Posts tagged #AIS

SpaceQuest Launches Four Satellites in Seven Months

Fairfax, VA, June 19, 2014 SpaceQuest, Ltd. (“SpaceQuest”), a U.S. satellite technology company headquartered in Fairfax, VA , announced today the successful launch of the SpaceQuest-built AprizeSat-9 and AprizeSat-10 microsatellites.  The Dnepr launch vehicle, carrying a record-breaking 37 satellites, lifted off from the remote desert of Yasny, Russia near the border of Kazakhstan.  The Dnepr rocket is a converted SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile adapted for commercial use.  In 1997, Russia and Ukraine formed the International Space Company Kosmotras to convert the missiles into commercial Dnepr launch vehicles.  

The mission departed on schedule from Southern Russia at 01:11 local time (19:11:11 UTC).  Fifteen minutes later, the two SpaceQuest satellites were successfully separated 650 km in space.  As a token of appreciation, the names of all SpaceQuest team participants were carried on board and will now orbit the earth 15 times each day for years to come. Photos of family members were also carried in the satellites.  The launch of AprizeSats 9 and 10 followed the successful Dnepr launch of AprizeSats 7 and 8 seven months earlier, on November 21, 2013.

The  four AprizeSats were launched into a sun-synchronous low-Earth orbit (LEO) and will operate in the UHF and S-Band frequencies. The satellites are healthy with all subsystems operational.  The AprizeSats host SpaceQuest cutting-edge experimental AIS (Automatic Identification System) payloads which contribute to the advancement of AIS technology.

AIS is a maritime tracking and monitoring system that identifies and locates vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and VTS (Vessel Tracking Service) stations. SpaceQuest’s space-based AIS capability greatly expands the visibility of vessel traffic throughout the world’s waterways beyond the typical 50 nautical mile limit of ground-based AIS receivers.  By using the AIS equipment already installed aboard over 100,000 vessels worldwide, port authorities, coast guards, governments, and commercial customers can safely and securely obtain global data on ships movements. Information such as ship name, precise location, course, speed, call sign, IMO number, ID and other information are provided.

Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is critical to the safety and security of all nations of the world.  With access to space-based AIS global data, national governments can now achieve a level of maritime domain awareness that could significantly impact their security, safety, economy, or environment, including identifying threats as early and as far from their shores as possible.  One innovative application of space-based AIS technology is satellite ship detection for fishery violations and control.  Fish is a precious natural resource under much pressure from human exploitation. Most countries have regulated fishing in their national waters, and regulations also extend to international waters by means of agreements. AIS data can be used as a tool in this enforcement.

“SpaceQuest has been involved in satellite projects for over twenty years,” said Dr. Dino Lorenzini. “With the expertise of our small and talented team, we have been developing, constructing and launching microsatellites aboard the Dnepr since 2002. We are pleased to add to the advancement of space technology, most recently at the forefront of space-based AIS at a time when there is a growing demand for global maritime surveillance.”

 

About SpaceQuest

SpaceQuest is a developer of advanced satellite technology for government, university and commercial use for the past fifteen years, specializing in the design, development, testing and manufacture of spacecraft as well as space and ground components for operation with low-earth orbiting satellites. For more information, visit our website at www.spacequest.com.

Posted on June 19, 2014 and filed under Press Releases.

Launch of AprizeSat-5 and AprizeSat-6

Fairfax, VA, August 17, 2011 – SpaceQuest, Ltd. (“SpaceQuest”), a U.S. satellite technology company headquartered in Fairfax, VA , announced today the successful launch of the SpaceQuest-built AprizeSat-5 and AprizeSat-6 microsatellites. The Dnepr launch vehicle carrying seven satellites blasted off from Yasny launch base in the Orenburg Region of the Russian Federation at 11:12:20 Moscow time (07:12:20 UTC).

The Dnepr is a converted SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile adapted for civilian use. In 1997, Russia and Ukraine formed the International Space Company Kosmotras to convert the missiles into Dnepr launch vehicles. The two AprizeSat spacecraft were launched into a circular sun-synchronous low-Earth orbit (LEO) and will operate in the UHF and S-Band frequencies.

As the SpaceQuest team monitored the initial pass over the SpaceQuest ground station in Fairfax, Virginia, there were high fives all around when communication with the satellites was established and the satellites were found to be in good health. exactEarth, Ltd. (“exactEarth’) of Cambridge, Ontario, a leading provider of satellite AIS data services, will take ownership of the spacecraft after successful completion of in-orbit testing, which is expected to be concluded within 90 days. These satellites incorporate next generation AIS payloads designed to further improve AIS message detection from space. The addition of these spacecraft will bring the exactEarth constellation to five operational satellites, greatly expanding the visibility of vessel traffic throughout the world’s waterways.

AprizeSat Launch August 17, 2011 "Today's launch marks another important step in the ongoing expansion of our global vessel monitoring service," said Peter Mabson, President of exactEarth. “Our existing spacecraft have proven that advanced AIS payload technology combined with our proprietary ground-based processing results in a significant increase in detection capability. This launch helps ensure that exactEarth will continue to provide the world’s most comprehensive and high performance  satellite-based AIS service for years to come."

The AprizeSats are also hosting two SpaceQuest cutting-edge experimental AIS payloads which will contribute to the advancement of AIS technology. “We are proud to witness the launch of the ninth SpaceQuest-manufactured satellite on the Russian Dnepr rocket,” said Dr. Dino A. Lorenzini, President of SpaceQuest. “In addition, many other satellites have been launched on the Dnepr that contain SpaceQuest components, payloads and buses. Our ongoing success in building microsatellites and top-quality components, as well as providing custom engineering services, is a testament to SpaceQuest’s superb and dedicated staff.” he said.

About SpaceQuest

SpaceQuest is a developer of advanced satellite technology for government, university and commercial use for the past fifteen years, specializing in the design, development, testing and manufacture of spacecraft as well as space and ground components for operation with low-earth orbiting satellites. For more information, visit our website at www.spacequest.com.

About exactEarth Ltd.

Based in Cambridge, ON, exactEarth Ltd. is a data services company that leverages advanced microsatellite technology to deliver monitoring solutions characterized by high performance, reliability, security, and simplicity. exactEarth’s service, exactAIS™, is a global vessel tracking and monitoring system based on world leading satellite-based advanced AIS detection technology. exactEarth is jointly owned by COM DEV International Ltd (TSX: CDV) and HISDESAT Servicios Estratégicos S.A. For more information, visit our website at www.exactearth.com.

 

Posted on August 17, 2011 and filed under Press Releases.