Sunday, April 1, 2012

Satellite GPS Allows Better Managed Boat Tracking Yacht Tracking

By Alexander Hunt

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology has been applied widely in the marine industry. Boat tracking yacht tracking is one of them. Specialized tracking devices have been developed to allow close watch of vessel position at sea. The devices allow shore-based teams to follow the movement of the vessel and minimize reaction time if an emergency arises.

Monitoring the position of an object using GPS is, in one way, easier at sea than on land. Tall trees, deep canyons or skyscrapers do not impede the ocean. These obstacles can therefore not block GPS satellite signals. On the other hand, marine systems to track boats and yachts across oceans must rely on communication satellites, not mobile (cell) phone networks, to relay its transmissions since cell networks do not cover more than about 10 miles out from the coast.

Some track devices operate on power generated by the main vessel DC electrical system. Others are battery powered, usually by 4 standard sized AA lithium batteries. These batteries will typically operate for 1-2 months assuming the device accesses GPS satellite data and then retransmits that and other data 12 times a day or less. Battery life is longer if the frequency of transmissions is decreased.

Some devices allow a second set of batteries to be inserted in the device in parallel to allow about 3 years of operation. Some are equipped with an intelligent sensor that will shut down scheduled transmissions after a set period if the vessel has remained stationary, in that way preserving battery life.

Powering the devices with standard sized batteries offers two advantages. Perhaps most importantly, it means the tracking device operates independently of the vessel electrical system and hence will continue receiving broadcasts from GPS satellites and transmitting its location, speed and direction details even if the vessel power system fails. Another advantage is that standard sized batteries can be purchased all around the globe when replacements are needed.

Some track systems allow pre-defined security alerts to be established and email or mobile phone messages sent to the manager-owner if the defined conditions are breached. For instance, the owner can set a geo perimeter to define a control area within which a vessel is expected to remain. If the vessel moves outside that perimeter, a message is sent to the manager-owner.

In conclusion, the dangers associated with open ocean and even coastal voyages can be substantially reduced by using boat tracking yacht tracking GPS technology. The entire journey can be closely managed and monitored by shore-based teams.

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