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ORBCOMM partners with Unseenlabs to enable surveillance of ‘dark’ vessels

ORBCOMM has entered into a global commercial reseller agreement with Unseenlabs, a French company that specialises in the geolocation of ships at sea and Radio Frequency (RF) detection from space.

The partnership will allow Unseenlabs to offer its space-collected RF services for maritime surveillance applications to ORBCOMM’s government and commercial Automatic Identification System (AIS) customers.

Leveraging a dedicated, state-of-the art satellite constellation, Unseenlabs’ RF emissions detection services enable maritime surveillance of ‘dark’ vessels at sea, which turn off their AIS transponders or cooperative beacons to engage in illegal activities and evade authorities. Using its proprietary, on-board RF technology based on the identification of electromagnetic waves emitted by ships, Unseenlabs is able to geolocate any vessel at sea from space, in near-real time and regardless of weather conditions to within a kilometer, from a single nanosatellite. Unseenlabs supplies a wide range of maritime stakeholders with accurate, up-to-date data on vessel positions, using a unique electromagnetic fingerprint, to enable unfalsifiable identification of the emitter and provide significantly enhanced tracking of activities at sea.

ORBCOMM will distribute Unseenlabs’ value-added RF data, along with ORBCOMM’s industry-leading AIS service, through ORBCOMM’s established government and commercial maritime channels to provide an enhanced picture of vessel activity around the world. Unseenlabs’ data supplements and synergises with ORBCOMM’s AIS data to take vessel tracking and monitoring to a higher level of reliability and precision. By offering AIS customers the ability to locate and monitor “dark” vessels, ORBCOMM and Unseenlabs can play a valuable role in the fight against unlawful and anti-environmental behavior, such as illegal fishing or dumping of hydrocarbons, to greatly improve the safety and security of the world’s oceans.

“We are excited to work with Unseenlabs to pursue new opportunities for their space-based maritime surveillance services through our partnerships with maritime information providers as well as our key government customers,” said Greg Flessate, ORBCOMM’s senior vice president and general manager of government, AIS and business operations. “Unseenlabs’ unique RF emission detection technology is a critical tool to identify and report bad actors turning off their AIS devices while engaged in illegal activities at sea such as unregulated fishing, violating trade sanctions, environmental pollution and drug and human trafficking.”

“ORBCOMM’s leading AIS service is an ideal complement to Unseenlabs’ innovative electromagnetic technology and unmatched coverage, enabling customers to locate and monitor any vessel, anywhere and at any time, even when they have cut their embedded active beacons and have vanished from surveillance screens,” said Clement Galic, chief executive officer and founder of Unseenlabs. “In partnership with ORBCOMM, we are able to deliver a comprehensive, tamper-proof maritime surveillance service to ORBCOMM’s customers, which is essential in ensuring maritime safety and creating a sustainable future for our oceans.”

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