Modern Satellite Detection Technologies

Topics: Satellite

Even with the upgrades in technology in satellite detection, statistical methods provide a practical approach that offers improvements. AIS and its importance are crucial because not only does it deliver authorities the location of known positions of ships but also the whereabouts of historical trajectories. With this information, lost ships have a greater potential of being found.

The author’s main point for this paper that Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) for satellites have limitations on recognizing the location of vessels in crowded shipping lanes and how the use of binomial distribution can be used to improve on this accuracy.

While satellites have the mobility that terrestrial systems do not, this also creates a concern. Satellites move at over 15,000 miles per hour at 600 miles above the earth, so the probability for individual ship detection decreases significantly when congestion occurs such as high traffic area i.e. bays or ports. The correct term for this phenomenon is the Doppler shift effect, where the frequency of the radio wave becomes attenuated because the satellite is moving with respect to the ship’s location.

To qualify as a binomial probability distribution model, the following conditions must apply: only two possible results; independent trials, all trials are alike; and the probabilities are not waivered for each successive trial. The first steps in setting up the experiment are determining a specific area as the control. Next, the duration of the interval is decided and how many messages are transmitted during it. The sample data with the transmitted data is then compared to the received signals from the satellite, and the data is recorded.

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This AIS satellite data is compared side-by-side with systems on the ground, which have a high-reliability rate. The satellite data takes on a conversion that is able to amplify the signal and in return, clarification of the data is offered and the probability of vessel detection in an area with clusters of ships exist increases.

Further explanation of these findings shows that there are still shortcomings with these results. Even if all the ships can broadcast a message, the signal could be lost in translation before it is received by satellites. Also, the outcome of the true and observed data could be tainted. This stems from when unrecognized vessels appear, the true assessment, which should always be greater than one will become less than one because the unknown ships are calculated as null. One surprising fact is that the number of transmission counts (n), hardly shifted whether n equaled 30 or 10,000 counts. Based upon this, the importance of this value is obscured, and more emphasis should be placed on the receiving probability (p) of each message. In all four locations of measurement, the probability using the binomial distribution method increased in detection from 2% to 28%.

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Modern Satellite Detection Technologies. (2021, Dec 31). Retrieved from

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