Yesterday a Russian Soyuz 2-1b rocket with a Fregat upper stage launched the Meteor M2
weather satellite as its primary payload. Also on the rocket were smaller secondary satellites including the AISSat-2 nanosatellite built by the UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory for Norway.
The AISSat-2 satellite was funded by the Norwegian Space Centre with support from the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and is the second satellite of Norway’s space based Automatic Identification System (AIS) constellation.
In 2012 AISSat-1, also built by the UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory, was launched. Norway’s AIS constellation will be used to monitor and track ships in Norwegian territorial waters using.
A third AIS satellite, AISSat-3, will be built and added to Norway’s AIS constellation.
Norway also intends to built a larger AIS satellite, Norsat-1, which will include a next generation AIS transponder and a science payload including a space weather instrument and a solar observatory developed in collaboration with ESA and Switzerland.