[Via Satellite 06-08-2015] ExactEarth and Harris Corporation have formed an alliance to build 58 hosted payloads covering the maritime Very High Frequency (VHF) band on the Iridium Next constellation. The hosted payloads will significantly increase the size of exactEarth’s constellation — up from eight satellites today — and enable global coverage with revisit times and latency under one minute for real-time Automatic Identification System (AIS) ship tracking. The hosted payloads have already competed compatibility testing with Iridium’s satellites, with the first launch scheduled for early 2016. Completion of the full constellation is expected in 2017.
The services use exactEarth’s signal de-collision detection technology and a sensor based on Harris’ AppSTAR reconfigurable payload technology. Through this agreement, Harris becomes the exclusive provider to the U.S. government of AIS products and services produced under the alliance, including exactEarth’s exactAIS product portfolio, while exactEarth continues to serve all other global markets.
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