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Boat floating in front of a marina



A Glossary of terms used throughout this web site.


Automatic Identification System. Introduced by the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”) in the year 2000 as a safety system to help ships avoid colliding with each other. 

Vessels transmit VHF signals into the public domain that include vessel position, speed and course, together with some static information, such as vessel’s name, dimensions and voyage details.

The transmitted AIS signals can be picked up by other vessels and shore based organisations using AIS receivers.


AIS Monitor

Collects, decodes and analyses AIS data from AIS receivers.


AIS Receiver

Normally a reference to an item of hardware that can pick up AIS VHF signals and translate them into coded NMEA data sentences.

Often a reference to a collection of hardware items that make up an AIS kit. As follows:

  • AIS receiver
  • AIS antenna
  • Ethernet converter
  • Cables to connect the items above


AIS Transponder

An item of hardware capable of both transmitting AIS signals and behaving as an AIS receiver. 


Asset Monitor

AssetMonitor is a web-based service that helps to protect subsea and ocean surface based assets from vessel damage. It operates and is supported on a 24/7 basis.  AssetMonitor uses AIS (“Automatic Identification System”) transmissions to identify and position vessels around the world. 

It collects NMEA data, decodes the data and analyses vessel movements within the data.

If any vessel enters an AssetMonitor protection zone and the analysis shows that the vessel is behaving in a potentially damaging way, AssetMonitor generates a visual and audible alarm and sends an email and SMS alert.



Now renamed Airbus Space and Defence, Astrium was the organisation under which the team from UltraMAP and AssetMonitor existed prior to 2013.


Email and SMS Alerts

When a vessel breaks a rule within an AssetMonitor protection zone, AssetMonitor generates an alert which it sends to all related parties using automated email and mobile SMS text.


Imass and Infoterra

Previous names of Astrium



NMEA is an acronym for the National Marine Electronics Association. The association was formed to create better communications between electronics dealers and manufacturer.

NMEA has now become a standard data format supported by all GPS manufacturers 

The purpose of NMEA is to give equipment users the ability to mix and match hardware and software.


Satellite AIS

A number of satellites orbit the earth that carry AIS receivers. The data they collect is referred to as Satellite AIS.

Data is collected from any vessel within the range of the obits of the satellites and is transmitted back to earth via base stations.


Submarine cable

A generic term for a cable that is installed below the surface of the water. The term is used to refer to:

  • Communication cables that carry data between land masses
  • Power cables carrying electricity between land masses.


Subsea cable

Refer to Submarine cable



The organisation that created, maintains and owns AssetMonitor and manages the running of AssetMonitor and its support desk on a 24/7 basis.


Undersea cable

Refer to Submarine cable


Underwater cable

Refer to Submarine cable


Vessel tracking

Analysing the AIS data to determine vessel movements and create a visual representation of their movements or tracks on a mapping background



A service that exists purely as an internet service accessible via browsers.

AssetMonitor is a web-based service available on a 24/7 basis.



24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year.


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