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ЦитатаNorway Intent on Self-sufficiency in Space-based AIS By Peter B. de Selding | Oct. 2, 2013 Norway's first AIS satellite was launched in 2010. Credit: ESA/Norwegian Space Centre artist's conceptBEIJING -- The Norwegian government is pursuing development of its own operational space-based ship-monitoring system and has scheduled the launch of two more satellites within the next three years to accompany the first spacecraft launched in 2010.Shrugging off overlapping commercial and European programs to provide Automatic Identification System (AIS) service from satellites as either too costly or not directly suited to its needs, Norway expects to satisfy its Arctic ship-identification needs with its own satellite resources.Norwegian authorities believe that despite their modest budget they can provide, on their own, all the maritime traffic information they need with their own small AIS satellites, coupled with data from commercial and government-owned synthetic aperture radar satellites.Addressing the 64th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) here, Norwegian Space Agency Director-General Bo N. Andersen said Norway is taking full advantage of the revolution in small-satellite capability and pricing to develop its AIS capacity.In an interview, Andersen said the current cost of commercial AIS services, provided by exactEarth of Canada and Orbcomm of the United States, is such that Norway would not be saving much money by outsourcing its AIS requirements.Andersen said Norway's first AIS satellite, launched in 2010, cost about 4 million euros ($5.4 million). The second, which cost 2 million euros, is completed and awaiting launch in February as one of several co-passengers on a Russian Soyuz rocket. The third, under construction, is expected to cost 1.8 million euros, he said."Norway plans to be self-sufficient with space-based AIS measurements until 2020" with just the investments made to date, Andersen said, suggesting that Norwegian authorities are likely to continue launching satellites to maintain the system given the trend toward lower-cost small spacecraft.Norway earlier mounted an AIS terminal on the international space station through the 20-nation European Space Agency, which is a space station partner.Given the vast territory that Norway needs to monitor, paying for a full commercial AIS service presents few advantages compared with building its own system.The number of ships that must be tracked in Arctic waters is growing but remains small relative to high-traffic shipping lanes, meaning Norway does not need the rapid-update surveillance service that exactEarth and Orbcomm are developing with their constellations of satellites. Norway's northern latitude means polar-orbiting spacecraft overfly the region 14 times a day, and that is enough.Andersen said that so far in 2013, Norwegian authorities have not captured a single illegal fishing vessel in their territorial waters, a fact that Andersen ascribed in part to the AIS service's deterrent effect when combined with radar satellite data.International Maritime Organization regulations require commercial ships weighing more than 300,000 kilograms, and all commercial passenger ships, to carry AIS transmitters beaming information on ship identity, speed and heading. The AIS signals are captured by ground-based receivers when the ships are near shore, but vessels in the open ocean, beyond the horizon of terrestrial antennas, must relay their signals via satellite.This requirement is driving the push to deploy AIS-capable satellites.Riding on the same Russian Soyuz rocket, now delayed to late February, will be Canada's Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Microsatellite, M3MSat, which is the product of the University of Toronto's Space Flight Laboratory.Nathan Orr of the Space Flight Laboratory said the 80-kilogram M3MSat, which carries research payloads for the Canadian government in addition to its AIS terminal, will be the most sophisticated AIS payload yet operated by Cambridge, Ontario-based exactEarth.AIS receivers are also part of the payload planned for the Canadian government's three next-generation Radarsat synthetic aperture radar Earth observation satellites.Rochelle Park, N.J.-based Orbcomm is awaiting the launch of its 17-satelllite second-generation constellation early next year aboard two newly designed Falcon 9 rockets from Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne, Calif.The European Space Agency's member governments in November 2012 rejected the agency's proposal for full-scale development of an AIS capability, but ESA and the European Maritime Safety Agency continue to look at possible AIS development scenarios.
ЦитатаHarris, exactEarth To Place AIS Gear on Iridium Craft by Peter B. de Selding -- June 9, 2015 ExactEarth said AIS terminals likely will be aboard at least some of the first 10 Iridium Next satellites to be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Credit: Iridium PARIS -- Canada's exactEarth Ltd. and Harris Corp. of the United States on June 9 announced a strategic partnership in which Harris will use exactEarth-patented technology to mount maritime ship-monitoring payloads on 58 next-generation Iridium mobile communications satellites.Harris and exactEarth will divide the cost of the payloads, to launch in 2016 and 2017, and will also divide the growing satellite-based Automatic Identification System (AIS) market. Melbourne, Florida-based Harris will have exclusive rights to the technology for the U.S. government market, while Cambridge, Ontario-based exactEarth will market to the rest of the world.The contract also gives Harris immediate access to exactEarth's current constellation of eight small low-orbiting AIS satellites, a fleet that will grow to 11 satellites in the next two years, to begin immediate sales to U.S. government customers.For exactEarth, majority-owned by Com Dev of Canada, the link-up with Harris is an 11th-hour ticket - the deadline for adding hosted payloads to the Iridium Next constellation is fast approaching - to a capex holiday that could last more than a decade. Each Iridium Next satellite is built to operate for 15 years in low Earth orbit.McLean, Virginia-based Iridium Communications has contracted with satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy, and Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia, to build and integrate 81 Iridium Next satellites.exactEarth President Peter Mabson. Credit: exactEarth Seventy-two of these satellites will be launched, with the nine spares available to replace retiring spacecraft or as backups in the event of a launch failure. The first two are scheduled for launch in October aboard a Russian-Ukrainian Dnepr rocket. Because of the late timing of the Harris-exactEarth agreement, neither of the initial Iridium Next satellites will be fitted with an AIS payload.Peter Mabson, exactEarth's president, said AIS terminals likely will be aboard at least some of the first 10 Iridium Next satellites to be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, a launch scheduled for February. That launch will be the first of seven 10-satellite launches with SpaceX that Iridium has planned to deploy its constellation.In a June 8 interview, Mabson said his company and Harris have been negotiating an agreement for about a year, and that placing hardware using exactEarth's patented AIS message-detection algorithms on 58 satellites assures continues global coverage.Iridium hired Harris to provide and market a module to host outside payloads on the Iridium Next satellite platform that serve as a supplemental source of revenue for Iridium. The modules also are hosting payloads for Iridium's majority-owned Aireon air-traffic-monitoring service."We always knew we needed a U.S. partner to develop the U.S. government market for our service," Mabson said. "Harris was the obvious choice given their relationship with Iridium and their experience in antenna design."Harris has said it has just about filled to capacity the hosted-payload space on Iridium Next constellation, although the company has not identified all the customers that have agreed to place instruments on the platform.Orbcomm Inc. of Rochelle Park, New Jersey, is competing with exactEarth to develop the nascent satellite-based AIS market, whose growth has been spurred by maritime regulatory requirements that ships of a certain size carry AIS data transmission gear. Terrestrial AIS ship-to-shore signals have a limited range, leaving a market opening for a satellite-based alternative.Orbcomm has begun offering its AIS service and is counting on Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX to launch 11 second-generation Orbcomm satellites, all with AIS terminals, by late September. One of Orbcomm's early customers has been the U.S. Coast Guard, a customer that Harris will undoubtedly target.Mabson has said in the past that the exactEarth algorithms' competitive advantage is their ability to turn the mass of noise from hundreds of ships on heavily trafficked maritime routes - all broadcasting on the same frequency - into usable data on individual ships' identity, cargo, location and heading.Mabson said exactEarth is paying Harris a portion of the cost of building and integrating the AIS payloads into the Iridium Next satellites, plus a separate fee once the service is in operation.Com Dev International of Canada owns a majority stake in exactEarth, with Hisdesat of Spain a minority shareholder. The announcement of the Harris agreement caused Com Dev's stock, traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, to jump more than 9 percent on June 8.