VHF Data Exchange System (VDES)
VDES is a future two way VHF ship communications system for global use. It is expected that combined VDES and AIS equipment will be installed on most commercial ships.
Space Norway is leading a consortium (with Kongsberg Seatex and the Norwegian Defense Research Institute) which has won two European Space Agency contracts that supports the development of this system. As part of the first ESA contract (AO8092), verification of the VDES satellite downlink and distribution of ice-charts will be demonstrated following the planned launch of Norsat-2 in 2017. It has a VDES payload specified and procured by Space Norway. A few small VDES LEO satellites may provide affordable two way maritime communications in Norwegian Arctic areas thereby improving efficiency and safety at sea in the future. The second contract (AO8282) includes development of an advanced VDES simulator, a VDES uplink system testbed and a prototype of the VDES terminal transmit chain. Space Norway are also sub-contractors on other VDES related projects.
(This page is under development).