News Update

Norwegian Space Agency launches NorSat-3 Maritime Tracking Microsatellite

Jun 2021 | No Comment

The Norwegian Space Agency has announced the successful launch of the NorSat-3 maritime tracking microsatellite built by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) in Toronto. NorSat-3 launched on April 28, 2021, aboard Vega Flight VV 18 from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.


NorSat-3 is the 17th SFL satellite launched in the past eight months.


NorSat-3 carries two instrument payloads. The primary device is an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver which acquires messages from civilian maritime vessels to provide information on ship locations and marine traffic. The microsatellite is also equipped with an experimental navigation radar detector developed by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) to augment the AIS receiver.

Combining a navigation radar detector and AIS receiver will potentially provide much better maritime awareness for the Norwegian Coastal Administration, Armed Forces, and other maritime authorities. Detections of navigation radar from ships will provide the ability to verify the accuracy of received AIS messages and to detect ships whose AIS messages have not been received.

SFL developed the 16.5-kg NorSat-3 microsatellite on its space-proven Next-generation Earth Monitoring and Observation (NEMO) platform under contract to Norwegian Space Agency with funding from the Norwegian Coastal Administration. SFL also built the NorSat-1 and -2 maritime tracking microsatellites now in orbit and is currently developing the NorSat-TD (Technology Demonstrator) satellite slated for launch in 2022.


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