Ursa Space and Spire Global’s Partnership

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The fusion of AIS data and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery helps monitor ‘dark’ ships that may be engaging in illegal activity.

The most effective technique to monitor illegal maritime activity requires multiple remote sensing technologies. With this capability in mind, Ursa Space Systems, a geospatial analytics orchestrator, and Spire Global, Inc. (“Spire”), a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics, and space services, have partnered to combine their capabilities and strengthen the ability for U.S. federal customers to monitor maritime activity.

This unique data fusion capability allows Ursa Space and Spire to detect and track ships that have gone “dark” by turning off their AIS signals. A ship turning off its AIS raises a red flag, especially when the ship’s location before and after rouses further suspicion. Dark ships represent a major gap in maritime coverage and hinder efforts to enforce international sanctions, prevent illegal fishing and piracy, and/or follow commodity cargoes from origin to destination.

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