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Maritime surveillance is a topic of utmost importance and growing interest since the authorities need to protect the marine environment, to control immigration and make borders safer, to fight against pirates and traffickers of all kinds and to guarantee the safety of navigation and the security in general.

For a continuing monitoring, independent of daylight or weather conditions, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors on spaceborne platforms are the best option even if they are usually characterized by high mission costs. A novelty in this respect will be brought by the UK mission NovaSAR-S, developed by SSTL Ltd. and Astrium U.K. NovaSAR-S will be the first spaceborne small satellite SAR mission designed and produced at a cost comparable with that of optical missions. This project looks into the design, development and validation of a novel ship detection and tracking based on the joint use of SAR and AIS data from the NovaSAR-S mission.

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