The Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) for Innovative Terrestrial Monitoring and Maritime Surveillance (SARwAIS) Project focuses on terrestrial monitoring and maritime surveillance on high priority areas through simultaneous radar image and automatic identification system (AIS) data acquisition through the NovaSAR-1 satellite.
About SAR with AIS
The Project is a directed research and development initiative with funding from the Department of Science and Technology’s Grants-in-Aid Program.
SARwAIS aims to improve terrestrial monitoring and maritime surveillance over high priority areas through simultaneous input of SAR imaging and AIS data. Aside from these, the data can also be used for various applications such as disaster management, environmental and agricultural monitoring, land cover classification, among others.
Housed and implemented under the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), the SARwAIS Project is a response to the goal of coordinated inputs from various local stakeholders, including Philippine government agencies such as:
- Philippine Space Agency
- National Security Council
- National Coast Watch System
- Philippine Statistics Authority
- Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
- Philippine Coast Guard
- Laguna Lake Development Authority
- Libmanan Water District; among other partners.
The datasets from the NovaSAR-1 satellite are received through the Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation (PEDRO) Center, while the secure storage and archiving of the data is coursed through the Computing and Archiving Research Environment (COARE). The data processing and analysis is spearheaded by the researchers from the PEDRO Center and the Remote Sensing and Data Science: DATOS Help Desk with the utilization of High-Performance Computing resources of DOST-ASTI.
Capacity-sharing Agreement with SSTL
Since its start of service in August 2019, researchers have been accessing data from the NovaSAR-1 to enhance terrestrial and maritime monitoring around the country. The NovaSAR-1 satellite was designed and built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL), with the SAR payload by Airbus United Kingdom (UK) and the AIS Receiver by Honeywell Aerospace.
The earth-observation satellite has multiple features conducive for the Philippines’ atmospheric and climatic conditions. Its SAR capability enables it to acquire earth observation data through cloud cover and detect marine structures such as marine vessels and aquaculture systems. The AIS Receiver allows the satellite to collect ship information across the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The agreement will allow the Philippines to access the NovaSAR-1 satellite until the lifespan of the spacecraft.
Researchers have also recently launched the SIYASAT Portal which enables partner agencies to task image capture requests for the NovaSAR-1 satellite. Partner agencies can track current and future paths of the NovaSAR-1 satellite to anticipate capture opportunities for their areas of interest.
By providing details (e.g., image capture mode, area of interest, image capture duration, etc.), users of the portal can submit their task requests.
The requests will undergo validation of tasking priority. Users will then be notified via email if the requested datasets are all ready for download.
DOST-ASTI will also undertake capacity transfer training and engagement activities on the utilization of the data for partners in the government and academe in the Philippines.