According to a recent statement, the solution combines synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite data from ICEYE, and automatic identification system (AIS) data from vessels.


It is said that vessels engaged in illegal activities can choose to turn off their AIS transponders to avoid detection from authorities.

Dark Vessel Detection can thus be used as a source of actionable information for governments monitoring their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), day and night, and even through cloud cover.

Steve Young, Vice President, Business Development and Sales, ICEYE highthted that “Dark Vessel Detection offered by ICEYE is built for governments around the world for improving the maritime safety of their regions,” adding that

This unique solution enables authorities to take action based on reliable information. Data users can improve their enforcement activities against illegal transshipments of goods, help them in addressing illegal fishing, and assist in curbing drug and human trafficking.

This Dark Vessel Detection service’s core is built on the company’s own radar imaging satellite constellation data, providing a reliable source of information at all times of the day and in all weather conditions. ICEYE’s customers have access to both location information and radar satellite images of all detectable vessels- even when they do not have their AIS transponders turned on.

Pekka Laurila, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-founder, ICEYE underlined that

Our roadmap to achieve near-real time delivery capabilities for dark vessel data, on a global basis, is very short. With the introduction of our current standardized data format, actionable information is available already today.