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Automatic Identification System (AIS) using GNU Radio

Update Nov 25th 2012 !! : The GNU Radio AIS blocks have been updated and now it works well with the latest GNU Radio code. There are several improvements. Please try it if you have an USRP and live close to the sea / a river and let me know if you encounter any problems.

Here are some GNU Radio blocks which contain algorithms to decode AIS messages used by maritime vessels.

You can download the code here: ais-tools-gnuradio-1.0.5.tar.gz. To install, do the usual:

cmake .
sudo make install

Make sure you already have installed GNU radio and the mysqlclient development files. You will also have to create a MySQL database as described in the file create_table.txt.

The tar archive also contains a simple server which provides Google Earth with position data. To let Google Earth be aware of it, you will have to choose Add--Network Link and write http://localhost:12350 in the "Link"-field, and start the daemon ais-googleearth-server. (You will actually also have to edit the database connection details in the source code of This will be fixed later..) You should also under the Refresh-tag in Google Earth choose a refresh-interval of a couple of seconds.

For info on the AIS-protocol look at:

There is also support for the gnuradio companion now:

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How to install the code - Ming Chen (2016-08-25 08:44:38)
I have downloaded the code, using the GNURADIO, 3.7.9 is Ubuntu14.04. But I can not install it, I was a beginner, in accordance with the orders given to install, can not be successful, please help me, thank you?
Support GR3.7 - pudozh (2014-06-28 00:50:10)
Hi .. can you modify the tools for GR 3.7 version?
AIS&HackRF - T1ger (2014-03-31 09:23:32)
Im chinese boy,in Shanghai china.I want use the hackrf recive the ship AIS signal .what shoul i do ? can you help me ? my E mail
- - Kyrre (2013-09-18 16:21:52)
Could this be built for Python 2.7 for windows? Then it can run in gnuradio for windows!
Support for RTL_SDR - jossi (2013-05-17 12:58:37)
Hi guys, I'm actually working with these nice rtlsdr devices and a RasPi, but mostly with ADSB. I tried to get gr_ais working but the CPU of the raspi does not have enough power for GnuRadio. I want to try to use rtl_fm as a discriminator and forward the data to gnuais. Is there any chance to get it working? How do I have to configure the gnuais.conf?
Furuno AIS receiver as a radio receiver - maulidi (2013-03-05 13:57:16)
Can I use Furuno AIS receiver as a radio receiver, this application uses any operating system, and using version of mysql?
amd - Maulidi (2013-02-27 17:10:17)
Can I use Furuno AIS receiver as a radio receiver, this application uses any operating system, and using version of mysql?
Re: bit more handholding requested - Ruben (2013-02-17 17:14:45)
Maybe you can accomplish this by editing the file lib/ by removing all the mysql related things and then recompile...
Re: bit more handholding requested - Ruben (2013-02-17 17:11:27)
As it is now, the block "BitsToAIS-NMEA" outputs the nmea-message which you will have to decode in order to get the data out (position etc.). I don't see any easy way of printing these out to the screen without creating a simple GNU Radio block yourself. Maybe I can add such a block in the next release of ais-tools-gnuradio.
Re: how to receive directly from DVB-T stick - Ruben (2013-02-17 17:08:22)
Yes, I use the left channel for 161.975 MHz and the right channel for 162.025 MHz. You just have to ensure that the sample rate gets correct and then things should work.
bit more handholding requested - Ronald van Aalst (2013-01-19 22:23:07)
I'm not succeeding in avoiding the mysql. I was hoping to use a messae or text sink instead. just to have a quick look and see if I receive any AIS at all. do you have some tips for me how to achieve that ? thanks for any help you could offer.
how to receive directly from DVB-T stick - Ronald van Aalst (2013-01-19 22:18:56)
Hi, can you perhaps indicate how to connect a SDR source instead of the audio source you use now ? should I just create an FM receiver for 161.975 and 162.025 Mhz ? why are there two streams from the audio source ? are left and right stereo the way these two freq's are delvered to teh AIS software ?

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