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    30 Mar 2015 
ARTES Elements
Tenders and Workplans


What is AIS? The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a short-range coastal tracking system currently used on ships. It was developed to provide identification and positioning information to both vessels and shore stations. Ships of 300 gross tonnage or more sailing in international voyages, cargo ships of 500 gross tonnage or more sailing in local waters, and all passenger ships irrespective of size are mandated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to carry AIS equipment. AIS transponders automatically broadcast information at regular intervals. Navigational status data is transmitted every 2 to 180 seconds, depending on a vessel’s activity. In addition, voyage related data is broadcast every 6 minutes. These signals are received by AIS transponders installed on other ships or by land-based systems.

News and Events

ESA gives SAT-AIS a boost

17 July 2014 ESA announces a public–private partnership with LuxSpace of Luxembourg and exactEarth of Canada to develop a next-generation SAT-AIS satellite.

Space-AIS data service successfully delivered for efficient vessel tracking

19 December 2012 An ESA project supporting the European Maritime Safety Agency’s (EMSA) Blue Belt pilot programme has successfully delivered space AIS data. More than 21,000 ships were detected and 14 million messages were processed during this demonstration.

Call for participation to the SAT-AIS Initiative Comparative Performance Assessment at System level

05 August 2011 ESA is inviting parties with a SAT-AIS system concept (existing or planned) to be part of the SAT-AIS Comparative Performance Assessment exercise. Interested parties are invited to submit their proposals by 12 September 2011.

SAT-AIS - PPP scheme elaboration ITT issued

08 July 2011 ESA's ARTES 21 has issued an Invitation to Tender that concerns the elaboration of Public Private Partnership (PPP) schemes for the SAT-AIS Project. Closing date is 12/09/2011.


Paper presented at 62nd International Astronautical Congress

This paper, prepared by ESA and EMSA, explains the European and International context for SAT-AIS, the process for user requirements, main key requirements and the SAT-AIS workplan.

SAT-AIS validates market offerings

ESA is positioning itself in the middle of the emerging AIS business through ARTES 21, a programme that will evaluate technologies against requirements that ESA is assembling with the European Maritime Safety Agency.

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