ORBCOMM Inc announced that it has entered into a global commercial reseller agreement with Unseenlabs; a French company that specializes in the geolocation of ships at sea and in satellite Radio Frequency (RF) detection from space; to offer its unique, space-collected RF services for maritime surveillance applications to ORBCOMM’s government and commercial Automatic Identification System (AIS) customers.
Leveraging a dedicated, state-of-the art satellite constellation, Unseenlabs’ RF emissions detection services enable maritime surveillance of 'dark' vessels at sea, which turn off their AIS transponders or cooperative beacons to engage in illegal activities and evade authorities. Using its proprietary, on-board RF technology based on the identification of electromagnetic waves emitted by ships, Unseenlabs is able to geolocate any vessel at sea from space, in near-real time and regardless of weather conditions to within a kilometer, from a single nanosatellite. Unseenlabs supplies a wide range of maritime stakeholders with accurate, up-to-date data on vessel positions, using a unique electromagnetic fingerprint, to enable unfalsifiable identification of the emitter and provide significantly enhanced tracking of activities at sea.
ORBCOMM will distribute Unseenlabs’ value-added RF data, along with ORBCOMM’s industry-leading AIS service, through ORBCOMM’s established government and commercial maritime channels to provide an enhanced picture of vessel activity around the world. Unseenlabs’ data supplements and synergizes with ORBCOMM’s AIS data to take vessel tracking and monitoring to a higher level of reliability and precision. By offering AIS customers the ability to locate and monitor 'dark' vessels, ORBCOMM and Unseenlabs can play a valuable role in the fight against unlawful and anti-environmental behaviour, such as illegal fishing or dumping of hydrocarbons, to greatly improve the safety and security of the world’s oceans.
“We are excited to work with Unseenlabs to pursue new opportunities for their space-based maritime surveillance services through our partnerships with maritime information providers as well as our key government customers,” said Greg Flessate, ORBCOMM’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Government, AIS and Business Operations. “Unseenlabs’ unique RF emission detection technology is a critical tool to identify and report bad actors turning off their AIS devices while engaged in illegal activities at sea such as unregulated fishing, violating trade sanctions, environmental pollution and drug and human trafficking.”
“ORBCOMM’s leading AIS service is an ideal complement to Unseenlabs’ innovative electromagnetic technology and unmatched coverage, enabling customers to locate and monitor any vessel, anywhere and at any time, even when they have cut their embedded active beacons and have vanished from surveillance screens,” said Clement Galic, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Unseenlabs. “In partnership with ORBCOMM, we are able to deliver a comprehensive, tamper-proof maritime surveillance service to ORBCOMM’s customers, which is essential in ensuring maritime safety and creating a sustainable future for our oceans.”
ORBCOMM’s AIS data service has provided the most comprehensive and reliable global coverage in the market over the last decade. ORBCOMM continues to advance its AIS business by enhancing its satellite AIS service with two new, next-generation AIS CubeSats that feature advanced software defined radio receivers and unique multi-antenna implementation, and are expected to expand coverage of ORBCOMM’s constellation, increase visibility to smaller Class B ships and extend its polar footprint with launches planned within the next year. In addition, ORBCOMM is working with AAC Clyde Space and Saab to develop a next-generation, space-based VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) satellite, expected to launch in 2022, which will enhance maritime communications by providing more extensive global coverage and increased bandwidth and versatility.
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