Near real-time vessel detection

Cost-effective and scalable maritime domain surveillance

Increase visibility across your domain while conserving resources

An exclusive economic zone (EEZ) can extend out as far as 200 nautical miles from the coastline. It has no physical borders or controls. How can you monitor and respond more rapidly to suspicious or illegal activity?

If you serve within a navy, coast guard, maritime law enforcement, port authority or commercial fisheries —you need scalable clarity in as close to real-time as possible. Maxar maritime monitoring and vessel detection services provide the expertise and insights to help you quickly identify maritime traffic and monitor activity within or just outside your areas of interest.

  • Narrow your focus and deploy resources to the areas that matter most
  • Improve your MCS approach
  • Monitor illegal activity and recover economic losses
  • Gain unprecedented visibility and awareness within EEZ

IUU Fishing

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Ecuador contains about 283,561 sq km in landmass, but the country’s EEZ covers 1,150,000 sq km between its coastal waters and the surrounding EEZ across the Galapagos Archipelago.

Naval and other agencies are responsible for monitoring and protecting these open waters to prevent illegal fishing, bilge dumping or other activities such as smuggling.

Narrowing the search to identify suspect vessels

Maxar first collects the entire area with radar imagery to detect any vessel >20m, this helps to detect all potential vessels of interest regardless of AIS. Maxar VDS then matches its data with AIS data to determine good actors from dark targets.

Potential dark targets are identified. Authorities use this information to determine which dark targets are of interest and plan the best-fit strategy for inspection.

Illegal Oil Dumping

Linhares, Brazil

High traffic shipping routes can make it difficult to discern which vessel is responsible for an oil spill or illegal bilge dumping.

Here, right outside Linhares, Maxar SAR capabilities detected an oil spill. By using our vessel detection service, we can collect evidence to determine which vessel is likely responsible.

Building evidence

The polyline seen here indicates the route of the target. It suggests that the vessel turned its AIS beacon off during the oil spill.

Our SAR image provides further evidence that the vessel in question is the responsible party, as it corresponds with the AIS data.


East Sea near North Korea

In this region, North Korea’s East Sea EEZ lies between Russian and South Korean zones. Since North Korea relies on transshipments to bypass sanctions, this is a particularly difficult area for analysis.

Revealing the invisible to hone in on suspicious activity

North Korea does not recognize the AIS mandate, thus most vessels are not visible within their EEZ—a difficult problem for those tasked with enforcing embargos. Maxar VDS allows you to see all ships regardless of AIS.

Maxar SAR capabilities, including expert analysts, can quickly identify potential transshipment activity.

Product features

  • Vessel detection within collection area, regardless of weather and AIS status
  • AIS correlation to identify vessels that are reporting and those that aren’t
  • Near real-time delivery, less than one hour after image collect
  • Monitor territorial waters, EEZ and denied areas

Request a custom demo

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