AIS is used as a surveillance tool in a number of ways:
Vessel Traffic Services (VTS): In areas of heavy traffic, such as ports or narrow waterways, VTS centers use AIS to monitor vessel movements and prevent collisions. VTS operators can track vessel positions, speed, heading, and other data in real-time.
Maritime Domain Awareness: AIS can be used to track vessels in areas of interest to maritime security, such as in the vicinity of critical infrastructure, offshore platforms, or sensitive military installations. AIS can also be used to detect and track vessels engaged in illegal activities, such as smuggling or piracy.
Search and Rescue: AIS can be used to aid in search and rescue operations by providing real-time vessel position data to rescue coordination centers.
Environmental Monitoring: AIS can be used to track vessel movements and identify vessels that may be responsible for environmental incidents, such as oil spills or other pollution events.