TimeCaster - Orbcomm

TimeCaster web app, AIS, maritime awareness, ship tracking, Doppelgangers, cloudeo, Maerospace, Orbcomm

TimeCaster™ - Orbcomm enhances current ship tracking and forecasting methods by utilizing the benefits of big data analytics. With updates every 10 minutes and the automatic identification of misleading Doppelgangers, users are provided a near real-time feed of ship positions ten times more accurate than raw Automatic Identification System (AIS) datasets.

Getting started is easy! After purchasing access, simply login to the TimeCaster™ app and create your own fleet or enrich your maritime awareness with the TimeCaster™ message queue.

Do you want to try it out first? Apply for a Free Trial.


For detailed information on the advantages of AIS, visit our "Realities of S-AIS" blog series:


TimeCaster™ - Orbcomm leverages the unique, near real-time feed of satellite and terrestrial AIS data from Orbcomm’s vast network of nearly 300,000 transponders and processes millions of messages per day to deliver reliably anomaly alerts and forecast ship movements within the next 12 hours with high accuracy.

This actionable information about location and suspicious ship behaviors empowers fleet owners and operators, commodity traders in oil and gas, environmental protection agencies, marine insurance companies, and the finance industry with the time and foresight needed to act accordingly.

More accurate and more complete data

Current maritime domain awareness systems report ship positions within an average error margin of over 140 nautical miles, which is partly due to slow updates that can take hours. TimeCaster™ effectively establishes a higher standard of maritime awareness for its users. It is both more timely and accurate than raw imagery, and less ambiguous due to its MMSI Doppelganger identification. Every 10 minutes, TimeCaster™ estimates the position for each of your selected ships for which Orbcomm received an AIS message. 90% of the cases the forecasted data accuracy is 10 NM or even better. In addition to the actual position estimates TimeCaster™ also shows the track of a vessel and its forecasted position up to 12 hours into the future. All ships whose AIS signal was last received until up to 168h ago, are kept in the display in order to provide a complete picture and avoid losing track of stationary ships in the harbour.

More than 5% of daily MMSI signatures are erroneously reused, whether occurring purely by chance or intentionally as a means to conceal illegal behavior. These Doppelgangers complicate the ship tracking process by making connecting sequential position reports more convoluted and difficult to interpret. TimeCaster™ helps ameliorate this problem by automatically detecting Doppelganger signatures and cleaning up ship tracks for you.

Product description 

Processing millions of raw AIS data messages per day, TimeCaster™ uses big data algorithms to reliably predict current and future positions of ships and disambiguate Doppelganger signatures.

  • Improved Accuracy:
    TimeCaster™ improves the accuracy of raw satellite and terrestrial AIS data from an average of more than 140 NM to as little as 7 NM using ship location predictive algorithms which process millions of data points each day. Approximately 90% of estimated ship locations fall within only 10 NM of error.
  • Timely Data:
    Other technologies only provide positions with an average age of 2+ hours and sometimes exceeding more than 24 hours. TimeCaster™ is updating ship positions every 10 minutes as well as forecasting ship positions up to 12 hours into the future.
  • Disambiguated Data:
    Multiple ships can report the same station identifier (typically, but not always, the MMSI number), although this is not the intended use of AIS. Such duplicated identifiers are referred to as Doppelgangers. More than 9,000 daily MMSI signatures are Doppelgangers. This causes a ship to potentially disappear from the display and makes identifying and tracking legitimate ship positions and movements more difficult. TimeCaster™ automatically identifies and tracks Doppelgangers; cleaning up your ship tracks and disambiguating connecting sequential position reports to make them more clear and reliable.
  • Easy to Integrate:
    TimeCaster™ generates a curated data stream of more than 100 million data points daily. This stream can be directly integrated into your existing analytics and decision support systems and supports NMEA4, OTH-Gold or XML data standards.

TimeCaster™ is available in three configurations: as TimeCaster™ web app only, as Standard Stream plus TimeCaster™ web app, and as Expert Stream plus TimeCaster™ web app.

  • TimeCaster™ web app
    • All ships in an area are shown as dots. A click shows the MMSI and the date and time of estimated position.
    • The ships of the user’s virtual fleet are depicted with a ship symbol indicating the estimated direction. A click shows the MMSI, the time stamp at the estimated position, the last reported type 5 message with static information about the vessel type and cargo, as well as an alert, if there are Doppelgangers with the same MMSI. The number of concurrent Doppelgangers is depicted.
    • Color coding: If the reported position is more recent than 6 hours, the color is green, if it is older than 6 but more recent than 24 hours the color of the symbol is changed to orange, if it is older than 24 hours it is changed to red.
    • Shows vessel track and forecast up to 12 hours into the future
  • Standard Stream
    • All data regarding the ships of the user’s virtual fleet are decoded and provided in NMEA format.
    • Aggregates NMEA position message types 1, 2, 3, 18, 19, and 27.
    • NMEA Type 5 messages are provided as available; these contain static information about the vessel type and cargo.
    • Position and forecast updates every 10 minutes.
    • After a 12-hour gap of no reported AIS messages from a vessel, the MMSI goes into a Last Reported Position Status and is not forecasted by TimeCaster™.
    • Vessels that haven’t reported within the past week (168 hours) are removed from the service entirely until it is active once more.
  • Expert Stream
    • Everything included in Standard Stream.
    • Plus all Raw AIS data "as reported".

Take faster, smarter, and more effective action than your competition by utilizing the most current, accurate, and reliable information available about the movements of ships. Our flexible pricing model, with realistic, low entry packages and affordable flat rates, makes the TimeCaster™ service an affordable investment for businesses both large or small. Take advantage of the plan that works best for you with our flexible month to month subscription or save money instantly by subscribing to an annual plan.

Please login to select options

Start date
E.g., 2019-04-19
TimeCaster - Orbcomm



Powered by 

Orbcomm AIS data

Off the shelf 


Update frequency 

Every 10 minutes

Average position accuracy 

13 NM (>10x better than raw AIS data)

Access mode 

cloudeo web app (visualization)


Message queueing service (full data access)

Setup time 

1 day (web app), 14 days (message queue)


Configure and order 

  • Transactions: Select the maximum number of vessels you want to track at the same time.
  • Configuration: Select the configuration that best suits your needs - see product description.
  • License: The license restricts the usage to internal use only and does not allow to sell these information.
  • Start date: Select the date you’d like the service to start.
  • Subscription period: Select how long you like to have access to the service.
  • Remarks: Insert any questions or comments here.

Please note 

Beyond the standard options individual product configurations are possible. Our GeoExperts are standing by to optimize the product configuration according to your needs. Just contact us.

  • Daily reports instead of live streams.
  • Fleet reports and alerts can be configured to simplify the usage of this advanced AIS data.
  • Special services designed for oil trading are available.
  • External usage can be granted at additional costs
  • A user is defined by a unique email address used by only one staff member. If more users from your company want to access the service, please select the appropriate option and provide us a list of emails. The use is limited to internal use. External usage can be granted at additional costs and on revenue share basis.
  • TimeCaster™ AIS data can be combined with optical or SAR satellite imagery from cloudeo for increased maritime situation awareness.

Pricing / Licensing