The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has awarded a new four-year satellite automatic identification system (AIS) data service framework contract to LuxSpace and its partner ORBCOMM.

Under the deal, which is funded for up to €10.2m, LuxSpace will provide ORBCOMM’s global real-time data feed of satellite-based AIS (SAT-AIS) data.

The SAT-AIS data will be used by EMSA, as well as other European Union (EU) agencies and EU member states for ship tracking and other maritime navigational, safety and security applications.

"An advanced AIS micro-satellite is under development with the help of the LuxSpace Triton-2 platform."

LuxSpace managing director Thomas Görlach said: “This achievement is an important step in our roadmap to establish further innovative services based on our next generation micro satellite product line, Triton-X.”

The company has been providing AIS data and manufacturing micro-satellite since 2009.

LuxSpace, along with ORBCOMM has built two AIS-enabled satellites, namely VesselSat 1 and VesselSat 2, which were operated by ORBCOMM and provided AIS data services to various customers worldwide.

An advanced AIS micro-satellite is under development with the help of the LuxSpace Triton-2 platform through a deal with the European Space Agency (ESA).

ORBCOMM chief executive officer Marc Eisenberg said: “The EMSA contract is a great win for ORBCOMM and our partner, LuxSpace, and we look forward to providing industry-leading satellite AIS data services to EMSA and its member states.

“ORBCOMM’s AIS service delivers comprehensive and reliable global coverage with high refresh rates, which provides a complete situational picture of vessel activity worldwide.”

EMSA currently consolidates AIS data and is involved in maritime safety, pollution-by-ship monitoring and ship security for the EU and its member states.

In May, EMSA extended an interagency agreement with the EU’s border agency Frontex for an additional three years.

With the deal, both the agencies aim to strengthen their partnership in the areas of border surveillance, interception of vessels suspected of engaging in criminal activities as well as cross border crime and support for search-and-rescue at sea.