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This display utilises the AIS (Automatic Identification System) which ships use to
communicate their positions as part of the global maritime safety system.
From December 2004, all ships over 300 tons must carry an AIS system which broadcasts information about the ship to any suitably equipped receiver.
AIS uses very short bursts of high speed data on two VHF channels in the marine band. Ships broadcast their identity, position, course, speed and destination so that other ships can take account of their movements.