As an antenna host, Vesseltracker will provide you with:
- a free AIS receiving station
- a free Vesseltracker Coastal Account, with access to all data from our worldwide AIS antenna network and the ShipDB database of ship owners, managers and technical specifications
- local view to see your AIS antenna's local data in your browser
- full technical support from our antenna team to help you maintain your antenna
Antenna hosts must provide:
- a permanent location with clear line-of-sight to the local port/sea
- a reliable, 24/7 Internet connection
- initial antenna installation and occasional maintenance checks
You only need three things:
- A clear view to the local port or shipping lane
- A 24/7 Internet connection
- A local contact who can install the antenna and help with occasional maintenance checks
That’s all! We will provide the rest for free, including all equipment, shipping costs and technical support.
Yes! Please contact us and tell us exactly which equipment you are using, so we can determine the best way for you to send your data.
Our AIS receiver kit is small and simple, with only three components:
- VHF antenna – 1 m (3 ft) tall
- Coaxial cable
- Combined AIS receiver / Raspberry Pi – 8.5 x 6 x 4.5 cm (3.3 x 2.4 x 1.8 in)
The VHF/AIS antenna is robust and should be placed in a high position outside for maximum reception. The combined AIS receiver / Raspberry Pi is a more sensitive device and must be protected from the weather and extreme temperatures, ideally indoors.
No. The AIS receiver kit is entirely passive and only receives signals. It does not transmit.
Because the AIS receiver kit uses very little power and does not transmit any signals, interference is very rare.
Just to be safe, we recommend that you install your receiver at least 1 m (3 ft) away from other electronic equipment.
As high as possible! The higher you are, the clearer your line-of-sight and the further away you can detect AIS signals.
If you have a location on the side of a hill or mountain, you should have excellent reception. If not, you can still increase reception by placing your VHF antenna on a roof or mast.
In general, we expect our AIS receiving stations to detect all vessels within 45 km (25 nm), but an antenna with an elevated position on a mast, hill or mountain could have a range of 100 km (55 nm) or more!
Your reception can increase further based on the season and time of day. On the other hand, any obstacles that block your line-of-sight eg. hills, mountains, or tall buildings, will block AIS signals from reaching your receiving station and lower your range.
Yes! All we need is a reliable, 24/7 Internet connection on board to send your AIS data.
Approximately 7 Watts. Power consumption is very low because the station only receives signals and does not transmit.
Your exact Internet consumption will depend on how much AIS data you receive, but overall Internet consumption is quite low.
In most locations, 1-2 GB per month should be more than enough and only receivers in the world’s busiest ports (eg. Singapore, Rotterdam or Houston) will consume more than this.
No, a standard home internet connection is usually enough. It is much more important that you have a reliable connection that is connected 24/7, so we can track vessels at all hours of the day.
Yes! Mobile Internet is fast enough to transmit AIS data.
No. We will provide you with all the necessary equipment – all you need to do is connect it to the Internet.
That’s ok. Our AIS receiving station only needs outgoing port access and we can provide you and your IT team with the exact information you need to configure everything.
With only 3 components, installing your AIS receiving station is quite simple and we have created a 1-page guide to help you through the process –
Our antenna team is also available to support you in the installation and will answer any questions you might have!
Unfortunately no, because AIS reception can be compromised when the VHF radio is in use.
However, we are happy to provide you with a second VHF antenna for you to dedicate to your AIS receiving station, allowing you to receive AIS signals 24 hours a day.
Technical problems are rare, but every now and then, they do occur. In this case, our antenna team (11 members covering all major time zones) is ready to support the partner, providing step-by-step instructions and free replacement equipment if any of your components break.
Free AIS Receiver sign-up form
Please note that we cannot approve all partnership requests, because there are some locations where we already have excellent coverage and do not need to install additional antennas. However, if you think you have a good location for an antenna, please contact us and we will evaluate your position as soon as possible.