AIS satellite

The Danish Maritime Authority Launches AIS Into Space

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April 1, 2013

AIS satellite
Photo of AIS satellite by The Danish Maritime Authority
The maritime potential for growth in the Arctic regions as a consequence of, inter alia, the melting of the ice and increased commercial navigation in Arctic waters requires enhanced focus on safety of navigation. The growth plan for the Blue Denmark states that the Government will introduce a pilot project on satellite based AIS monitoring of ship traffic in Arctic waters. On Monday 25 February 2013, a satellite will be launched in collaboration between the Danish Maritime Authority and the University of Aalborg.

Today, all large ships are fitted with AIS (Automatic Identification System) equipment procuring information about other ships’ routes, course, speed, etc. It is the expectation that satellite based data can secure more high-quality information from ships in Arctic regions. At the same time, it could also become less expensive to quality assure the data in the longer term.

”There is no doubt that there are great possibilities of enhancing safety of navigation in Arctic regions by means of AIS data”, says Deputy Director-General of the Danish Maritime Authority Francis Zachariae.”We have chosen to collaborate with the University of Aalborg because we would like to strengthen the development of satellite based AIS data.”

A number of tests have already been made with satellite based data. With the launching of the satellite, the University of Aalborg and the Danish Maritime Authority take the next step in the development efforts.

• The satellite has been constructed by a group of students from the University of Aalborg.
• The satellite as such measures only 10x10x10 cm and weighs less than 1 kg.
• It will be launched into space by means of a rocket sent up from Chennai in India by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
• It is expected that the satellite will be launched on Monday 25 February 2013 at 13.22 Danish time.

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