Monitoring the world’s fleet of commercial vessels is as difficult as it is important. Tens of thousands of ships sailing the seas drive global trade, though keeping tabs on their whereabouts is a herculean task without an easy solution.
Even though vessels are equipped with Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), a type of transponder revealing a ship’s location and other identifying characteristics, captains will sometimes turn off their AIS system for a variety of reasons.
The inability to detect and track ships that have gone “dark” represents a major gap in maritime coverage, hindering efforts to enforce international sanctions, prevent illegal fishing, or follow commodity cargoes from origin to destination.
Ursa Space has developed unique capabilities to meet this challenge by fusing multiple data sources, including AIS and synthetic aperture radar (SAR).
In a collaborative webinar with OmniSci and Spire, we demonstrated these capabilities through a use case involving Venezuela’s oil exports to China, an important topic for government and commercial clients.
Some of the issues addressed in the webinar included:
- How can you visualize massive amounts of historical vessel tracking data?
- What is the best method to monitor ships in high-traffic zones?
- How does SAR help detect suspected “dark ships”?
- What do AIS tracks reveal about oil tanker flows and hotspots in the oil market?
- Where does the world’s largest oil consumer, China, get most of its oil from?
- How opaque is the commercial relationship between China and Venezuela?
- What does recent data indicate about Venezuelan oil exports to China?
- How can suspected “dark ships” be seen at key Venezuelan ports and elsewhere?
- What does oil inventory data suggest about Venezuelan exports in 2021?
- Are ship-to-ship transfers a common occurrence?
Interested? You can watch a recording of the webinar below. Let us know if you’d like to learn more about this product and our capabilities.