Monitor looks out for hazards

AIS transponder (Credit:

Guardian, from Vesper Marine, is a 24-hour vessel monitoring system that claims to provide complete monitoring of vessels in the coverage area and visibility via electronic navigation systems. Hazards, marine installations, and navigation zonesare also shown, enhancing marine safety.

“The system monitors vessel positions around the assets, evaluates the vessel’s behaviour to determine if they present a risk, and proactively sends an alert to the asset owner and an AIS alert message to the vessel posing a threat,” explained Jeff Robbins, CEO of Vesper Marine. “The alert goes directly to the vessel’s electronic navigation system so the operator can take corrective action.”

To mark the assets and protection zones, Guardian’s Virtual automatic identification system (AIS) station creates electronic ‘marks’ to accurately broadcast the location of assets to marine traffic, he said, adding that these marks, called ‘virtual aids to navigation’ are visible on vessel electronic navigation systems. “They are flexible and can be moved or new marks created in real time to reflect changing conditions or requirements.”

The Guardian cloud software provides a web-based interface to install, set up, and configure the virtual aids to navigation. In addition, it constantly processes real-time vessel activity and determines potential risks to decide when alerts will be activated. This includes creation of multiple protection zones around assets, configuration of alerts based on smart rules and defining alarms based on severity of risk.

The system can be configured to trigger audible and visible alarms, SMS, or email alerts, as well as AIS safety messages directly to the vessel’s navigation systems when alarms are triggered.

By combining AIS and radar, coverage for targets of all types and sizes can be achieved. The extremely high sensitivity of the Vesper Marine stations provides maximum range, which can be extended even farther by choosing high-elevation sites.