ISIS has been involved in SAT AIS for several years and has developed an innovative payload for detecting AIS messages from space. ISIS is currently in the final stages of the design and development of two AIS tracking satellites: Triton 1 & Triton 2. Both satellites will use ISIS’ patented (patent pending) AIS receiver technology and serve as pathfinder missions for a full constellation of satellites to monitor global shipping traffic.
Triton 1 is partially funded through national space funding while Triton 2 is supported by European funding for innovative small and medium companies (SME) and is performed in partnership with Gomspace from Denmark, ClydeSpace from the UK and Royal Dirkzwager from the Netherlandas. Both systems are based on a 3U CubeSat design with body mounted panels.
Due to be launched late 2012, both satellites will be used to prove the unique ISIS receiver design in-orbit and perform preliminary operations.
ISIS subsidiary Innovative Data Services BV (IDS) is the targeted end user of the system, as it is seeking to raise capital for the deployment of a full constellation of AIS receiver equipped nanosatellites for a commercial business.
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a short range coastal tracking system currently used on ships. It was developed to provide identification and position information to vessel and shore stations. Space-based, or SAT-AIS will provide AIS data via satellite, allowing for the detection of seafaring vessels equipped with AIS tracking devices.