AIS is heading into space. Orbcomm and OHB System AG will launch two satellites that
will be able to pick up AIS signals. AIS from space is well on the way.
From the press release: ORBCOMM and OHB System AG have entered into an agreement
to build and launch two AIS enabled satellites. OHB, through its affiliate LuxSpace Sarl, will construct and launch two AIS microsatellites under the agreement, as well as providing the required ground support equipment. ORBCOMM will receive exclusive licenses for AIS data collected by these two satellites and nonexclusive licenses for a third satellite (Pathfinder 3), expected to be launched by LuxSpace at a later date. The two satellites covered by this new agreement are planned to be launched in the second quarter of 2011, to provide additional coverage and AIS data in the polar and equatorial regions. They are also intended to supplement ORBCOMM¹s constellation of 18 AIS-enabled next generation satellites that it plans to begin launching next year. "The new satellites will be launched into new orbital planes to provide ubiquitous coverage for our AIS service and supplement the current ORBCOMM AIS service and the planned next generation satellites," said Marc Eisenberg, CEO of ORBCOMM. "We look forward to adding this additional capability to our existing satellite AIS service and to the next generation satellite constellation we are preparing to deploy. ORBCOMM is committed to continuing to provide the best solution for satellite AIS data services."