exactEarth Gets Partner for Space-based AIS

exactEarth has agreed to jointly develop with Software Radio Technology an AIS transceiver for global tracking from space.

A new technology called ABSEA which, when embedded within standard low powered AIS transceivers, enables AIS transmissions to be received by exactEarth satellites. It enables extended tracking of small vessels. Their first nanosatellite was launched in April, 2008, to validate COM DEV’s space-based AIS technology.

High powered Class A type transceivers are able to be tracked globally by the existing exactEarth AIS satellite network, but transmissions from standard Class B and Identifier type devices cannot currently be reliably tracked from space.

The Automatic Identification System is a VHF technology primarily designed for vessel tracking with a range typically limited to approximately 50 nautical miles.

“AIS is currently deployed on more than 80,000 vessels globally, however AIS base station receivers are mostly based on land and can only track ships moving up to 50 nautical miles off the coast

Their first nanosatellite was launched in April, 2008, to validate COM DEV’s space-based AIS technology. ExactEarth AIS satellites pass over Norway’s Svalbard Earth Station every 90 to 100 minutes.

Under the terms of the agreement SRT and exactEarth jointly own the ABSEA technology and will co-operate to commercialise the tracking data. SRT will receive a share of the revenues generated from data sales. The first ABSEA enabled products are expected to be deployed later this year.

Meanwhile, ORBCOMM’s Next Generation – OG2 satellite will all featire Automatic Identification System on-board. They are launching 18 OG2 satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in 2014. Sierra Nevada Corporation is building the 18 OG2 satellites, with an option to purchase up to 30 additional satellites to augment and upgrade Orbcomm’s existing constellation.

Orbcomm’s 27 current-generation satellites operate for the most part in an 825-kilometer orbit inclined 45 degrees relative to the equator. The second generation will be placed into a 52 degree inclination, an orbit that gives better coverage of northern latitudes to enhance Orbcomm’s AIS maritime coverage.

The current Iridium satellite constellation consists of 66 active satellites and additional spares. Each satellite can have four inter-satellite links: two to neighbors fore and aft in the same orbital plane, and two to satellites in neighboring planes to either side.

Iridium NEXT, their second-generation platform, is expected to launch beginning in 2015. It will also consist of 66 satellites, with six in-orbit and nine on-ground spares. It will host payloads. Space is now fully allocated to two entities, Aireon for its space-based aircraft surveillance application and Harris Corporation for additional auxiliary payloads.

Aireon will use the Iridium NEXT hosted payload space to develop the world’s first space-based global aviation monitoring system.

ADS-B will be replacing radar as the primary surveillance method for controlling aircraft worldwide. Enabled by Harris’ 81 space-qualified ADS-B receivers, the system relies on two avionics components—a GPS navigation source and a datalink (ADS-B unit). This allows controllers to guide aircraft into and out of crowded airspace with smaller separation standards than it was previously possible.

Here’s the real-time vessel traffic world-wide posted on MarineTraffic.com, a mashup which was developed and hosted by the University of the Aegean in Greece.

Related DailyWireless stories include; ExactEarth Launches 5th AIS Satellite, ExactEarth Launches AIS Satellite, Arctic Technology, Orbcomm: World’s Largest Container Tracker, Space-Based Vessel Tracking, AIS Space Race, Orbcomm’s Space-based AIS Fails, Hackerspace Satellite, Shipboard AIS Fused with Radar, Small Satellite Conference Celebrates 25 Years

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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