Each year, thousands of mariners in small vessels lose their lives at sea and billions of dollars are lost to illegal fishing and resource smuggling, both activities also often involving small boats. Accordingly, two significant challenges faced by modern coastal states are the need to ensure small vessel maritime safety in their areas of interest, as well as the need to be able to monitor and manage small vessel maritime activities within their EEZ and beyond. These dual goals have led to a demand for an affordable, wide-area, large-population small vessel tracking solution which also incorporates internationally recognised maritime safety capabilities.
It was these dual demands that induced exactEarth to develop its AIS-based ‘exactTrax’ solution to meet this important global requirement. exactTrax allows specially modified AIS Class B devices to be tracked reliably via satellite. As such, it combines all the key attributes and global standards of AIS related to vessel safety, together with the ability to track small vessels regardless of their location – in-shore, off-shore or on the high-seas.
With this background, the UK Space Agency’s ‘International Partnership Programme’ (IPP1) support for exactEarth Europe’s OASIS-TU project.