Monitor vessel motion and situation in real-time with AISWatch telematics

Do you provide support services to rigs and wind-farms and the operations co-ordinators back at base need to know whether the conditions on the support ships are within the safety parameters for personnel and equipment transfer?

Do you run a cruise line and need to know if your passengers are having a bad experience with the ship rolling too much or if the ship is running into serious waves and pitching fiercely?

Do you wish you could see the view right now from the Ship’s bridge deck  back at the operations centre? Would you like to share the glorious views from a cruise ship’s bridge deck on the web with current passengers and potential customers?

Do you want to know where your ship is and what other vessels are nearby in real-time anywhere in the world?

Would you like to remotely monitor equipment, environment and engines on the ship?

Do you think it will be too expensive?

You can now do all this right now with AISWatch’s support for remote camera and sensor monitoring at a fraction of the cost of existing marine telemetry and marine fleet monitoring solutions. Our AISWatch telemetry unit can provide remote live AIS data, 6 degree motion measurements ( roll , pitch, turn, heave, surge and sway), Atmospheric Pressure, Temperature, Gas monitoring (CO, NO2,H2, NH3) and much more directly back to anywhere in the world. The data can be viewed in the AISWatch Ship Data web page and we can also provide api’s for the data to other applications via CSV, JSON etc.

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Here is the AISWatch data page for our PM Test ship with motion sensors, camera and AIS monitoring on board.

The photo is the last snapshot photo taken. You can take a snapshot directly from the link on the web page.  The camera can also be mounted outside of the telemetry box. The motion data on the right is updated every minute and you can see the ship’s current position and the ships around it by following the “View current position” link.

 

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Here’s an example of the roll measurements and analysis for significant roll angle and period

 

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Real-time roll angle measurement

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Fast Fourier analysis to identify significant frequency/period and size of roll

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Please contact us for more information

business@pocketmariner.com or telephone +44 1291 689202

IMU and Sensor specifications

3-axis Gyro PS-ITG-3200

3-axis Accelerometer ADXL345-EP

Barometer and Humidity sensor bmp280

Camera logitech920

FLIR ONE Marine Navigation with Boat Beacon and Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality with FLIR ONE

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 17.00.31Pocket Mariner recently collaborated with Practical Boat Owner to successfully complete a demanding night time sea trial of our popular Boat Beacon  app with the  FLIR ONE Thermal Imager for iOS; a new, low cost , infra-red thermal imaging camera for the iPhone.  The FLIR ONE  makes thermal imaging affordable and accessible to a much wider audience at a fraction of the cost of the higher end marine IR imaging devices. Pocket Mariner have ingeniously integrated the live thermal image with their widely acclaimed Boat Beacon Augmented Reality mode providing identification, distance and bearing of the ships and Aids To Navigation in view at night and in fog.  We wanted to see how well and how far off we could spot ships via their infra-red signature and if the FLIR ONE could help with searching for a Man Overboard (MOB).

Practical Boat Owner, the UK’s leading boating magazine, bravely deployed their editors, David Pugh and Ben Meakin, together with Ben’s Impala 28 yacht , “Polly” and intrepid “Woman Overboard” volunteer, Laura, along with Pocket Mariner’s CEO, Steve, on a pitch black night in Southampton water.

Here’s what we saw.

This is a screenshot from Boat Beacon’s live AIS map view showing our position in “Polly” (grey boat with red vector heading 172º) with the “Morning Calm” cargo ship on her way out of Southampton approaching on our starboard quarter about 1NM away

MORNING_CALM_BB_FLIR_IOS

Here’s the view at the same time through Boat Beacon’s Augmented Reality view with FLIR ONE camera support – as clear as daylight even though it was night time. We could still spot large ships with the FLIR ONE over 2.5NM away.

MORNING_CALM_BB_AR_FLIR_IOS

 

The Viking Constanza’s funnel clearly stood out when she passed us a little later:-

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Here’s what the Viking Constanza looks like in daylight for comparison (photo courtesey of Machi )Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 14.27.42

 

and somewhat ironically the Red Funnel ferry passed by , she really does have a Red Funnel 🙂

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Later, Laura, our volunteer “MOB”, dropped over the side to test the MOB capabilities of Boat Beacon and the FLIR ONE. It was pitch black.

flironeios

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We drifted away.  We couldn’t see a thing with the naked eye,

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but we could still make out the MOB 30m away with the FLIR ONE!

 

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Just to be safe we were tracking her on Boat Beacon’s MOB display too.

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We and the PBO crew were suitably impressed.  The FLIR ONE worked brilliantly in the dark and it should help in fog and misty conditions too. It also works in daylight. FLIR ONE support is now included as standard in Boat Beacon’s AR mode including zoom and you can get the FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging Camera for iOS Devices from Amazon here now:-

Amazon UK                                Amazon US
              

 

And Boat Beacon for iOS is available here:-

https://itunes.apple.com/app/boat-beacon-ais-marine-navigation/id494877039

 

Instructions for using AR mode in Boat Beacon

To turn AR mode on in Boat Beacon Tap the “eye” icon at the top left, then tilt your device up to see a live camera of the scene ships and AIS aids to Navigation (AToNs) around you. As you turn round and view ships, their name, range and bearing will pop-up when they are in the center of the view and a yellow line will show your course if you have Sailing on. You can also tap on the ships to get more information. Tilt back down or tap the eye icon again to see the map view. Tapping the “eye” icon again turns AR mode off. You can pinch to zoom both the map and camera views. To use IR camera mode just attach the FLIR ONE camera to your iPhone or iPad and switch it on. There is a toggle setting on the view to switch between IR colour mode (white/yellow hot through red warm to blue cold) , and IR Hottest mode where only the hottest areas are coloured red and the rest is grey scale (with white hottest and black coldest).

In AR mode our unique “AR Lock On” feature lets you select a ship on the map view and then easily locate it in the Camera view using a grey arrow to tell you which way to turn to spot it when its not directly in view.

Your course over ground (yellow line) will also be visible overlayed on the camera view.

The horizon is set by the zoom scale of the chart view – e.g. zoom out on the chart view to see further out in the Augmented reality view.

You can try out the AR feature in demo mode. In demo mode a simulated seascape background is shown with the real AIS ship positions around you overlayed. In real use this is replaced with the live camera view or FLIR ONE view if it is attached.

SailTimer Wind Instrument, SeaNav and Pebble SmartWatch

Some of SailTimer’s customers asked them if their bluetooth WindInstrument would work with Pocket Mariner’s  SeaNav Marine Navigation app and if the wind information could also be displayed on our free SeaNav Pebble watch companion app. So SailTimer asked us.
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The SailTimer WindInstrument is completely wireless, no power of data lines, so the install is far simpler than for other marine wind vanes.  It is the first masthead anemometer  with a digital compass built into the wind direction arrow so you get true wind direction even when docked or at anchor. It sends the wind data via bluetooth and is solar powered with 24 hour running. The WindInstrument if fully weather and waterproof (submersible) and has innovative wind cup blades design to maintain equal accuracy when sailing heeled over.
Other key advantages over other instruments are:-
  • Wind direction equally sensitive all the way around;  no dead band at the end of the rotation as in wind direction sensors with potentiometers
  • The only masthead anemometer that works with rotating masts.
  • Battery uses advanced design for unusually wide temperature range from tropical heat down to -40 degrees (C/F).
  • Designed to work with third-party apps and hardware using the industry-standard NMEA 0183 format.
  • Transmits every second.
  • The first-ever masthead anemometer with crowd-sourcing of live wind maps.

We were impressed, so asked them to send us one of their WindInstruments to develop and test with. We added Wind Speed and Direction Gauges to the main SeaNav app and made sure the wind data is shared with the SeaNav Pebble Smartwatch too. Here’s what you can expect:- In SeaNav tap the top right IPC (Instrument Panel Cluster) button on the chart view to see the gauges and GPS status. IMG_0622ipctap

windinstruments
The Speed gauge on the left shows Apparent Wind Speed (AWS) in Knots and the outer dial shows Beaufort scale color coded with green being great sailing conditions and red being heave to and batten down the hatches.
Digital readouts of Speed over ground (SOG), Course over ground (COG), AWS, True Wind Speed (TWS),  Apparent Wind  Angle (AWA), True  wind angle (TWA), Apparent Wind Direction (AWD) and True Wind Direction (TWD)  are given. The GPS light is green when it has a good GPS signal and red when it doesn’t. Tap the GPS indicator to get more information.
The Wind direction gauge on the right shows Apparent Wind Direction (AWD) with the big Red needle against the outer red compass dial. Boat heading is shown against the red compass assuming the iPhone/iPad is pointing towards the bow. The Apparent Wind Angle is then read off the white inner dial.  True Wind Direction (TWD) is computed from  the iPhone’s GPS COG and SOG with the blue marker and red, port and green, starboard layline markers (assuming 45 degree best angle of attack ) against the red outer compass dial.   True wind angle (TWA) with the blue maker against the inner white dial, again assuming iPhone heading is correct. The dials also work in portrait mode.
This also works with the free  Pebble Watch  SeaNav app showing AWS/AWA and TWS/TWA and will also drive the watch even when SeaNav is in the background so long as SeaNav is in sailing mode (sailboat icon bottom left on map/chart screen).
awwind
You can get the SailTimer WindInstrument here :-
and SeaNav for iPhone and iPad here:-

ShipPlotter AIS sharing to Boat Beacon and Pocket Mariner

Its very easy to set up using the UDP/IP peer to peer sharing feature in ShipPlotter’s I/O settings. See screenshots below. Select enable in the UDP/IP peer-to-peer output, enter the IP address 54.204.25.151 and Remote Port number 5322 (see area circled in red).

ShipPlotterBoatBeacon

Click OK when finished. You will return to the main program window. Click on the “Start” button and you should then see your data on this web page:-

N.B. If you would like your own dedicated UDP port number and web view to share to please email us at support@pocketmariner.com

Dual Channel VHF AIS receiver for under $35 – Boat Beacon, AIS Share and RTL-SDR

Screenshot_2016-03-03-09-53-17 (1)

Got an Android phone? Want Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 12.32.24a dual channel VHF AIS receiver for under $35? Now there is one thanks to our Boat Beacon app and the Android AIS Share app from ebcTech! All you need is  an RTL-SDR USB dongle,  an android OTG cable , the AIS Share app and our Boat Beacon app and you can see all the ships out to 30NM away (depending on height above sea level). No need for an internet connection, this is a  truly standalone full featured AIS receiver and with Boat Beacon’s new NOAA US Marine charts you have an AIS chart display with Collision detection and alarms too. It takes just a couple of minutes to set it up the first time and then after that it works out of the box. Here is what you need:-

The RTL-SDR USB stick is a software programmable radio receiver and because of its popularity for use in picking up TV and fm radio broadcasts it is incredibly cheap. As low as $10.  It is so powerful it can pick up and demodulate both AIS VHF frequencies at the same time. The one we recommend is the RTL-SDR.COM stick which is around $25  and has several major improvements over generic brands including use of the R820T2 tuner, improved component tolerances, a 1 PPM temperature compensated oscillator (TCXO), SMA F connector, aluminium shielded case with thermal pad for passive cooling and a telescopic aerial that you can extend to the correct length for AIS reception – 44.4 cm.

Next you need an Android OTG cable that lets you attach the RTL-SDR USB dongle to your Android device. They are typically less than $4 and we recommend the Y shapeScreen Shot 2016-03-04 at 12.36.44d ones which allow you to keep your device charging at the same time as using the RTL-SDR dongle.

Make sure you have our Boat Beacon downloaded and installed . Next download and install the AIS Share app from the Play Store. Set up of AIS Share is pretty straight forward  (setup video for those who like watching youtube here ):-

Installation / First start

Install the driver app from Google PlayTM store.
Get it on Google Play

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.ebctech.rtl_sdr_ais_driver
Start it one time. After that you can close the app ( RTL SDR AIS Driver )

Install AIS Share
Get it on Google Play

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.ebctech.ais_share

Start the AIS Share app go to the setting activity

AisShare Dongle Settings

Set the PPM setting
This is really important. For the RTL-SDR.COM USB stick that we recommend this will always be 0 as it comes with a stable pre-tuned oscillator. Google it
Set up the UDP Share

Start the driver with the pink floating action button.(please do not start / stop too fast , if you have clicked one time .. wait a second )
AisShare start

Then check if you are receiving messages.

Finally, launch Boat Beacon, go to settings, scroll down to Local AIS, select UDP, then tap on Local AIS Port and enter 10111. AIS Share will continue to run in the background as long as the USB dongle is attached. Watch the ships sail by 🙂

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There is also a short video showing the two apps in action together made by  ebcTech here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p68y68Lqqgg&feature=youtu.be

Independent trials of the Pocket Mariner AIS Dual channel receiver.

With the help of a ShipPlotter user in Finland we have been able to run side by side tests of our Pocket Mariner Dual Channel AIS receiver with a mainstream commercial brand AIS receiver costing over 3 times the price. We are very pleased with the results, with the Pocket Mariner Dual Channel AIS receiver achieving almost exactly the same coverage/range/data rate of the well known commercial brand. Here are some stats comparing our Pocket Mariner AIS receiver on port 7018 (blue) and the other on port 5378 (red ) and screenshots at the same time of the coverage from the same aerial in Helsinki.

Rate of data received (bits/s)

Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 10.58.10

We also found that the coverage/range for both the commercial AIS receiver and ours was significantly improved using a relatively in-expensive AIS frequency (162MHz) tuned filter and pre-amp on the aerial feed. We used and would recommend the VHF Pre-amp from Spectrum Communications (formerly known as the Garex pre-amp). They start at around £15 for the pcb built one and around £50 for a boxed version. The ship ranges in the screenshots below is approximately 150km (100Miles).  The tropospheric conditions were good.

7018 Pocket Mariner Dual Channel AIS Receiver coverage snapshot

 

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5378 Commercial AIS Receiver coverage snapshot

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N.B. The buoys at the top of the screen (North) are over 350km away and most likely Synthetic Aids To Navigation being broadcast by a shore based station nearer our aerial.

If you are interested in having a Pocket Mariner Dual Channel AIS receiver please get in touch with us at . support@pocketmariner.com

 

AIS Coverage

Our ship tracking network uses a global network of shore and ship-based radio stations, which receive signals from the AIS system that ships use to broadcast their positions as they travel. Our receiver stations share the ship positions with our cloud-based data server, which pushes them onwards and out to our apps and web services.

We are continuously working on increasing the coverage of our real-time AIS receiver station network. During the last two months we have added more than 50 new AIS stations across 5 continents bringing our live ship coverage to over 35,000 ships. We have supplied the AIS receiver for free for many of these sites and are now deploying our own Dual Channel AIS receiver which we have successfully had independently tested and proved alongside other manufacturers AIS receivers at a test facility in Finland.

Here is a  list of the most recent stations we have set up  and a snapshot of our global coverage on 14th May, 2015.

New volunteers are always welcome to join our AIS Network.

Africa

Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Asia

Chiba City, Japan
Singapore
Indonesia

Europe

Helsinki, Finland
Turku, Finland
Maasbracht, Netherlands
Ijsselmeer, Nethrlands
Ust-Luga, Russia
St Petersburgh, Russia
Edinburgh, Scotland
Over 30 new stations in and around Sweden.
Scilly Isles, UK
Isle of Man, UK
Lowestoft, UK

America

Prescott, Canada (St Lawrence Seaway).
Miami, Florida, US (2 new stations)
Antioch, CA.
Stockton,CA
St Bartholomew (Caribbean)
Dominian Republic.
Buenaventura, Colombia.

 

If you are interested in adding coverage for your area, please read our Cover Your Area information – we can often provide the equipment free of charge.

Nautical Apps for Apple Watch

Sailors and boating enthusiasts now have nautical apps on Apple Watch

Wales, UK – Pocket Mariner has launched Apple Watch versions of its popular nautical apps, Boat Beacon, SeaNav and Boat Watch. These apps put powerful real-time navigation and boat tracking maps on the wrists of sailors and boating enthusiasts. With the Apple Watch being splash-proof and water-resistant, it makes a great companion device for boaters when combined with the new apps by Pocket Mariner.

“Fast access to key information and tools has been our philosophy when designing the new Apple Watch versions of our nautical apps,” said Steve Bennett CEO of Pocket Mariner. “Our goal is for boaters and boating enthusiasts to be able to quickly access information directly on the watch without fumbling for their phones.”

Boat Beacon

Boat Beacon is an app that allows sailors to monitor other boat positions, receive alerts for potential collisions and share their own position via internet AIS.

Boat Beacon for Apple Watch adds a wrist view of the user’s boat position, collision alerts and a handy set of navigation and boating tools. Boat Beacon on Apple Watch has five top-level screens: A Map screen, showing the user’s boat position and those of nearby boats; a Navigation screen showing speed and course, and which offers an emergency “Man Over Board” button; a Race Timer screen; a Compass screen; and a final screen which operates as a useful mini-flashlight, with day and night modes.

SeaNav

SeaNav is Pocket Mariner’s popular marine navigation and charting app. The new Apple Watch screens in SeaNav include waypoint navigation tools, compass, AIS and collision avoidance and a race timer.

SeaNav uses the latest Digital Vector charts, providing a wealth of benefits and advantages over raster charts. The app provides details, distance and bearings of buoys, lights, bridges, depth contours, depth soundings, rocks, anchorage areas, and NOAA weather buoys. Other useful information available in SeaNav includes tides, moon and sun times and weather.

When at sea, SeaNav provides features for navigating the course. The app alerts sailors when they’ve reached each waypoint, plus provides auto-routing to the next waypoint. SeaNav also keeps sailors safe at sea by providing collision alerts.

Boat Watch

Boat Watch, a leading “ship tracking” app, allows users to follow movements of ships and vessels anywhere in the world. The app has grown increasingly popular with people visiting coastal or river ports, who have friends or family at sea, or who rely on catching a ferry or boat as part of their daily routine. Boat Watch has been enhanced with an Apple Watch map display showing boat movements in real-time.

On the Apple Watch, Boat Watch will display a list of boats they are following, and users can tap for details on the boats with a full color photograph. The map region matches the parallel maps in the Boat Watch iOS app, so that users can follow boats either locally or anywhere of interest around the world. Users can also follow a list of favorite boats, and check on their watch where they are.

Having access to this information instantly on their wrist will make it very easy and convenient for a user to see if their ferry is on schedule or where a loved one’s cruise ship currently is. Users have the option to receive alerts on their watch when their tracked boat arrives or departs port.

All of Pocket Mariner’s nautical apps with free Apple Watch support are available now for download on the App Store.

For more information, visit PocketMariner.com.

 

Row around Singapore Island (RASI), Mission to Seafarers and Boat Beacon AIS tracking

Pocket Mariner are very pleased to be sponsoring the  Row around Singapore Island  in aid of the Mission to Seafarers .

A group of 40 enthusiasts from the maritime and insurance community in Singapore have come together, to undertake a 24 hour endurance sea challenge, all in aid of the global maritime welfare charity, The Mission to Seafarers.

Mission Row Around Singapore Island (RASI), will see two teams in ocean-going rowing boats attempt the 140km journey, taking on the seas and shipping lanes (not to mention two live military firing ranges) to complete a non-stop circumnavigation of the island of Singapore. The event itself will be held during the 50th anniversary year of Singapore’s independence and will also coincide with Singapore Maritime Week on the 22nd / 23rd April, 2015.

Pocket Mariner have provided their Boat Beacon app to both teams so they can share their position and speed during the event and everyone will be able to follow their progress on our live group tracking web view service.

http://boatbeaconapp.com/portwatch/missionrasi.html. If you would like to add the view to your own web page you can use the following iFrame:-

<iframe src=”http://boatbeaconapp.com/portwatch/groupwatch.php?group=MISSIONRASI&drawtools=1&embed=1&groupgetotherships=0″></iframe>

 

If you are organising an event or a race and are interested in having live tracking available please contact us :- support@pocketmariner.com

Watermark Round Britain Voyage Summer 2015 and Boat Beacon AIS

Watermark is a Beneteau First 33.7 Cruiser/ Racer  currently on a round Britain voyage.  She is using Boat Beacon to share her position over internet AIS with friends and family on Boat Watch and our new live iframe “embed” web page that lets you add a map showing your boat’s location to other web pages (e.g. a blog). Use the following as a template, you can set the width and height to fit your page

“<iframe style=”border:none;height:600px;width:1800px;” src=”http://boatbeaconapp.com/see/MMSI?embed=1″></iframe>”

Where MMSI is your boat’s MMSI number (as set in Boat Beacon). If you don’t have an MMSI, we can provide you with an internet AIS one, or you can use your Boat Beacon identity instead starting with BB (see the bottom of My Boat Details in Boat Beacon to find your Boat Beacon id). If you don’t have  blog or web site you can also give out a web link to your web page on our site – e.g. http://boatbeaconapp.com/see/MMSI

We wish Malcolm and Watermark a safe and very enjoyable circumnavigation and look forward to following their progress. Here is his current postion :-