Voluntary Indication of Position
Voluntary Indication of Position (VIP) systems are used by spacecraft to periodically broadcast their identity, position and velocity according to their internal systems, and receive positions and velocities of other nearby craft. The primary benefit of VIP is the increased safety in busy space near high-traffic stations. Station traffic controllers and pilots alike can use VIP to gain the kind of situational awareness that is not possible with radar or other sensors. Similar systems have been in use on individual planets and moons for aircraft, sometimes even before the advent of modern spaceflight. The desire for a similar system for space had been apparent for a while but stymied because of a lack of coordination across planets. VIP was first mandated in Jovian space, only for larger craft initially. Because this requirement applied to all spacecraft operating within Jupiter's gravity well, any craft from other planets still needed to follow these regulations. As more craft were equipped with VIP, other planets' regulatory bodies also started adopting it as an official requirement, recognizing its usefulness. It is now a standard part of spacecraft operation all across the Sol System.