LuxSpace delivers AIS payload for ISS
LuxSpace has recently finalised the development of its first payload for the ISS, which was transported to the International Space Station by a Japanese Cargo Vehicle (HTV 1 launch on September 10, 2009).
Within this contract under primeship of FFI, an AIS payload called LUXAIS as well as the associated filter element were fully designed and manufactured at Luxembourg by LuxSpace with the support of EMTRONIX and tests performed at ESA and ASTRIUM. "This is the first payload for ISS fully made in Luxembourg, that we have done now and we can be very proud about this success under such demanding conditions", said Jochen Harms, managing director of LuxSpace.
The LUXAIS payload, implemented through an ESA GSTP contract under the name COLAIS (Columbus AIS), will largely improve the understanding of technical hurdles connected to satellite AIS and thus paving the way towards the implementation of a comprehensive satellite constellation allowing the operational detection and identification of vessels on global scale. "Based on the unique capabilities of the LUXAIS payload, its different modes and its fully digital functions as well as the large downlink capacities of the ISS, we will be able to gather a huge amount of data and thus address and solve many of the unknowns in the SatAIS field" said Ghislain Ruy, AIS program manager at LuxSpace.
The LUXAIS payload will be activated in early 2010 and operates on an alternating mode with the Norwegian NORAIS payload.
LuxSpace is a Space System and Applications company, located at the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. LuxSpace is currently involved in various AIS related technology and application projects for EU, ESA and other clients. Moreover, LuxSpace is distribution partner of Orbcomm AIS satellite data to European customers.
AIS, or the "Automatic Identification System" is a technology embarked on all vessels above 299 GRT, which is used as anti-collision system. Many coastal countries have established shore based receiving stations to monitor the vessel traffic. However, the reach of these stations is limited to more or less 100 nautical miles. Satellite AIS is a new emerging technology that provides a cost effective solution for monitoring vessel traffic and the individual positions of ships around the world. Such vessel monitoring information is of particular interest of ship owners and port authorities but raises also expectations to be useful for supporting maritime policy and the creation of maritime awareness information. Satellite AIS is considered as an add-on to the coastal stations that extends the vessel monitoring capability for safety and security aspects to a global scale for both the institutional and private sector.