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PUBLICATION NOTICE: Using Automatic Identification System (AIS) Data to Assess Collision and Grounding Risk in U.S. Coastal Ports

US Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Published July 10, 2019

The US Army Engineer Research and Development Center has published the report/note described and linked below. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

Report Number:



Using Automatic Identification System (AIS) Data to Assess Collision and Grounding Risk in U.S. Coastal Ports 


Martin T. Schultz and Scott G. Bourne


The conventional approach to navigation risk assessment is qualitative and relies on the subjective input of waterway users. Quantitative and objective approaches are needed to monitor and report on safety, identify navigation projects and channels where risks are high, and determine where improvements in design, construction, or maintenance might reduce the potential for accidents and associated losses. This study develops, demonstrates, and evaluates a method of using archival automatic identification system data to quantify collision and grounding risk to support the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers mission with respect to design, construction, and maintenance of navigation channels. The methods are demonstrated in five coastal ports, including Boston, Massachusetts; Charleston, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Calcasieu River, Louisiana; and Columbia River, Oregon.

251 pgs / 20 mb


ERDC is a diverse research organization with approximately 2,000 employees operating more than $1 billion in world class facilities at seven laboratories. Its annual program exceeds $1 billion as it supports the Department of Defense and other agencies in military and civilian projects. Principal research areas include Soldier support, Engineered Resilient Systems, Environmental Quality and Installations, Geospatial Research and Engineering, Military Engineering, and Water Resources.  “Discover ▪ Develop ▪ Deliver”

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Release no. 19-025