Satellite Imagery

in the Maritime Industry

Detect marine vessels, search large areas and monitor coastlines

Very high resolution optical satellites offer a unique view of our oceans, seas, and coasts. They also provide a cost-effective and simple method of monitoring wide areas over maritime zones globally. They are an indispensable tool for managing the actions and events that impact on maritime safety, security, and sustainability.
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Seeing Though the Trees: Monitoring Agriculture and Forestry Using Satellite Imagery


The definitive guide to acquiring and using satellite imagery in the maritime sector.


Very high resolution satellite data is a core component of marine monitoring services, and provides a cost-effective method for monitoring large and remote areas. It is sufficiently detailed to enable:

  • Identification of individual vessels
  • Detection of illegal fishing
  • Detection of pollution such as oil spills
  • Validation of AIS data
  • Detection of coastal erosion
  • Identification of algal blooms


Monitoring change in coastal regions is critical to marine navigation and development, and an important parameter is water depth. Reflectance values from 8-band multispectral imagery is a non-invasive and extremely cost-effective tool for bathymetry in water depths up to 15 m. Bathymetric data supports:

  • Updating navigational maps
  • Marine habitat and benthic ecosystems monitoring
  • Assessment of at-risk properties or infrastructure
  • Classification of marine habitats
  • Oceanographic research (especially in remote areas)

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Vessel Identification

Marine vessel surveillance is crucial for maritime safety and environmental protection. When a ship has stopped transmitting an AIS location signal, it could be for a number of suspicious reasons.

When an organisation needs to locate or confirm the identity of a vessel at sea, tipping and cueing services and vessel detection software are the essential tools. Ships can be located in large areas of ocean using Synthetic-aperture Radar (SAR) satellite data and then carefully analysed used VHR optical satellite data to determine details such as vessel type, accurate measurements and identifying features.


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The definitive guide to acquiring and using satellite imagery in the maritime sector.

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