The ship tracking ESAIL satellite is one of 53 satellites that will be launched next week on an Arianespace Vega mission.
The ESAIL microsatellite was built by LuxSpace under a European Space Agency (ESA) partnership project with the Canada’s exactEarth.
ESAIL is the first commercial satellite under ESA’s maritime SAT-AIS program. The satellite will track ships worldwide by detecting messages that ships radio-broadcast with their automatic identification systems (AIS).
ESAIL will be launched into a Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 515 km.
As part of exactEarth’s satellite-based AIS constellation, ESAIL will also provide data to the European Maritime Safety Agency for the next generation of global maritime traffic services.
ESA states that “ESAIL enables fisheries monitoring, fleet management, environmental protection and security monitoring for maritime and government authorities and industry – making the seas safer.”
Watch In Focus: ESAIL Maritime Microsatellite