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KSAT Acquires Majority Stake in Norwegian Startup VAKE

Credit: KSAT

Ibadan, 20 March 2024. – Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) has acquired a 70 per cent majority stake in VAKE, a Norwegian startup that delivers maritime domain awareness by using satellite data combined with machine learning. KSAT has followed the development of VAKE since the company’s founding and sees great opportunities in joining forces with VAKE to solve the future challenges in maritime domain awareness, offshore asset protection and shipping activity tracking.

Since 2018, VAKE has been working on applying Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI) to satellite images to detect and analyze the behavior of vessels, including ships that choose to hide their position, identity, and activity at sea. They have developed strong Machine Learning (ML) capabilities for several maritime applications which started off by leveraging open data from the European Space Agency and the Copernicus program, and now also offer integration of commercial satellite data into their products and services.

KSAT uses Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in combination with other satellite-based data sources for maritime monitoring services like oil spill detection and vessel detection. Furthermore, KSAT draws from an extensive portfolio of satellites and the company’s services help with decision support by authorities, coastguards, energy companies and other end users worldwide. Additionally, KSAT’s worldwide ground network consisting of 300+ antennas spread over 28 locations ensures the provision of near-real-time information.

Speaking on the partnership, Thomas Leira, CEO of VAKE, said, “This was a clear strategic choice for us with the goal of increasing access to satellite sources and reducing the time it takes before insights from satellite data become available to customers and end users.” The CEO also added, “As a developing company, we will also greatly benefit from the expertise and network that KSAT has built up over decades in the space industry.”

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