Joint weather/AIS stations installed to help mariners

This weather station, located near Juneau, was the fourth station deployed by the AOOS/Marine Exchange partnership this fall.

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This weather station, located near Juneau, was the fourth station deployed by the AOOS/Marine Exchange partnership this fall.

AOOS is working in partnership with the Marine Exchange of Alaska (MXAX) to improve the dissemination of real time ocean conditions to mariners.

Presently most vessels operating in Alaska receive weather data over VHF radio which has limited coverage in Alaska and is not the most efficient or clear way to transmit data. MXAX has developed an extensive network of over 90 Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers to track vessels operating in Alaska to aid safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible maritime operations.

With funding support from AOOS, MXAK is developing and implementing the capabilities to disseminate real-time weather data, buoy data, and weather forecasts to vessels via AIS. By establishing joint WX/AIS stations at existing AIS locations, and installing new stations in remote areas, real-time weather information can be digitally displayed on vessels’ navigation displays for immediate use in navigation. Additionally, this will allow AIS stations to also serve as weather stations providing mariners more accurate weather information.

This summer and fall, new stations were installed at Portland Island, Homer, Mary Island and Marmion Island.  Soon real-time conditions from these stations will be viewable from the helm of AIS-equipped vessels to aid maritime safety and environmental protection by preventing marine casualties..

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