The Class A AIS transceiver was designed for large ocean going vessels on international voyages. In 2002 the IMO passed a mandate that these vessels needed Class A units installed to aid safety and identification.
Class A devices are designed for large commercial vessels traveling on international voyages. they offer many features and benefits to larger vessels including:
- 12.5W transmission power
- Comprehensive connectivity options
- Large screen for viewing targets
- Mini keyboard display
- Enhanced environmental protection
- Pilot plug
- Flexible transmission timing depending on voyage status
- Enhanced transmission type ensures all AIS data gets through
Due to their specifications, Class A devices are aimed at large commercial or passenger vessels who travel on international voyages. This is due to many factors including the extra power, space and antenna requirements. Class A devices are larger than other AIS devices due to the features included inside, they also require two antennas to ensure their data gets through, and output more power to maximise range.
The main benefit of Class A devices is the increased range and 100% assurance that the AIS data will get through to the AIS slot map. Class A devices use Self Organised Time Division Multiple Access to transmit their data. This is system reserves their slots for them and therefore ensures their data gets through.