The Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Micro-Satellite (M3MSat) is a tele-detection satellite being developed by the Canadian Space Agency. Its mission is to demonstrate and test the technology to assess the utility of having in space an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for reading signals from vessels to better manage marine transport in Canadian waters. The system will be supported by an instrument called a Low Data Rate Service (LDRS), which transmits AIS messages to ground sensors.
The M3MSat microsatellite will be used to receive and locate digital signals transmitted by vessels. This data will be sent to ground stations to then be relayed to operators for Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC). This will make it possible to identify and record marine traffic, know vessels' direction and cruising speed and ensure that they navigate legally and safely in Canadian waters.
Canada's Department of National Defence has granted a licence to exactEarth to commercialize the AIS data collected from M3MSat and integrate it with the data collected from the rest of the exactEarth constellation.
M3MSat is a tele-detection satellite, and its mission is to demonstrate and test the technology of three instruments:
Automatic Identification System (AIS) — will make it possible to detect signals from ships and thus know the locations of ships travelling in Canadian waters.
Low Data Rate Service (LDRS), which will receive low-speed AIS data from boats in Canadian waters and retransmit that data to control centers located in the east and west of the country, ensuring coordination and retransmission of information collected on marine traffic. This will enable the collection of data on marine traffic in remote areas where there is no data streaming infrastructure.
Dielectric Deep Charge Monitor (DDCM), accumulated electrostatic charge in satellites' dielectric (non-conductive) material and gain insight on their level of functionality. This information will help extend the lifetime of Earth-orbiting satellites.