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Marine Traffic Control System

Date: 7/3/2012 12:00:00 AM

Project Introduction:
Maritime transport is vital to every economy and the global economy is also driving its long-term demand. However, collision and grounding are major causes of ship damage, environmental pollution and lost lives. As a result, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), which automatically provide information about the ship to other ships and coastal authorities, are an invaluable tool. By using this system and its receivers to track the progress of other ships it effectively minimizes the risk of collision. However, AIS receivers only have a single serial port to connect to other equipment making it unable to share the data via the Internet due to the lack of a network interface. With this in mind, Advantech’s serial-to-Ethernet module is an important device for connecting both sides and isable to simultaneously transmit real-time data to service providers to improve a ships safety and ease its navigation.

System Requirements:
Through VHF transmission, the AIS receiver provides tracking and location information for vessels at sea and will be installed at specific locations, such as crowded ports, high traffic shipping lanes, canals and points at high altitude. When connected to a computer with a serial cable, data from the AIS receiver, such as navigation charts shows the position and direction of different ships in a specific area and displays it on a monitor. In order to fully utilize this information, our client needed a reliable module to connect an AIS receiver and a Marine Traffic Control System, developed by an Advantech’s System Integrator, to the Internet via a serial port. The module was also required to offer multi-drop functions where the same data is transmitted to different places at the same time because there are thousands of AIS receiving stations and many service providers around the world.

Project Implementation:
Advantech’s industrial grade EKI-1521 is a serial device server designed to connect RS-232/422/485 serial devices to an IP-based Ethernet network. When the EKI-1521 receives the incoming serial data from the AIS receiver, this module can send the data to the service providers using the UDP or TCP protocol, and then the information can be forwarded to the clients. The EKI-1521 supports multi-access features which allows the same serial AIS data stream to be distributed via UDP or TCP to up 16 different hosts or service providers. An EKI-1521 is also able to have its firmware quickly updatedvia its easy-use software utility.

Product  Description

EKI-1521 1-port RS-232/422/485 Serial Device Server

 System Diagram:

 
Photo Source: RIS portal ris.eu

Benefits:
Advantech’s EKI-1521 is designed to network-enable any RS-232/422/485 serial device and provides industrial grade hardware and easy-to-use software to make connecting serial devices to an Ethernet network a surprisingly simple process. It also eliminates the distance limitation making the data collection from these serial devices easier and more effectively. In this instance, our customer was very satisfied with this module’s performance and its stable communication. Meanwhile, due to the multi-drop function, the EKI enables this maritime application to provide broader business potential. As an example, an AIS Station in the city of Lübeck uses an EKI-1521 to transfer its real time ship data to the service provider Marinetraffic which processes it for live internet visualization: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=9&centerx=10.65746&centery=53.87203&station=583