NOVEL SAT-AIS Receiver Phase B2/C/D

  • Status
  • Status date

The objective of the project is, building on the heritage from Kongsberg Seatex’ three exisiting generations of SAT-AIS receiver, to meet future demands for AIS and SAR satellites. To fulfil the increased need for a space qualified high performance AIS receiver to fit into nano-, micro- and small satellites. Another important part of the project is to develop and qualify innovative technologies that will allow KSX to expand its SAT-AIS receiver product range by making use of latest, low power and highly integrated FPGAs.

The project will design, manufacture, assemble, test, qualify and deliver a SAT-AIS receiver in compliance with the mission requirements for the Norwegian NORSAT-1 mission. The design has also secondary objective to be compliant to the requirements for the parallel ARTES 21 SAT-AIS micro-satellite project (named E-SAIL).


This project has the following main challenges:

  • Nano- and microsatellites have often very limited power budget. The challenge of the NAIS receiver development is to achieve a product that fits into the power/mass/accommodation constraints of the small satellite market while addressing also the performance and scalability required to target larger satellites that typically are designed for longer life-time missions.
  • Design a state-of-the-art fully in-orbit reconfigurable SDR design using the latest developments in modern ruggedized components and at the same time achieve a radiation hardened design.

Meeting the very demanding EMC, EMI and RFI requirements from external and internal noise sources.


The Novel SAT-AIS Receiver (NAIS) is one project funded under ARTES-21 sub-element 2B (‘SAT-AIS 2B’). SAT-AIS 2B programme is an industry driven and co-funded programme that aims at providing enhanced SAT-AIS quality and continuity with mission requirements defined by the main customer/operator/service provider. This will be achieved by supporting the development and procurement of the innovative SAT-AIS micro-satellites and technologies.

In this framework, the NAIS fit to small satellites enables commercial companies targeting AIS services or national customers such as the Norwegian Space Centre (NSC) to achieve excellent performance and space qualified design with limited investments.


The Novel SAT-AIS Receiver (NAIS) development will focus on:

  • low power consumption (< 5W)
  • small size (< 1.5kg)
  • multi-antenna support
  • built-in 156-162 MHz spectrum analyzer
  • embedding the most advanced AIS detection algorithms
  • on-board processing + memory for 100 min sampled data
  • high-speed interfaces up to 200Mbit/sec
  • excellent dynamic range (>85dB) and sensitivity (-127dBm)
  • Noise figure of <1.7dB
  • Rad-hard design
  • Built-in reduncancy achieving FIT <400@30°C
  • supports AIS channels 1-4, ASM 1-2 and future proof via in-orbit upgrades for reception of VDE


The activity was Kick-off in February 2014. The Critical Design Review took place in December/January 2015 and the Qualification and Acceptance Review in planned for June/July 2015.

Current status

The manufacturing process has finalised in March/April and the activity has entered in April in the qualification and acceptance test phase.

Prime Contractor