VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) - Introduction and Questionnaire


VDES is a future maritime communication system which has two main goals:

• To protect the AIS basic function of ship to ship collision avoidance.

• To enhance maritime communication applications, based on robust and efficient digital transmission at a much higher rate (up to 32x) than the current AIS.


Since 2009, the ITU has accepted to consider the allocations of new VHF frequencies (WRC-15, agenda item 1.16). The attribution of new dedicated maritime frequency bands by ITU for digital maritime communications is a rare opportunity for all maritime actors and all the range of applications. In addition, the VDE Satellite Component (VDE-SAT) will allow long range communications between ships and shore.

Since the implementation of the system and the IMO carriage requirement onboard Class-A ships, the use of AIS has expanded significantly. Recent studies in Japan, Northern Gulf of Mexico and Korea have shown a worrisome overload of the AIS system. The additional AIS applications include: Class-B vessels, Aids to Navigation (AtoN), Application Specific Messages (ASM), Search and Rescue Transmitter (SART), Man Over-Board unit (MOB) and EPIRB-AIS.

National Maritime authorities and IALA anticipate a serious risk that the AIS basic mission, that is to avoid ship to ship collision avoidance, may be compromised if alternative solutions to off-load such services from AIS are not provided.


VDES is based on the Automatic Identification System (AIS), and therefore, some technical elements of the VDES are already in place (AIS, Application Specific Messages (ASM), etc.). However, you can influence the construction of this new system. Your needs and requirements, as a potential user of the VDES, are crucial in shaping the system. They will be the justification for new functionalities that the VDES will offer in the future.

You contribution is essential because it is at the heart of the development process of the VDES. Moreover, this is a good opportunity to express your needs and make your own voice heard within the maritime community about issues you are confronted with, and for which the VDES could bring an efficient solution.

  VDES Introduction

  VDES Questionnaire


The objective of this questionnaire is to introduce the VHF Data Exchange System (VDES), its expected benefits, and to collect the needs, requirements and experiences of potential users.

VDES design is currently under construction. This questionnaire is a unique opportunity for you to influence the construction of a new system, designed to serve you. For greatest impact, we suggest completing this questionnaire by telephone, and by the most relevant contact in your organization for detailed technical aspects


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