What is the typical range of an AIS station?

The range of an AIS station depends on its position. The most important factor is the altitude of the antenna. An antenna placed 15 meters above sea level will receive AIS information within a range of 15-20 nautical miles. With an antenna placed about several 100 meters above sea level, an even wider range can be achieved. The higher the better - this has to do with the curvature of the earth, which does affect the reception of AIS signals if an antenna is placed to low. Other factors, which influence the reception range, are: the antenna type, barriers that block the antenna and weather conditions. 

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