Norway's AISSat-1 satellite starts mission

23 Sep 2010
Satellite technology will substantially expand the range of the AIS system

Satellite technology will substantially expand the range of the AIS system

The AISSat-1 was launched successfully from India in July. The satellite, with payload developed by Kongsberg Seatex has begun transmitting AIS messages from space to earth via Kongsberg Satellite Services' ground station at Svalbard.

AISSat-1 is an experimental satellite that receives and forwards AIS messages from ships. The technology will, in the fully-developed system, improve safety at sea for vessels in Norwegian waters. It will make it easier to identify and coordinate vessels in search and rescue operations as well as assist and monitor the transport of dangerous goods and cargo.

AIS land stations receive VHF signals from ships at a distance of up to about 40 nautical miles from the coast. Norway operates a chain of 39 coastal land based stations, and most other coastal states operate or deploy similar chains. The AISSat technology has the capability of substantially expanding the effective range of ship AIS position monitoring.

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