The first satellite to be developed in Norway is set to be launched in India.
AISSat-1, a cube-shaped nano satellite weighing just six kilograms and measuring 20 x 20 x 20cm, will be used to improve the surveillance of marine activity in the High North through a highly developed recognition program.
AIS (Automatic Identification System) technology is based on the short-range maritime coastal traffic systems currently employed by the Vessel Traffic Services and ships around the world.
AIS is mandatory on all seagoing vessels weighing 300 tonnes or more, with its primary function being to prevent collisions at sea in addition to allowing maritime authorities to track boat movements. The technology also allows ship-to-ship communication via VHF signals from land-based stations, although until now this has been limited to the field of vision.
The Norway Post reports that the AISSat-1 will feature an onboard receiver that has been designed to extend the current surveillance range of authorities, while at the same time making the task of monitoring fishing boats and shipping traffic easier across the High North.
The altitude of the AISSat-1 will provide the AIS receiver with a far wider scope for observation, thereby making supervision over a greater area possible. The nano satellite will emit signals strong enough to be relayed to a lower orbiting receiver which will then process and deliver the information.
The High North’s relatively low traffic density means that just one antennae and one receiver should be sufficient to handle the projected number of AIS messages. The launch of the Norwegian Space Centre-owned AISSat-1 will determine if these presumptions are correct.