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LuxSpace successfully launches AIS satellite on PSLV


On September 23, 2009 at 8:21 a.m. CET the Indian rocket PSLV-C14 launched successfully the 960-kg satellite Oceansat-2 as well as the RUBIN-9.1 satellite (AIS Pathfinder 2) weighing in 8kg with the primary aim of gathering Automatic Identification System (AIS) data of vessels from space.

Pathfinder 2 was fully developed, integrated and tested by LUXSPACE Sàrl, Luxembourg. Today, the payload downloaded its first AIS messages.

 "This is the first satellite that LuxSpace has been built so far, we have funded it from our own financial resources and we are now extremely proud that we succeed even though we are a small and relatively new company", said Jochen Harms, Managing Director of LuxSpace.

The company has recently delivered a further and more advanced payload for the implementation on ISS, which is now on-board of the Space Station and will be switched on in early 2010.

Pathfinder 2, launched into a polar orbit, will soon start the collection of AIS and frequency sampling data on global scale. LuxSpace performs the satellite control through the ground station of Redu, Belgium, which was established in close cooperation with SES ASTRA TECHCOM and REDU SPACE SERVICES.

About LuxSpace:

LuxSpace is a Space System and Applications company, located at the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, subsidiary of OHB Technology of Bremen, Germany. 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.

About AIS:

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.

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