Open Source AIS Transponder

Automatic identification system (AIS) is an automatic tracking system used on ships.  Peter Antypas designed a low-power AIS transponder:

images1 Open Source AIS Transponder (Class B)

This is the first ever (that I’m aware of) attempt at creating an open source AIS transponder

Hardware:

On the hardware side, the design is based on two Silicon Labs 4463 transceiver ICs and an STM32F302CBT6 ARM Cortex M4 microcontroller. One of the SiLabs ICs acts as a transceiver, while the other IC works as a receiver only. In receiver mode, each IC tunes to a different channel. When a transmission is scheduled, the ICs swap channels if the transceiver is not listening on the next transmit channel. This configuration may be construed as a violation of the AIS specification, but it makes for a much simpler PCB layout and negates the need for a 3-position RF switch.

Software:

There are two programs that need to be installed on the flash. The bootloader and the main application.

petera650 has shared the boards on OSH Park:

RF side of AIS transponder

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Order from OSH Park

Logic / digital side of AIS transponder

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Order from OSH Park

Open Source AIS Transponder

2 thoughts on “Open Source AIS Transponder

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