ESA title


  • ACTIVITYDemonstration Project
  • STATUSCompleted
  • THEMATIC AREATransport & Logistics

Objectives of the service

The objectives of the DPC Block 2 project are the specification, design, development, integration, validation and pre-operation of the DPC Block 2. 

The project also aims at demonstrating the scalability of the DPC Block 2 to future satellite constellations that might result from on-going or future SAT-AIS initiatives. For this purpose, the DPC Block 2 architecture includes a SAT-AIS simulator which allows for the simulation of SAT-AIS and ancillary data produced by existing or future space segments.

Users and their needs

The user of the services provided by the SAT-AIS DPC Block 2 is the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). 

Service/ system concept

The DPC Block 2 provides the following services: 

  • Service  1. AIS messages provision: it provides well-received AIS messages, without any further enhancement processing;
  • Service  2. Missing AIS Messages detection service: it provides indication of the times during which AIS messages were lost as well as times where the contacts were expected;
  • Service  3. Enhanced AIS messages service: it provides AIS messages that have been reconstructed and/or enhanced by using ancillary data;
  • Service  4. Predicted AIS messages service: it provides AIS messages prediction, based on previous SAT-AIS messages from the same ship;
  • Service  5.  AIS messages with EO data service: it provides validated positions of ships by correlating VDR data from EO images with AIS messages:
  • Service  6. Support SAT-AIS information: it provides satellite orbital data and events information in support of AIS messages processing.

Figure 2: Enhanced AIS messages service :reconstruction of  invalid AIS messages

Space Added Value

DPC Block 2 relies on SAT-AIS and EO data. 

The general added value of SAT-AIS is to provide extended ship detection and tracking service, at distances from coastlines, that cannot be covered by land-based AIS. 

DPC capability to integrate SAT-AIS data with external information (such as Doppler shift measurements and VDRs derived from Earth Observation data) further qualifies and enhances ship position accuracy provided by SAT-AIS.

Current Status

Following the definition of the system requirements, DPC Block 2 implementation activities and testing were successfully concluded in June 2013. 

After successful demo qualification review, the pre-operations of DPC Block2 with real SAT-AIS data started in July 2013 and lasted 8 months, proving DPC Block2 compliance to the requirements and the key performance indicators agreed during the project. 

Remarkably, the enhanced positioning service was proved to be fully functional and providing results usable in an operational context. 

Following the successful outcome of the project, DPC Block2 is planned to become step-wise part of the EMSA’s Integrated Monitoring Data Environment (IMDatE) services.

Prime Contractor(s)

Status Date

Updated: 18 January 2017