Norwegian Satellite monitors the High North / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian Satellite monitors the High North. Norway has launched its first nano satellite, AISSat-1, to keep watch on maritime activities in the High North. AIS is a tracking device that all vessels over 300 tons are required to have on board in order to communicate with other vessels and coastline base stations. Bo Andersen, Director General of the Norwegian Space Centre (NSC), tells The Foreigner that with territorial waters as large as Norway’s, sheltering valuable resources, an accurate monitoring is needed.

aissat-1, norwegian, space, centre, high, north, monitoring, data, security, barents, sea, svalbard, bo, andersen



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Norwegian Satellite monitors the High North

Published on Wednesday, 14th July, 2010 at 14:55 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.

Norway has launched its first nano satellite, AISSat-1, to keep watch on maritime activities in the High North.

AISSat-1
AISSat-1
Photo: NSC


AIS is a tracking device that all vessels over 300 tons are required to have on board in order to communicate with other vessels and coastline base stations.

Bo Andersen, Director General of the Norwegian Space Centre (NSC), tells The Foreigner that with territorial waters as large as Norway’s, sheltering valuable resources, an accurate monitoring is needed.

“Norway has, through international law, the duty of management of some of the best areas for fisheries in the world. A sound management is only possible with complete knowledge of who’s in this area,” he says.

There are a few drawbacks to AISSat-1. Given that the AIS receives signals depending on their strength and position of the antenna on the ship, the receiver gets “saturated” in areas with heavy traffic.

But since the High North does not have such regions, “this is not a problem for areas for which the mission is designed, the Barents Sea and Svalbard,” highlights Andersen.

Another issue is that the AISSat-1 has problems receiving signals form vessels in the deep fjords with mountains. Norway has many on the coastline.

Again, AISSat-1 is not designed to replace the existing monitoring technology, but rather to complement it.

“It is the NSC’s view that a satellite-based AIS system of even several tens of satellites would not replace the land-based AIS receiving system, only supplement it on the high seas and where there is no infrastructure,” Andersen says.

The data gathered by the AISSat-1 is delicate, representing a matter of national security. But it’s is in good hands, according to Andersen.

“The information will be managed by the Norwegian Coastal Services according to international rules made for land based reciever stations. The IMO (International Maritime Organization) does not yet have specific rules for the data access for satellite-based AIS systems. The NSC is clearly aware that some of the information received is of a sensitive nature, be it concerning commercial, safety, criminal or security issues. The data will be handled accordingly.”



Published on Wednesday, 14th July, 2010 at 14:55 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.

This post has the following tags: aissat-1, norwegian, space, centre, high, north, monitoring, data, security, barents, sea, svalbard, bo, andersen.





  
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