(c) Airbus DS

Maritime Surveillance Satellite Monitoring


Airbus Defence and Space's Maritime Surveillance program is designed for commercial use, government agencies and environmental groups alike. The system is made up of a combination of radar and optical satellites in order to gather information depending on customer need.

I’ll take the combo: By offering a combination of radar and optical sensors, Airbus Defense and Space can customize the data sources based on specific needs. For example, vessel detection radar can track ship movements regardless of weather and visibility, but optical sensors can better detect smaller fishing boats. Therefore, a combination of both will provides a sharp picture. Additionally, the use of multiple satellite systems allows for high return rates, the frequency at which the satellite revisits the same location, and daily data collection.

Take your pick: Airbus Defence and Space offers a variety of satellite constellations to draw maritime surveillance data from, including the Spot 6 & 7 Twins, Pleiades Constellation and TerraSAR-X.

The spot twins: The SPOT 6 & 7 are suited for wide area surveillance, have the ability to capture 100,000 sq. km in a single pass and have a 60 km swath. The system can detect small to medium vessels and identify large vessels.

First in class: The Pleiades Constellation has the best coverage capacity in a single pass in this class of resolution of up to 100 x 150 sq. km and has a 40 km swath. This constellation is best suited for identification of small boats and can cover large areas. The Spot 6 & 7 and the Pleiades Constellation are capable of daily revisit.

Variety matters: The radar constellation can cover up to 400,000 sq. km within a single acquisition during any weather condition. It has a 40 m resolution and a 270 km swath. This constellation can monitor ship traffic and marine assets, detect oil spills and carry out many other functions.


Revisit Rate: Once to several times per day depending on the satellite
Resolution: 0.25 to 40 meters depending on the satellite
Delivery: Subscription-based

  • Company: Airbus Defense and Space

  • Type: Satellite Observation

  • Direct Cost: Billing customized base on user requirements

  • Indirect Cost:

  • Link: Product Website

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