The first satellite to be developed and assembled in Luxembourg has been put in orbit on September 3rd. ESAIL was one of 53 satellites on Arianespace’s rideshare adapter for Small Satellites Mission Service and was deployed into a Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of more than 500 km. ESAIL will track ships worldwide by detecting messages that ships radio-broadcast with their automatic identification systems (AIS). As part of Canadian operator exactEarth’s satellite-based automatic identification systems (SAT-AIS) constellation, ESAIL will provide ship data to the European Maritime Safety Agency for the next generation of global maritime traffic services. This enables fisheries monitoring, fleet management, environmental protection and security monitoring for maritime and government authorities and industry – making the seas safer.
ESAIL was developed in an ESA Partnership Project with LuxSpace and ExactEarth as part of ESA’s SAT-AIS program. ESAIL is the third AIS satellite for LuxSpace – but also the largest so far. The company is currently developing a multi‐purpose, modular platform called Triton‐X. This platform will build on the manufacturing and testing heritage gained by LuxSpace through ESAIL, using off-the-shelf components to deliver a fully-fledged satellite within months.