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Small vessel satellite-AIS tracking technology developed

exactEarth today announced that it has concluded a mutually exclusive agreement with SRT to develop and commercialise technology that will for the first time enable low power AIS transceivers of the types being deployed on small commercial and leisure vessels to be tracked from space.

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The new technology is called ABSEA and the first ABSEA-enabled products are expected to be deployed later this year.

The agreement follows an earlier memorandum of understanding between UK-based SRT and Ontario-headquartered exactEarth, which was announced in May 2013.

AIS tracking at sea and from shore is typically limited to approximately 50 nautical miles. High powered Class A type transceivers can be tracked by the existing exactEarth AIS satellite network, however transmissions from standard Class B and Identifier type devices cannot currently be reliably tracked from space. exactEarth says that since last year it has pooled its capabilities with SRT to develop this new technology which, when embedded within standard low powered AIS transceivers, enables their transmissions to be received by its satellites. 

Under the terms of the agreement, SRT and exactEarth jointly own the ABSEA technology and will co-operate to commercialise the tracking data. SRT will receive a share of the revenues generated from data sales. 

“This is a significant strategic agreement for SRT, which enables our AIS Class B and Identifier type transceivers with a unique capability of value in many applications,” said SRT’s CEO Simon Tucker.

Peter Mabson, exactEarth president, noted: “With the World Wildlife Fund now calling for AIS tracking of all fishing boats worldwide and with an estimated global population of 8 million small vessels, we see a very considerable long-term, sustainable market for ABSEA-based services."

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