A Real-time Low Latency Signal Concentrator for Ship Tracking using AIS

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Abstract

Global AIS coverage is not possible with terrestrial AIS as base stations are required to be build on sea, which is impractical. With the use of LEO satellites, the field of view of a single receiver is increased and is capable of communicating with many AIS cells simultaneously. As many vessels are transmitting data to the same receiver, message collisions occur which results in data loss.
In order to increase the performance of the AIS receiver, blind beamforming techniques are used. This makes it possible to separate multiple collided messages. This solution is build in a hardware receiver which returns analog signals. The goal of this thesis is to build a low latency data acquisition system, in order to process the signals from the hardware receiver. This system requires a processing board to send the samples over to the single user receiver, which is build in software. The Raspberry Pi is used as the processing board, but as it was unable to do the realtime work, a microcontroller is added for this specific task. Fetching data from the ADC is realized through the popular Industrial IO subsystem which allows easy integration with other IIO compliant software and is used to transfer sample data over the network to the software receiver. The software receiver decodes the AIS data and sends it to chart plotter applications which can be used to plot data on a map.

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