the main menu in the PredictWind App or website, scroll down to Tools > AIS Data.

2. AIS in the Offshore App

With a Professional-level PredictWind subscription, you can directly download a 300nm radius of AIS targets onto your Offshore App, both satellite and terrestrial AIS vessels. This allows you to overlay AIS on any route plan, giving you time and opportunity to change course if needed and see other boats around your area. This is important for safety, collision avoidance at sea and knowing who is close by in an emergency.

3. Over The Horizon AIS

With Over the Horizon AIS (OHA), you can now view AIS data, up to a range of 300 nautical miles directly on Chartplotters and Navigation Apps. If you are sailing at 10 kt using regular AIS and a container ship is sailing directly towards you at 25 kt, you only have 8.5 minutes to react and alter course. On the other hand, OHA would provide you with 8.5 hours of warning time. Incorporating OHA into your vessel is straightforward, requiring a DataHub, a Professional PredictWind Forecast Subscription, and an internet/ Starlink or Iridium connection in conjunction with your chartplotter, navigation App, and AIS transponder. NOTE: Some chart plotters cannot display the full 300nm AIS range. For example, Garmin cuts off at 75

4. AIS Explorer App (AppStore iPhone & iPad only)

The AIS Explorer App displays real-time positions of over 280,000 ships and yachts anywhere in the world. We source this AIS data through our partner SPIRE, a market leader in satellite AIS vessel position data. Now, you can literally see any vessel in the world transmitting its position via VHF on the AIS system. View highly congested commercial traffic routes and fishing fleets, or simply find your friend's boat transmitting its position via AIS.

AIS Explorer displays real-time positions and movements of ships and yachts anywhere in the world, using the most advanced satellite and terrestrial receivers. You can search vessels, save to favourites, see real-time satellite AIS, see real-time terrestrial AIS, see vital types, and see the last port of call.

Start with a three-month free trial. Download the app from the App Store today.

The free version allows you to view all AIS vessels, but if you want the full set of features, upgrade to AIS Explorer Pro. For US$99/3 months or US$249/ 12 months (App Store billing converts to your local currency), you can unlock search, filter, favourites, and satellite AIS data.

NOTE: If you have a PredictWind forecast subscription on the standard/ professional level, you get the AIS Explorer Pro features for free. Sign in to the App with your PredictWind forecast email and password to use the AIS Explorer App.

5. DataHub aggregator

If you have the DataHub and a transceiver, you can join our rapidly growing network of AIS aggregators using the DataHub. The DataHub can collect AIS data from all surrounding vessels and transmit this back to the PredictWind servers to improve the quality and safety of AIS data worldwide. The DataHub can transmit this AIS data to PredictWind using a communication device such as Starlink, Iridium GO or GO! Exec. But more importantly, any navigation device onboard can benefit from this AIS data, such as the Navionics, which shows all AIS vessels in real-time in your area.

Being a DataHub aggregator requires no subscription; our goal is to make the AIS system safer globally.

Note: Enabling this service may increase Internet usage and additional airtime fees. Airtime usage will increase by approximately 80 bytes times the number of targets in view divided by the sampling interval. If, for example, 10 AIS targets are in view and the default 110-second sampling is used, then the required bandwidth would approximately be 10*80/55 bytes/second or 0.01 kbps. For a month, this would equate to approximately 1MB. Bandwidth usage can be reduced further by increasing the sampling period.

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