AIS Radar Application

What is AIS?

All shipping over a certain tonnage is required by maritime law to broadcast, on a fixed VHF frequency, their location, unique ID (MMSI), name and certain other data. Leisure marine craft may optionally broadcast thieir position and a subset of the "big ship" data.  Fixed safety installations such as lighthouses and marker buoys may also transmit their locations to aid navigation. The other notable class of AIS transmitters are emergency (SAR) beacons.  Typical range of these transmitters is 30-50miles. Any one who has a receiver for this frequency can track and plot with a high degree of accuracy, the marine traffic around them. This application creates a circular plot on a computer screen with the received traffic data identified on it. Analysis of repeated data allows targets to be plotted to show their track (speed and direction) as well as current position.

Needs:            Nasa Marine AIS engine (see

PC/laptop with serial port or serial-to-USB adaptor

GPS device (serial output, either via USB or bluetooth)


Available:  from as a CD

Runs on:      Windows XP to Windows 10

Support status:   VFP6 platform is obsolete, so support is limited

Support: If you purchase this application from Nasa Marine but need it as a download, contact me.