Pathfinder Satellites to Support Maritime Sector


Satellite specialists HawkEye 360 has announced the successful launch of its Pathfinder mission: the company’s first cluster of three, formation-flying satellites.

According to a statement, the satellites will deliver a unique source of radio frequency (RF) data that can be used to create RF-based analytics.

HawkEye 360 processes and analyzes signals using proprietary algorithms and machine-learning tools to deliver actionable insights.

In addition to this, the company is developing foundational products that build global awareness of spectrum deployment, creating an RF data layer around the world.

Nils Meyer-Larsen discusses the benefits of satellite services for ports and shipping in a recent Port Technology technical paper

The resulting analytical products will help customers in the maritime sector assess suspicious vessel activity and risk, detect communication interference, evaluate communication outages during disasters, and help rescuers search for people in distress.

Now that the Pathfinder satellites have reached orbit, the company will initiate system checkout and begin to manoeuver the satellites into position.

The satellites will be able to identify and precisely geolocate a broad set of RF signals from emitters such as VHS push-to-talk radios, maritime radar systems and emergency beacons.



John Serafini, CEO of HawkEye 360, said: “The successful launch of our Pathfinder satellites is the biggest moment in our company’s young history.

“We combined our varied expertise in small satellites, signals processing and data analytics to bring a new source of RF information to the market.”

Chris DeMay, Hawk Eye 360’s Chief Technology Officer, added: “The core of our business is RF analytics, which is dependent upon high-quality, geolocated RF data.

“Each of these small satellites is equipped with a software-defined radio that can tune to different frequencies and pick up different RF signals. When we see the same signal from all three satellites, we triangulate it and figure out where the signal is coming from.”

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