Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a global standard for ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore, and shore-to-ship communications and contributes to collision avoidance, search and rescue operations, and maritime domain awareness through vessel tracking.

AIS has been mandatory since the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). Satellite AIS (S-AIS) allows for enhanced coverage in remote areas, such as oceanic and Arctic regions and complements terrestrial AIS (T-AIS) coverage. Spire’s constellation of nanosatellites, for example, picks up AIS signals to increase visibility of vessels in remote areas of the world.