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ExactEarth and SRT Release New Tracking Technology for Small Vessels

By Rachel Scharmann | April 17, 2014
AIS Satellite exactEarth

View of an exactEarth AIS Satellte at 400 mile altitue (purple) and 530 mile altitude (red). Photo: exactEarth

[Via Satellite 04-17-2014] ExactEarth and SRT have partnered to develop a new technology called ABSEA to enable global tracking for low-power Automatic Identification System (AIS) transceivers aboard small commercial and leisure vessels.

AIS is a Very High Frequency (VHF) technology designed for terrestrial-based tracking with a range that is usually limited to about 50 nautical miles. Class A transceivers can typically be tracked globally from the exactEarth AIS network; however, Class B transceivers cannot be accurately tracked from space at the present moment.

Since May 2013, the two companies have been working together to develop ABSEA, which allows standard low-powered AIS transmissions to be received by exactEarth satellites. This enables small vessels fitted with the new technology to have a wider area of tracking capability. Under the agreement, SRT and exactEarth jointly own the new technology and will commercialize the tracking data together.