Maritime securityNorthrop Grumman delivers Nationwide AIS to Coast Guard

Published 25 July 2012

Northrop Grumman has delivered its Nationwide Automatic Identification System (AIS) to the Coast Guard; the system provides a more comprehensive view of vessels bound for and navigating within U.S. ports and waterways

Northrop Grumman Corporation said it has completed core capability development of the Nationwide Automatic Identification System (AIS) and delivered it to the U.S. Coast Guard to begin formal government testing prior to deployment.

The company says that Nationwide AIS will provide a more comprehensive view of vessels bound for and navigating within U.S. ports and waterways to improve efficiency, safety, and security. Northrop Grumman developed the necessary shore-side communications, network, and processing capability to ensure the effective exchange of AIS information.

The Coast Guard’s goals for enhancing maritime domain awareness include the ability to detect and classify potential threats as early and distant from U.S. interests as possible,” said Pat Camacho, vice president of integrated command, control, communications and intelligence systems for Northrop Grumman Information Systems. “By monitoring the virtual network created by AIS-equipped vessels, Nationwide AIS will help decision-makers to better respond to safety and security risks.”

Prior to the delivery to the Coast Guard, the Nationwide AIS developmental test and evaluation process incorporated test environments and scenarios to meet reliability, maintainability and availability requirements at physical and logical shore installations. Additional tests were performed with a test environment onboard a test vessel traveling various courses and speeds within inland waterways and offshore out to fifty nautical miles.

The company notes that Nationwide AIS will field a network infrastructure that collects, stores, processes, and disseminates AIS data. It is a two-way maritime digital communication system that queries incoming vessels to check vessel identity, position, speed, course, destination, and manifest and cargo data. The information will be combined with other government intelligence and surveillance data and shared with authorized government operators to enhance maritime situational awareness. Nationwide AIS will also increase the safety of vessels and ports through collision avoidance and strengthen national security through the detection, identification, and classification of potential threats while they are still offshore. The system will also improve search and rescue efforts and environmental protection.

Northrop Grumman says it was selected for Nationwide AIS in December 2008 with an award of $12 million after a full and open competition.