Increasing Safety and Efficiency in Maritime Operations using Satellite Information

Increasing safety and efficiency and reducing the risk of maritime operations is one of MARSAT’s core ambitions. To tackle this in an agile and innovative way, MARSAT has formed a German consortium of excellence in satellite analytics, on-board software and hardware development with deep understanding of the maritime market. In recent years, MARSAT has developed and evaluated solutions to aid planning and routing in higher latitudes and polar waters, to increase safety of navigation in areas which were inadequately surveyed, and developed relevant information portals and software solutions.

Increasing Safety and Efficiency in Maritime Operations using Satellite Information © MARSAT, 2019
MARSAT Ice Pad in action. Geophysicist Frazer Christie and Captain Freddie Ligthelm during the search for the wreck of the Endurance, which sank in the Weddell Sea in 1915.

In July 2019 the partners officially completed the R&D stage of the MARSAT project. This does not mean that MARSAT has come to an end, but rather that we are proud to have reached the next, mature level, continuing to bring innovations to the market.

“The demand from the maritime industry for up-to date spatial information is obvious and much of the potential is yet to be explored,” said Dr Nils Meyer-Larsen, MARSAT Project Manager at the ISL.

Dr Meyer-Larsen and his team have analysed the market demand and potential of satellite analytics in more detail. “We believe that the key to the success of MARSAT so far, and for future development, is the ability to respond to the market and adapt to new satellite capabilities in an agile and interdisciplinary fashion. That’s one of the strengths of the MARSAT Consortium.”

One of the demands of the maritime industry is the ability to access data and perform analysis in-house, as and when they need it. MARSAT partner EOMAP has developed cloud-based software solutions to harness satellite data through modern data analytics methods in combination with physics-based procedures. The company has also created easy-to-use tools to aid maritime decision making, including information portals especially for the maritime industry.

The MARSAT team includes the satellite data service providers EOMAP and Drift&Noise Polar Services, maritime hardware and software providers SevenCs and TRENZ, and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL). MARSAT is co-financed by DLR Space Administration (part of the German Aerospace Center), with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

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Increasing Safety and Efficiency in Maritime Operations using Satellite Information © MARSAT, 2019
The difference Satellite-Derived Bathymetry (SDB) can make. The currently available, official electronical navigational chart of Bahia Catalinita in the Dominican Republic (left) and the improvements made by the integration of SDB data (right).