VILNIUS, Lithuania, 18 Could 2022 (Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace PR) – Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (Kongsberg) has positioned an order for 3 microsatellites with Lithuanian mission integrator NanoAvionics for a space-based maritime surveillance mission overlaying the North Sea space. All three satellites might be primarily based on NanoAvionics’s largest satellite tv for pc bus to this point, the MP42 microsatellite bus.
The surveillance payload will include instrumentation developed by KONGSBERG to incorporate ‘”Computerized Identification System” (AIS) reporting and a navigation radar detector, developed by the Norwegian Defence Analysis Institution (FFI), that analyses vessels’ radar use. Combining these offers an summary of ship site visitors within the space, to incorporate detection of vessels not reporting appropriate AIS information.
It’s the second time that FFI and NanoAvionics are working collectively. Beforehand, FFI was a part of a consortium on a Norwegian-Dutch army use of area (MilSpace) mission the place NanoAvionics constructed two nanosatellites.
“Supplying the preliminary satellites for the primary Norwegian maritime constellation for Kongsberg, along with its greater than 200 years of firm historical past, makes this mission very particular to all the group at NanoAvionics,” mentioned Vytenis J. Buzas, co-founder and CEO of NanoAvionics. “The settlement with Kongsbergis an ideal instance of our technological capabilities and proof that including microsatellites to our portfolio was the appropriate transfer. Whereas nanosatellites are nonetheless in a excessive demand, it’s the microsatellites that supply new alternatives and room for extra superior missions and functions. The mission additionally demonstrates the continued power of European area firms and businesses working collectively.
“Staying on the prime of the satellite tv for pc trade requires very fast deployment of improvements, particularly for surveillance functions. Smallsats, like our MP42, play an enabling function in rapidly deploying these monitoring belongings whereas contributing to the safety in sea waters.”
Together with superior information evaluation, the surveillance capability will contribute to defence operations and Norway’s essential function in surveillance of the Excessive North. As well as, it’s attainable to quickly establish vessels engaged in environmental crime, unlawful fishing, smuggling and different unlawful actions. Supporting search and rescue for vessels in misery are additionally capabilities of the constellation.
The surveillance capability of the satellites might be enhanced by encryption software program, developed by Norwegian firm Eidsvoll Electronics AS, which offers safe communication for the satellites. All three satellites might be operated by KSAT (Kongsberg Satellite tv for pc Companies) the world’s main supplier of floor station companies.
The three satellites will kind the idea for Norway’s first satellite tv for pc constellation. The plan is to increase the fleet with extra satellites to extend the protection areas and revisit occasions, and equip them with various kinds of sensors for different varieties of information to boost the situational consciousness capabilities.
Eirik Lie, President of Kongsberg Protection & Aerospace, mentioned: “With this, we take a profitable mannequin from the defence trade into the area trade. Shut collaboration between customers, researchers and trade has created world-leading merchandise. We at the moment are making an analogous funding with the objective of making a Norwegian satellite tv for pc journey that may elevate the Norwegian area trade. We’re enthusiastic in regards to the robust NanoAvionics capabilities to assist this initiative.”
Whereas all ships travelling within the North Sea will need to have energetic AIS to establish themselves, permitting KONGSBERG to seize their indicators and map regular site visitors, some vessels flip off their AIS to remain hidden. Ships wishing to stay hidden by switching off the identification gear will nonetheless be uncovered by capturing the navigation radar of the ships. Turning them off carries a excessive threat of colliding with different ships and obstacles within the water reminiscent of icebergs, particularly at evening. The superior antenna to select up the radar indicators has been developed by FFI.
NanoAvionics’s MP42 bus is likely one of the first commercially out there modular microsatellite buses within the trade, which had its flight-heritage mission in April 2022. Having adopted the rules of NanoAvionics’s profitable nanosat bus product line, the modular MP42 extends that have with the identical cost-efficient manufacturing strategy, requiring minimal reconfiguration. The MP42 buses are extremely versatile with efficiency capabilities optimised for distant sensing, excessive information throughput, advanced communications missions, emergency communications, and analysis missions.