Irish Lights has been rolling out a new radio-navigation service in recent years, using the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which is fitted to most large commercial vessels and fishing boats.
This new service provides all-weather identification and location of selected buoys and lighthouses directly onto the bridge of AIS-equipped vessels.
We have also been trialling a new local weather reporting service, which provides the mariner with wind speed and direction plus wave height and period over AIS from three buoys around the south coast of Ireland.
Weather info service being extended
Users indicated a requirement for local weather information to assist them in making navigational decisions and help improve the safety of navigation. We are thus extending this service onto a further 10 buoys, with four lighthouses also transmitting wind speed and direction information.
The delivery of the weather information to the mariner depends on the equipment fitted on-board the vessel and on the timescale of the buoy and shoreside equipment rollout.
- Vessels fitted with an AIS transponder, fully integrated into the navigation display and running up-to-date software – will be able to receive the information automatically as soon as the weather equipment is deployed.
- Vessels that only have an AIS transponder – will receive an AIS text message with the information when they come within range (20 nautical miles approx.) of the weather station and can then request updates as required. This service will be available when additional shoreside equipment has been installed to relay the weather messages from the buoys.
- Vessels not fitted with AIS but that have a smartphone/web-enabled device and are within coverage of the mobile providers’ Internet service area – will be able to receive the weather data by logging onto a dedicated webpage. This service will be available when communications links have been established from Irish Lights HQ in Dun Laoghaire to existing shoreside equipment and the website development is completed.
Vessels not fitted with AIS but that have a standard mobile phone and are within coverage of the mobile providers’ service area – will be able to receive the weather data by sending a text message to a dedicated phone number. This service will be available when communications links have been established from Irish Lights HQ in Irish Lights Dun Laoghaire to existing shoreside equipment and an SMS provider has been engaged.
Irish Lights Met/Hydro Weather Station Locations