By adding space-based capability to VDES, the communication system’s range increases from the shoreline to anywhere in the ocean, converting what is currently a predominantly coastal system into a global maritime system. With up to 32 times more bandwidth than the currently widely used Automatic Identification System (AIS) communication, VDES can be integrated with e-navigation systems, enabling savings in fuel and emissions of up to 25 percent, aiding navigation, and increasing safety. The bandwidth also creates opportunities for a wide range of other services, such as delivery of weather data, messaging, etc.
What is VDES?
The next generation of AIS system – internationally called the VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) – provides higher data exchange capability to allow for smarter navigation and communication solutions for the shipping industry. It adds also a new dimension with providing terrestrial VDES and satellite VDES, a global high-speed ship-to-satellite and satellite-to-ship communication link available for various applications.
VDES makes available up to 32 times more bandwidth compared to AIS and can provide unique world-wide satellite-to-ship reporting/communication, better integrity, and cyber security technology. It addresses also the emerging indications of overload of the AIS VHF Data Link (VDL), enable a wider seamless data exchange and supports a future modernization of GMDSS.
VDES supports the increasing communications requirements identified through the development of e‐Navigation, as defined in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) e‐Navigation Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP). The purpose of e‐navigation is to enhance berth‐to‐berth navigation and related services for safety and security at sea and protection of the marine environment. E-Navigation seeks to enhance maritime safety through simplification and harmonization of information. In addition, e‐Navigation seeks to facilitate and increase efficiency of maritime trade and transport by improved information exchange.
How it Works
AOS (AAC Clyde Space, Saab and ORBCOMM) are collaborating on the developing of the next generation of space based VDES system, marking the beginning of a new era in maritime communications.
We’re building, launching and commissioning the first satellite in the project, the satellite, Njord-1, is expected to be followed by a larger constellation of satellites that will form a new part of the maritime communication infrastructure.
The satellite will carry a VDES (VHF Data Exchange System) payload from Saab for two-way communication between satellite and ground. ORBCOMM will integrate the data in its distribution centre for maritime communications.
As the world gets ‘smarter’, we’re both demanding and need better, speed and reliability of communications. AOS will ultimately be a space-based communication service which both utilizes VDES and cross industry expertise and technology to offer a truly unique data service . Reliable global satellite coverage supports many applications including maritime domain awareness, search and rescue, environmental monitoring to maritime intelligence.
Njord-1, a 3U satellite built by AAC Clyde Space, is the first satellite of an intended constellation. It is planned to launch in mid-2022 and will be the first satellite assembled at AAC Clyde Space’s new integration facility in Uppsala, Sweden. The satellite will carry a VDES (VHF Data Exchange System) payload from Saab for two-way communication between satellite and ground. ORBCOMM will integrate the data in its distribution centre for maritime communications.
The first demonstration satellite is expected to be followed by a larger constellation of satellites that will form a new part of the maritime communication infrastructure. The addition of a space-based capability will increase VDES range from the shoreline to anywhere in the ocean, converting what is currently a predominantly coastal system into a global maritime system.