SRT Marine Systems has announced plans to build and launch its new maritime monitoring satellite constellation known as OCEAN-SCAN to detect and track sea-based vessels worldwide.

OCEAN-SCAN will initially feature six low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites, which will be specially designed to operate in a combination of equatorial and polar orbits in order to provide global coverage.

The constellation will also offer improved coverage of the equatorial and border regions.

The system is set to become fully operational by 2019 and is expected to help SRT sell long-range vessel detection and tracking data to its maritime domain awareness (MDA) system customers.

In addition, OCEAN-SCAN will be equipped with various sensor technologies such as an Automatic Identification System (AIS) to provide accurate and reliable tracking of all types and sizes of vessels, with or without an identification transceiver.

It is also expected to detect illegal maritime activity in real-time and enable long-range, reliable tracking of even the smallest fishing boats.

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"Subject to the usual risks associated with launching satellites, we expect OCEAN-SCAN to be fully operational before the end of 2019."

Additionally, OCEAN-SCAN will be able to provide coverage of maritime regions that are currently not covered by terrestrial sensor systems.

SRT Marine Systems CEO Simon Tucker said: “OCEAN-SCAN is fully funded via forecasted trading cash flow and further supported by our new working capital facility.

“Subject to the usual risks associated with launching satellites, we expect OCEAN-SCAN to be fully operational before the end of 2019.

“The new technologies and innovative system architecture of the OCEAN-SCAN satellite system, combined with our SAT-Trak vessel transceiver technology and GeoVS intelligent monitoring and analytics system, will deliver an unmatched level of fully integrated vessel tracking, identification and management capability to our customers.”

SRT has also signed an initial agreement with UK-based Clyde Space to develop small, low-cost, single-purpose satellite system solutions for the OCEAN-SCAN system.