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Symbols for AIS ATON

On February 5, the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center issued a notice stating that in the near future, the Coast Guard and other authorized agencies and organizations will begin transmitting Automated Identification System (AIS) aids to navigation (ATON) messages and marine safety information via AIS for testing and evaluation.

Unlike regular aids to navigation, the new "AIS ATON" may appear to be coming from an aid to navigation - but that ATON may or may not be physically present. To assist mariners, NOAA will add new symbols to upcoming affected NOAA nautcal charts, depending on the which variant of AIS ATON is used.

Three variants of the new “AIS ATON”

Real AIS ATON: AIS signal is transmitted from a physical aid to navigation.

NOAA charts will depict the AIS signal with a magenta radio circle centered on the position circle of the aid.

Buoy_AIS

Because NOAA ENCs are primarily used in conjunction with systems that are integrated with both radar and AIS, there is no specific ENC depiction.

Synthetic AIS ATON: Signal is from an AIS base station from another location, but broadcasts the AIS ATON where a physical AID exists.

NOAA charts will depict the AIS signal with a magenta radio circle centered on the position circle of the aid.

Buoy_AIS

Because NOAA ENCs are primarily used in conjunction with systems that are integrated with both radar and AIS, there is no specific ENC depiction.

Virtual AIS ATON: Physical aid does not exist and is only broadcast via AIS. Depending on the purpose of the virtual aid, NOAA charts and NOAA ENCs will use the following depictions:

Purpose of Virtual Aid

Definition

ENC Portrayal

Paper Chart Portrayal

North Cardinal

A virtual object that indicates navigable water lies northwards

VATON_North

East Cardinal

A virtual object that indicates navigable water lies eastwards

VATON_East

South Cardinal

A virtual object that indicates navigable water lies southwards

VATON_South

West Cardinal

A virtual object that indicates navigable water lies westwards

VATON_West

Port lateral
(IALA A)

A virtual object marking the port side of a channel

VATON_Can

Starboard Lateral
(IALA A)

A virtual object marking the starboard side of a channel

VATON_Nun

Port lateral
(IALA B)

A virtual object marking the port side of a channel

VATON_Can

Starboard Lateral
(IALA B)

A virtual object marking the starboard side of a channel

VATON_Nun

Isolated Danger

A virtual object marking an isolated danger

VATON_Danger

Safe Water

A virtual object marking safe water

VATON_Safe

Special Purpose

A virtual object used to mark an area or feature referred to in nautical documents

VATON_X

Emergency Wreck Marking

A virtual object marking a wreck

VATON_Cross

The Coast Guard announced that AIS ATON stations will broadcast their presence, identity (9-digit Marine Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number), position, and status at least every three minutes or as needed. Local Notices to Mariners will announce the exact content, location, and times of these broadcasts. NOAA charts will add the AIS ATON locations as the charts move through normal rotations for updates.

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