Vessel Tracking – How does it work?

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How does it work?

The vessel tracking system uses satellite technology to receive a signal from a vessel.

The vessel must have a piece of equipment installed onboard that is capable of transmitting a signal containing the required data. Not all equipment can send all types of data. The equipment must be able to send the date, time, latitude, longitude and ship identification at the very least. Other information that can be transmitted include the speed, direction and weather conditions.

The signal is beamed via a satellite to a Land Earth Station. The Land Earth Station is a receiving station (satellite dish) on land. The Land Earth Station is managed by a Communications Service Provider (like a telephone service provider). The Communication Service Provider is responsible for managing the satellite network and the Land Earth Station.

The Land Earth Station receives the ship position information and sends it to Fulcrum across a secure, encrypted channel.

Using this technology, the vessel position information can be transmitted from anywhere on the Earth’s surface, so the vessel is tracked continuously and automatically.

The expansion of the satellite networks means that this technology is increasingly being used for such applications as vessel tracking. The advantage of using satellite technology is that it is private, secure data and is not publicly available.

A position report is received from the vessel at a pre-defined frequency, so that the vessel manager can monitor the vessel in transit, e.g. every 3 hours or every 6 hours.

The position information is made available to the vessel manager across the internet, making the data available from anywhere around the world, provided that an internet browser and an internet connection are available.

No special software is needed to access the system.

The Fulcrum system uses a method of connection across the internet called a ‘secure socket layer’, which means that when the vessel manager connects to the system, the data channel between the computer that the vessel manager is using and the Fulcrum system is encrypted to ensure that the data is secure. Web sites that use this method of securing data start with https://……. (e.g. if you use internet banking, you will use this).

In order to access the system, the vessel manager must have a valid username and password.

Fulcrum Maritime’s Tracking Systems are ISO 9001:2015 certified. We track over 5,000 vessels around the world. Our services are available 24/7.