LEDs blamed for VHF interference
In mid-August the US Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety Alert warning that radio frequency inter- ference caused by onboard LED lights is creating potential safety hazards by impacting VHF, Dig- ital Selective Calling (DSC) and Automatic Identification Systems (AIS).
As examples the alert reported that, “the maritime rescue coordination center in one port was
unable to contact a ship involved in a traffic separation scheme incident by VHF radio. That ship also
experienced very poor AIS reception. Other ships in different ports have experienced degradation of
The GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) Task Force took up the issue at a
recent meeting held in conjunction with the NMEA Conference & Expo in Florida. The Federal
Communications Commission’s Ghassan Khalek said the agency is working on the issue, but so far
has identified no solutions.