Setting up an AIS-receiving station can be a rather simple procedure which does not require exquisite equipment or advanced computer knowledge (provided that you partner up with MarineTraffic). Practically, anyone can set-up and operate a receiving station! The only prerequisites are constant power supply and a stable internet connection.
The main components needed are an AIS receiver and a VHF antenna. The VHF antenna picks up incoming AIS information and the AIS receiver is able to process this information and send it (via the internet) to a central database where it is stored and further processed so that the information can be utilised. For example, MarineTraffic collects information from various receiving stations in its database and is able to make use of it on the Live Map or on other pages of its website.
In short, modern AIS receivers are, more or less, plug-n-play devices which facilitate the creation of an AIS station - even without the existence of a computer!
However, you are able to use a PC - equipped with relevant software - to process incoming AIS-data on your own or, if you are a radio enthusiast, you can use an existing VHF antenna with an Active Antenna Splitter (156.025 - 162.025 MHz) to also operate a VHF station at the same time!
If you are interested in contributing to the MarineTraffic network of receiving stations, you can find more information by visiting our "Cover Your Area" section or contact us. We may be, even, able to provide applicants with a MarineTraffic-optimised AIS receiver! Apply for a free receiver and we will get back to you shortly after having reviewed your application!
Upon activation of your new station you will be able to keep track of your station's details and statistics (through your Station Details page) while other users will be able to find your station using the relevant search pages!