Vessel ID System (Vessel ID System) - 01.29.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone

The Vessel ID System investigation demonstrates the ability of a space-based radio receiver to identify ships in the ocean. It also demonstrates the use of a simple device known as the Grappling Adaptor to On-Orbit Railing (GATOR), which can be used during a spacewalk to attach small equipment to external handrails on the International Space Station (ISS). The investigation could provide researchers an additional platform for mounting experiments while demonstrating a new means to identify ships at sea. 

Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

This content was provided by R.B. Olsen, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.

Experiment Details

OpNom Vessel ID Sys

Principal Investigator(s)

  • R.B. Olsen, Norway

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • K. Schwarzenbarth, Luxembourg
  • G. Ruy-Longépé, Luxembourg
  • O. Helleren, Norway
  • A. Nordmo Skauen, Norway
  • T. Eriksen, Norway
  • S.E. Christiansen, Norway
  • H. Rosshaug, Norway
  • F. Storesund, Norway
  • J.B. Frappé, Luxembourg

  • Developer(s)
    Information Pending
    Sponsoring Space Agency
    European Space Agency (ESA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Information Pending

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    March 2010 - September 2014

    Expeditions Assigned

    Previous ISS Missions
    Vessel ID System operations were first scheduled to operate on ISS Increment 21/22.

    ^ back to top

    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • The Vessel ID System investigation consists of a simple EVA compatible mechanism to accommodate small passive equipment payloads on the ISS modules equipped with standard EVA handrails, known as Grappling Adaptor to On-Orbit Railing (GATOR).

    • The Vessel ID System also consists of a ship and shore broadcast system which operates in the VHF maritime band, known as the Automatic Identification System (AIS). AIS will demonstrate the space-based identification capability of maritime vessels.

    Information Pending

    ^ back to top


    Space Applications

    The Vessel ID System tests a new mechanism that can be used to install small passive experimental payloads on the International Space Station’s exterior. The Grappling Adaptor to On-Orbit Railing (GATOR) could attach small payloads to ISS handrails, which are used by crewmembers during extravehicular activity. This would provide an additional space on the station to conduct passive experiments or collect data.

    Earth Applications

    The Vessel ID System includes an Automatic Identification System (AIS), which can track global maritime traffic from space. Data from this ship-monitoring device could be combined with data from satellites to provide better surveillance of ships at sea. Current AIS technology is only designed to monitor vessels in coastal waters, but the Vessel Identification System will incorporate ships in open waters. It will be mounted on the European Columbus module, and could help European entities monitor ships for fishery control, search and rescue operations, maritime border control and law enforcement purposes.

    ^ back to top


    Operational Requirements
    Information Pending

    Operational Protocols
    Information Pending

    ^ back to top

    Results/More Information

    ^ back to top

    Related Websites

    ^ back to top