Saab has announced the commercial availability of its fifth-generation R5 family of AIS products, which are the first to incorporate software-defined radio (SDR) transceivers together with newly developed high-speed analogue-to-digital converters in a type approved Class A system.
Saab says that this should improve receiver sensitivity, stability and signal processing compared to the company's previous R4 platform.
The R5 products also feature improved capabilities for expansion and integration with other navigation technologies, with support for redundant/multiple Control and Display Units (CDUs), USB keyboards and flash drives.
Sensor information available to R5 transponders can be relayed on the Ethernet interface, and additional CDUs can be used to display and monitor any sensor data available on the network.
“The SDR technology in the R5 products provides unlimited flexibility in adding new radio channels with software upgrades in the future,” said Stefan Karlsson, vice president sales and marketing, Saab TransponderTech.
“In addition to VHF ship-to-ship and shore-to-ship AIS messages, the R5 could also process other signals and future additional AIS messages and e-navigation radio channels.”
Two different products will be available under the R5 banner, with a single-box R5 SOLID AIS aimed primarily for the coastal fishing market and inland waterways, and an R5 SUPREME AIS for the top end of the market, a two-unit system with a separate CDU and transponder.
The shipborne AIS transponder is flexible in how it can be connected to a ship’s integrated bridge system, with the new R5 GPS and DGPS navigation systems type approved for carriage by SOLAS-class ships.
“The new navigation systems feature additional R5 CDUs for redundant or slave navigation display configuration using Ethernet,” added Mr Karlsson.
“One common control and display unit for all AIS and navigation systems simplifies operations, and the redundancy provides a larger measure of safety.”
Thrane & Thrane meanwhile has expanded its VHF radio portfolio with the launch of the new SAILOR 6217 VHF DSC Class D AIS Receiver, offering parallel dual channel VHF receive functionality.
Building on the SAILOR 6215 VHF DSC Class D, the SAILOR 6217 VHF DSC Class D AIS Receiver integrates a two channel parallel AIS Receiver, which enables it to perform a constant watch of both AIS channels, rather than switching between them.
Thrane says that this provides greater safety as users get a seamlessly updated view of AIS equipped vessels in the surrounding area at all times.
The SAILOR 6217 VHF DSC Class D AIS Receiver can be connected to any NMEA 0183 chart plotter, so all signals can be viewed and plotted on a vessel’s existing equipment.
The system is waterproof to IPx8, offers a SAILOR Replay functionality whereby the user can listen to the previous 90 seconds of messages, and allows for up to two additional handsets/control speaker microphones to be connected.
“We’re delighted to offer dual channel AIS receive with integration to NMEA chart plotters in our portfolio of professional VHF radios,” said Casper Jensen, VP maritime business unit, Thrane & Thrane.
“Our dedicated customer base see SAILOR radios as more than up to the job, with excellent reliability and an incredibly long life.”