Tuesday, November 1, 2011

AIS Antenna Selection & Installation Tips

Lately we have fielded various questions about antenna selection and installation for AIS so we thought it might be useful to post a blog on the subject as a quick reference.

AIS signals can be received on most standard marine antenna operating on VHF frequency 156 to 163 MHz.

A single VHF antenna can be used with the antenna being shared using a VHF/AIS Splitter with one tail going to the VHF radio and the other to the AIS device. An example of a VHF/AIS antenna splitter can be seen here.

The second option is to install a specially tuned AIS antenna as a standalone aerial dedicated to your AIS transponder or receiver.

Antenna Installation Tips:
  • Mount as high as possible, ideally 2-3m (6-10 ft) above the water
  • Don’t mount in radar beam
  • Should not be collocated with any other antenna
  • Ideal mounting separation between antenna is 3 m (9.85 ft)
  • It should be an omni directional marine band VHF antenna
  • Don’t mount in the shadow of structures, masts etc
  • When using an antenna splitter ensure it is an active AIS Splitter to protect the device that is not transmitting
For more general information on AIS technologies visit our "What is AIS" page here.


  1. AIS mean Automatic Identification System. It is mainly used in ships for electronically exchanging data between ships. IT is used for avoiding collisions in water transport. There are some points to be remembered while installing this AIS antenna. Thanks for your valuable information. As the height of the antenna increases more strong signals can be transferred/ obtained.

  2. Thanks for the great tips. Installing a standard AIS antenna has always been a hurdle for me. I was just searching about for some tips while I came across this blog.