In order to overcome the vulnerability of the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and provide robust position, navigation and time (PNT) information in marine navigation, the autonomous positioning system based on ranging-mode Automatic Identification System (AIS) is presented in the paper. The principle of the AIS autonomous positioning system (AAPS) is investigated, including the position algorithm, the signal measurement technique, the geometric dilution of precision, the time synchronization technique and the additional secondary factor correction technique. In order to validate the proposed AAPS, a verification system has been established in the Xinghai sea region of Dalian (China). Static and dynamic positioning experiments are performed. The original function of the AIS in the AAPS is not influenced. The experimental results show that the positioning precision of the AAPS is better than 10 m in the area with good geometric dilution of precision (GDOP) by the additional secondary factor correction technology. This is the most economical solution for a land-based positioning system to complement the GNSS for the navigation safety of vessels sailing along coasts.
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