Four Harris-built maritime vessel tracking receivers have begun to track nearly 250,000 ships around the world as part of hosted payloads onboard Iridium‘s NEXT satellites that were launched in January.
Harris said Monday the receivers are designed to offer global automatic identification system information and ship tracking capacity for government and commercial users.
Iridium’s NEXT satellite constellation is scheduled to reach full operational status in 2018 and will work to increase vessel detection and information downlinking at a latency rate of less than a minute through the AIS hosted payloads from Harris.
“Ninety percent of the world’s trade is transported via oceans, making maritime domain awareness critically important,” said Bill Gattle, president of Harris’ space and intelligence systems business.
Gattle added that the system is designed to track cargo, fishing vessels, passenger and tanker vehicles equipped with AIS transceivers.
Harris will also serve as the sole provider of exactEarth‘s AIS products and service offerings to the government sector under a partnership agreement between the two companies.