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VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) - Introduction


VDES is a future maritime communications system which has two main goals

  • to protect the AIS basic function of ship to ship collision avoidance
  • to enhance maritime communications applications, based on robust and efficient digital transmission at a much higher rate than the current AIS

The VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) is seen as an effective and efficient use of radio spectrum, building on the capabilities of AIS and addressing the increasing requirements for data through the system. New techniques providing higher data rates than those used for AIS is a core element of VDES. Furthermore, VDES network protocol is optimized for data communication so that each VDES message is transmitted with a high confidence of


IALA has recently published *Dec 2016)  the "IALA Guideline No.1117 on VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) Overview". This Guideline provides an introduction to the VDES and is intended to assist in the understanding, development and promotion of VDES. The Guideline is available for free download from the Publication area of the IALA website . In addition, IALA has developed a frequently asked questions (FAQ) area for VDES, also available through the IALA website.


Order your copy today from The Nautical Institute's online shop here - Nautical Institute members receive a 30% discount!