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Airbus Locates Maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire IX


The high-resolution image which showed the capsized vessel.

Airbus’ Ocean Finder service located the maxi-trimaran ‘Banque Populaire IX’ (Ultime class) in less than a day after it capsized halfway between Portugal and the Azores on 6 November during the latest Route du Rhum transatlantic race.

As soon as the request was received from Team Banque Populaire, Airbus activated the Ocean Finder service and immediately programmed its satellites to collect very high resolution images as quickly as possible, in case the trimaran’s beacon system had failed. Airbus’ maritime experts and Team Banque Populaire defined the search area, taking into account a combination of data that could influence the drift of the wreckage (winds, currents, waves).

The 32-metre-long vessel, skippered by Armel Le Cléac’h, was then identified by the Pléiades satellites, which provide images at a resolution of 0.5 metres.

Ocean Finder is an online service for the detection and identification of objects at sea (ships, icebergs, oil slicks), combining satellite imagery, AIS (Automatic Identification System) and open source data.

Ocean Finder – Locate, Identify and Track Ocean Assets

This service provides information reports of ocean assets over surfaces and places defined by the user, as a single image or on a regular basis.
The basic level of information provided is a ship detection report which can be optionally enriched with ship classification and identification or activity detection.

    • Reliable service capability with use of radar and optical sensors:
      • Pléiades and SPOT 6/7 for daily collection of areas as big as 100,000km² with an ideal resolution to identify larger ships and detect/classify small to medium sized vessels.
      • TerraSAR-X for near -real-time detection of small to large vessels, whatever the cloud cover and lighting conditions, automated detection capability allows for rapid delivery.
    • Transparent service package with selection of appropriate sensors, their activation with the relevant priority and report production (incl. if possible AIS signal matching to pinpoint non reporting boats)
    • Routine mode, for background intelligence, as one-off or on a regular basis
    • To support planned or unplanned operations – rapid delivery is activated to ensure the information is as fresh as possible for users

Ocean Finder key features:

  • Detects illegal activities
  • Relocates hijacked vessels
  • More effectively manage your fleet
  • Ensures increased safety in hostile waters
  • Assists with search and rescue efforts
  • 24/7 service – coming soon

Upcoming articles in this blog will include information about AIS (Automatic Identification System), AIS Transponders / Transceivers, AIS Class A, AIS Class B, AIS Base Stations, AIS Networks, AIS AtoN (Aids to Navigation), Buoy track / fishing, AIS SART (Search and Rescue Transmitter), Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), Vessel Traffic Management Information System (VTMIS), AIS Satellite, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), Digital Selective Calling (DSC), Marine VHF Radio, Homeland Security, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and other related issues.

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