A new AIS Decoder for the RTL-SDR on Android

A reader of our blog, EBC81, has written in to let us know about a new RTL-SDR based AIS decoder that he has written for the Android OS. AIS stands for Automatic Identification System and is used by ships to broadcast their GPS locations, to help avoid collisions and aid with rescues. An RTL-SDR with the right software can be used to receive and decode these signals, and plot ship positions on a map.

EBC81’s program is called rtl_ais_android and can be downloaded from this GitHub link. It decodes the AIS data into NMEA messages, which can then be sent via UDP to mapping programs in Android or a program like OpenCPN on your PC. To use the app you will need a USB OTG cable to connect your Android device to the RTL-SDR.

In the future EBC81 hopes to create a second app which will display the ship positions on a map.

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Seems the app has gone. Here is a new one, which integrates:
1) Finding PPM
2) Receiving AIS
3) Plotting AIS
4) Sending AIS data to i.e. OpenCPN


Send me


The RTL SDR AIS app for Android OS is removed from the AppStore, but when you will use the app I will mail it to you, for free.


Yes, I’d definitely like to use the RTL SDR AIS app. Can you please provide the apk? Thanks


Hallo Andreas,

How will you receive it? Mailing should be the easiest way. Send me a mail to [email protected].