HawkEye 360 Readies Second Cluster of Satellites for Launch

HawkEye 360 has successfully completed environmental testing of its second cluster of satellites, which will be launched aboard a fully dedicated rideshare mission with Space X no earlier than December 2020. 

In the maritime domain, HawkEye 360 uses a satellite constellation to independently geolocate VHF marine communications, L-band mobile satellite devices, X-band navigation radar, S-band navigation radar, AIS signals and emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs). HawkEye 360 just released the RFGeo that can track more marine navigation radar signals, and it works with partners such as maritime risk analytics company Windward, satellite imagery companies Planet and MAXAR, and TankerTrackers.com, a commercial crude oil watchdog, to combine data that present a more comprehensive picture.

This data are useful to detect the presence of vessels or provide tip-offs to activities of interest, particularly when vessels go dark and stop transmitting AIS. As an example of this, HawkEye 360 recently published data that reinforced findings from TankerTrackers.com that Iran has increased tanker activity to Syria to evade U.S. crude oil sanctions.

HawkEye 360 also monitored vessel activity around Italy and Wuhan ports to demonstrate the economic impact of COVID-19 on shipping activity. In Wuhan, The HawkEye 360 analysis showed broad 40 to 70 percent declines of all types of vessel activity across key ports, while in Italy, maritime traffic was cut in half due to a COVID-19 lockdown.

The technology can also be helpful in instances where ships are operating illegally in economic exclusion zones.

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