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Protecting Our Oceans with Eyes from Space

Ships currently carry over 80 percent of the world’s commerce across the open ocean. Beyond commercial trade, vessels carry military equipment and logistical support through sea lanes every day, making maritime domain awareness essential in every sense.
Sep 12, 2019

With persistent, real-time maritime tracking, warfighters can track over 200,000 ships around the globe using exactView™ RT powered by L3Harris to detect threats and make better decisions to protect our nation’s interests. By optimizing a global satellite constellation for maritime automatic identification system (AIS) technology, L3Harris is providing enhanced maritime situational awareness for warfighters with eyes on the ocean from space. With exactView™ RT powered by L3Harris, cargo ships, tankers, fishing vessels and more can be monitored at every port or any point in the ocean by receiving and transmitting AIS data from space to the warfighter’s desktop in less than 60 seconds.

From web-enabled software, warfighters can monitor ship activity in areas of contention, such as the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Since one-third of the ocean-going worldwide trade goes through the South China Sea, having built-in analytics are crucial to quickly inform them of vessel spoofing, ships turning off their detection signals or other illicit behavior. They can then “tip and cue” or send messages to other L3Harris collection capabilities, like IntelliEarth™, to gather imagery for better situational awareness. Threats, like piracy at sea, can endanger innocent lives, and every minute counts when getting help to the scene.

But, it takes multiple sets of data fused together to form a complete picture and gain an understanding of what is happening in the ocean. Imagery, AIS data, search and rescue data, and other analytics, like change detection or motion tracking, can all be fused to reveal vessel behavior, such as dredging for illegal island construction.

Our expertise in maritime tracking extends beyond entity detection to image classification, making L3Harris truly unique in the industry. Our image classification capabilities help warfighters identify the differences between many types of vessels on the ocean, while structured observations can tell them what those vessels are doing through invaluable clues like abnormal tracks, co-traveling and dark alerting. Collecting high-density temporal data eliminates the need for coincident collection, meaning there’s no need for additional sensors on satellites.

Advanced entity detection and classification through machine learning, fused with AIS and additional commercial data products, provides remarkable insight for warfighters in less than a minute anywhere in the world. With exactView™ RT powered by L3Harris, warfighters have real-time data delivery and significant flexibility and re-programmability to adapt to the ever-changing maritime industry.

To learn more, visit our maritime solutions page.