The Vessel ID System investigation is designed to demonstrate the ability of a space based radio receiver (using VHF maritime frequency band) to identify ships. Additionally, this investigation demonstrates operability of a simple EVA compatible mechanism, the Grappling Adaptor to On-Orbit Railing (GATOR) device, which is used to attach small passive equipment to external EVA handrails on the International Space Station (ISS). Successful demonstration of these components provides future researchers additional locations on which to mount experiments and may lead to more efficient means of identifying ships at sea.Principal Investigator(s)
European Space Agency (ESA)Sponsoring Organization
Information PendingResearch Benefits
Information PendingISS Expedition Duration:
March 2010 - March 2014Expeditions Assigned
23/24,25/26,27/28,29/30,31/32,33/34,35/36,37/38Previous ISS Missions
Vessel ID System operations were first scheduled to operate on ISS Increment 21/22.
Information PendingEarth Applications
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) for Columbus (known as the Vessel Identification System), is verifying the capability of the system to be used as a method of tracking global maritime traffic from space. Integrating this AIS information with other satellite data, such as from remote-sensing satellites, should significantly improve maritime surveillance, and boost safety and security at sea.
The current ground-based Automatic Identification Systems are only designed to monitor maritime vessels in coastal waters. This capability will be greatly expanded by the Vessel Identification System on Columbus to incorporate maritime traffic in open waters. The Vessel Identification System could potentially be beneficial to many European entities particularly in assisting them in law enforcement, fishery control campaigns, maritime border control, maritime safety and security issues including marine pollution survey, search and rescue and anti-piracy.
Information PendingOperational Protocols