AIS Decoder

This submission provides an app and the source code to decode AIS transmissions using the RTL-SDR.
Updated 14 Dec 2016

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Editor's Note: This file was selected as MATLAB Central Pick of the Week

Commercial and recreational marine vessels use a communications standard called Automatic Identification System (AIS) to report their ID, position, course, speed, destination and other relevant data to coastal base stations, aids to navigation, search and rescue aircraft and other vessels. This information can be received by many Software Defined Radio platforms, including the low-cost RTL-SDR. MATLAB can be used to demodulate and decode these captured signals and extract the information fields from the AIS messages. This app has been used to decode transmissions from ships in New York City, Boston Harbor and San Francisco Bay at a distance of up to 8 miles.
The source code for the AIS Receiver and an AIS Transmitter are provided. Capture logs and raw data files are also provided.
See the included file AIS_Decoder_Instructions.pdf for more information on how to use the app and source code.

Cite As

Mike Donovan (2024). AIS Decoder (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2016a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

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Version Published Release Notes

Updated license
Added a Decoder version for R2015B and capture files for NYC.

Made a small correction to the instruction file