FIX-I.T. Marine: Lighthouse Ocean 1 score 99.8% availability on Marine Traffic.

special-project1In Decembre 2010, our Wicklow based Marine surveillance station has reached 99.8% avaialbility (2154 hours online / 2158 total hours).


Fix I.T. Marine IT Surveillance Project, aims to provide a better picture of marine traffic in/around Ireland. This station was launched on April 2006 in Cork (call sign OCEAN Alpha), was then rebuilt on Linux using a recycled receiver, an IBM T30 running CentOS Linux with AIS Dispatcher. The station was relocated in July 2011 to Wicklow at the entrance to the Irish Sea. This AIS Station is entirely built with recycled IT spare parts. If you are interested in Marine IT for any commercial or private purpose, please call +353 21 4849102. 

The system is based on AIS (Automatic Identification System). As from December 2004, the International Maritime ais-coverOrganization (IMO) requires all vessels over 299GT to carry an AIS transponder on board, which transmits their position, speed and course, among some other static information, such as vessel’s name, dimensions and voyage details. 


The most spectacular aspect of our setup is the area covered with recycled IT spare parts, today at the time writing this article: 6273 square kilometers. The average reception distance is 28.97 Nautical Miles but we have recorded positions at 55.88 NM. Our station has monitored up to 29 vessels simultaneously, computing up to 396 positions at a time.


AIS is initially intended to help ships avoid collisions, as well as assisting port authorities to better control sea traffic. AIS transponders on board vessels include a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver, which collects position and movement details. It includes also a VHF transmitter, which transmits periodically this information on two VHF channels (frequencies 161.975 MHz and 162.025 MHz – old VHF channels 87 & 88) and make this data available to the public domain. Other vessels or base stations are able to receive this information, process it using special software and display vessels locations on a chart plotter or on a computer.