For cases in which all vessels are operating in the vicinity of the Seismic Vessel, a radio frequency telemetry link is most effective as it is free of charge to operate, and updates much more quickly than a satellite link. Meridian VMS is fully integrated with the AIS Radio Transponder technology. Under IMO regulations, AIS technology is required on all vessels over 300 tons. Some Scout Vessels are included in this class of ships and are therefore already outfitted with the AIS Transponder. In other cases, or when smaller local vessels are contracted to provide additional support, Meridian provides a proven AIS transponder which can be installed on any ship. The equipment is portable and may be installed on any size vessel.
The AIS Transponder is interfaced with the navigation display which is available to the Scouting Surveyor or Coordinator. This provides an unambiguous display of all the vessels in the work area, while clearly identifying which vessels are parts of the support fleet. The navigation application is installed on a dedicated laptop computer so that a complete record of ALL vessels whose AIS data signals have been observed during the survey is archived for future reference. The AIS Transponder is typically installed on all secondary support vessels which do not have an AIS as part of the ship’s normal equipment.