New Norwegian satellites will be able to detect “invisible” ships

SatellitePhoto: SpaceX / Unsplash

Norway is collaborating with the United States to develop satellites to monitor Norwegian waters.

The satellites will be able to find ships that do not want to be detected.

This autumn, a Norwegian satellite will be launched from French Guiana in South America. 

NORSAT-3 will provide support to the Coast Guard and crisis management, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported in late August.

Unlike previous Norwegian surveillance satellites, the new satellite is not dependent on receiving AIS signals from ships in order to detect them.

AIS provides information about ships’ identity, position, and course, but can be switched off or forged by the ships. 

New capabilities

The new satellite will thus be able to detect ships that are actively trying not to be seen.

“Each type of instrument contributes with slightly different images, so the more technologies we have, the more complete the image becomes,” research leader Richard Olsen at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) noted at the time.

In two years, an even more advanced satellite will be launched, NORSAT-4.

The FFI and the Norwegian Space Center are now collaborating on the project with, among others, an American defense institution. 

The planned launch of that satellite is in two years.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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