Information Latency Secured by the SpaceDataHighway
Reliable Open Ocean Surveillance (OOS) requires an availability of fully processed data end-to-end within 15 to 20 minutes for any maritime area worldwide. Besides the availability of a dependable, global, all-weather data acquisition capabilities (ideally with integrated AIS information as with TerraSAR-X Next Generation) the determining factor for the timeliness is the rapid delivery of the data to the end user.
With the current network of ground stations, these timeliness requirements are met only for the vicinity of the stations. For a large part of the oceans' surface, the delay between image acquisition and information provision leads to a data latency making the information no more actionable. The SpaceDataHighway offers a complementary solution by providing immediate high-speed data transfer from LEO satellites and UAVs/surveillance aircrafts to the ground for orbits/locations not accessible by direct receiving stations.
The SpaceDataHighway also enables the tasking of satellites shortly before they enter the imaging area, optimizing the satellite programming with the latest target area information allowing for a more tactical observation approach. This facilitates rapid response to unusual activities on the ground, that require further investigation.
The future of a near-continuous global OOS in near-real-time will thus be the combination of novel technologies in Earth observation and telecommunication. Improved data quality and collection capability as provided by the next-generation Earth observation satellites and constellations will come into their own right when combined with the SpaceDataHighway.