TCP V2 - Enhancements Over V1

Announcing Spire Maritime TCP Stream V2


The TCP Stream service has been re-developed to scale for performance with the continually expanding data volumes of the Spire AIS service. I am sure that you are aware our data volumes have grown around 300% in the last 2 years and our satellite AIS data volumes have grown 30% in just the first 3 months of 2021.

An updated FAQ about the new TCP service is here


The new TCP service is compatible with the old TCP service but there are 2 enhancements to consider


Enhancement 1 - Additional Terrestrial AIS
Spire recently established a 3rd partner for provision of terrestrial AIS. Data from this new partner and any future new partners will only be integrated into the new system. So swapping to the new TCP stream will bring an immediate increase of about 20% in daily terrestrial AIS messages, a noted uplift in the US Gulf area and 3% uplift in the number of vessels reported by terrestrial AIS each day.


Enhancement 2 - Additional NMEA Tags
The NMEA g tag has now been implemented in the new TCP service. It is not used in the current service. So multipart messages (mainly message 5) will be received with the g tag clarifying the 2 parts of the message. In the current system it is not required because we ensure the 2 message parts are always sent together but for the sake of absolute correctness we have implemented the tag in the new system.

Example of g tag in Spire AIS TCP Stream V2

If including the g tag in the TCP stream causes you compatibility issues then we have the ability to disable it on a per customer basis.

Enhancement 3 - Additional checkpoint controls
The v2 TCP Stream allows clients to set the checkpoint on their service to control the time from which data is streamed after the next re-connection. This is detailed in the FAQ here 
Enhancement 4 - Performance
The v2 TCP Stream runs on a new scalable IT infrastructure, designed to cope with the continually increasing AIS data volumes. This has proven to perform much better than the old TCP, especially when a client catches up on several hours or days of data and this can now be done in minutes compared to hours on the old service