PathFinder 1A

Status date

The project intends to launch an attached payload as a first demonstrator of space AIS capacity. For that purpose, an attached payload has been developed, to be launched along with SarLupe-3 satellite on the COSMOS 3 launcher. The second part of the project is to analyse all the issues related to the receiving of AIS signals from space and derive an optimum system for that purpose.

Attached payloads on top of last stage

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Ais signal analysis

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Ship detection

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Regarding AIS signal reception from space, the key issue is to derive an optimum receiver along with supplementary information extraction allowing additional services to be provided in an operational system.


Attaining optimum information extraction from a space borne receiver is the best enhancer of operational system efficiency. The outcome of the project will provide insight in future signal processing methods in planned AIS satellites.


The contract is comprised of two main parts:

  • A space borne receiver,
  • An extensive work package on synthesis of signals, on simulation in signal processing domain and derivation of information extraction techniques.

Basically, the project has a duration of 9 months, the signal processing part being developed across that timespan.

Current status

The payload has been launched according to schedule. It is not operational due to the behaviour of the last stage which precludes a correct illumination of the solar panel, thus reducing almost to zero the available power.

The signal processing package has been redesigned accordingly and has led to a signal processing package which provides a robust demodulating scheme, able to support message collision, supplementary information able to effectively enhance system efficiency.

The project has been completed.