How EO and satellite imagery can transform the Indo-Pacific power game?
Domain knowledge will enable Quad partners to effectively track dark ships and other illicit activity and improve their abilities to respond to disasters as well as humanitarian crises. Illegal fishing has become a bigger threat than piracy today, and it poses multiple risks that can turn into social, ecological, political and economic dangers, dragging countries into a quagmire of chaos, anarchy and of devastation.
Vessels that turn off their GPS and Automatic Identification System (AIS) are called dark vessels that sail in stealth. With the help of SAR and other satellites, it has become possible to monitor these ships.
HawkEye 360, a company that provides RF data and analysis from space, has a maritime analytics capability that analyzes RF signal geolocations and global AIS maritime geolocations to provide insight into potential dark activity worldwide.
The Quad initiative is also an opportunity for partnerships with specialized private players and satellite image providers. Quad said the data would be “unclassified” so it could be widely shared with other countries or partner organizations, or used to raise awareness among the general public.
Thanks to the analysis of SAR and RF satellites, vessels can be tracked even if they turn off or alter the AIS signal. Indeed, ships use very high frequency X-band radars that can be geolocated.
For active support, cooperation, coordination and knowledge sharing, there would be regional fusion centers in India, Singapore, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and the Pacific Fusion Centre, based in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu respectively, will be supported by Australia.
“As the initiative moves forward, the Quad will identify promising future technologies, enabling IPMDA to remain a cutting-edge partnership that promotes peace and stability across the region,” the statement read. .