Canada: exactEarth has announced the successful launch of an advanced Automatic Identification System (AIS) payload aboard the Spanish radar satellite, Paz. The satellite was launched from the Vandenberg Air Base in California, using the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and is owned and operated by Hisdesat Servicios Estrategicos S.A. The hosted AIS payload is owned by exactEarth and is expected to be commissioned in the coming months.
The high-performance EV-8 payload is part of exactEarth’s first-generation constellation and is the first commercial AIS payload which has been launched on a radar satellite. The Paz satellite was launched into the dawn-dusk sun-synchronous orbit that is occupied by most of the world’s radar satellites and will be uniquely positioned to provide high-quality AIS vessel data which is full time synchronous with the Paz radar and near synchronous with Synthetic Aperture Radar(SAR) imagery from other radar satellites. The fusion of these two data sets for enhanced vessel identification is expected to be an important element of future maritime surveillance capabilities as authorities can now rapidly correlate two data sources to identify non-reporting or non-cooperative vessels.
“We congratulate Hisdesat on the successful launch of Paz. The launch of our EV-8 AIS payload is a major milestone for our team here at exactEarth as we mark the completion of our first-generation constellation,” said exactEarth CEO Peter Mabson. “The unique capabilities of this AIS payload to enable high quality radar/AIS data fusion are expected to further advance our reputation as leaders in the AIS industry. When combined with the ongoing roll-out of our second-generation real-time satellite constellation, our AIS service offering clearly provides important differentiation and compelling value to a host of global AIS users.”