Tipping and Cueing

Improving decision-making by enhancing the maritime picture

Tipping and cueing with Deimos Imaging’s sensors provides essential information for effective maritime situational awareness and for the detection of illegal or irregular activities at sea.

Our Offer

Cost effective monitoring solution coordinating Medium Resolution (MR) detection product, such as Deimos-1, and Very High Resolution (VHR) identification product, such as Deimos-2, for a synergistic tipping and cueing.

Tipping and Cueing service

Coordinated activities between sensors with different spatial and spectral resolutions are crucial for maritime surveillance, especially in locations that are very distant from each other and where having people on the ground is difficult. Our satellite imagery is the perfect source of information to monitor overseas territories in areas such as the South China Sea and Antarctica. It allows to capture reliable imagery and it ensures accurate and timely monitoring over sites located in remote areas, where it’s difficult to get up to date and reliable information otherwise. Both satellites are operated continuously through a 24/7/365 service and a global network of five ground stations that ensure a contact every orbit with each of them, and allow to command and download data every 90 minutes.

Tipping and cueing proved very useful for maritime surveillance including vessel monitoring and tracking, ship detection and identification. Thus, Deimos Imaging's imagery is the perfect solution to feed integrated maritime services with fresh and reliable information as well as to support maritime control activities.

ship detection with MR Deimos-1 product (left and middle) and ship identification with VHR Deimos-2 product (right).

The disputed South China Sea

With the raise of tensions in the South China Sea in early 2016, Deimos Imaging, launched a monitoring campaign to acquire archive imagery over this area and to demonstrate the coordinated use of its two satellites for imagery intelligence applications: the wide-swath and the Medium Resolution (MR) of Deimos-1 and the more narrow-swath and Very High Resolution (VHR) Deimos-2.

South China Sea disputed islands map, Fiery Cross Reef is located in the central part (left). Deimos-1 111000 sqkm image over South China (right).

Get the broad picture in Near Real Time

The synergistic tipping and cueing technique allows to collect information by coordinating activities between Deimos Imaging’s sensors. This methodology consists in tasking one satellite with a wide swath to get the broad picture of a hotspot and detect possible changes, activities, and elements of interest. A careful analysis of the data collected provides a general overview and critical knowledge that can be used as a base map to then task other satellites with different spectral and spatial resolution such as Deimos-2. In addition, Having different spectral bands is very useful to highlight and better detect vessels and ships, while the very high spatial resolution is important to identify them.

In addition, Deimos Imaging's 24/7/365 emergency service ensures delivery in Near Real Time - 30 minutes from acquisition.

17 March 2015: dredging and construction activities are clearly visible.

23 March 2015: the airstrip starts to be built up along with the point defense in the left corner and the construction site where radar/sensor arrays will be placed.

24 November 2015: the central part of the island is fully covered by lots of new constructions.

24 April 2017: after 2 years of construction works, the facilities in the island include: an airstrip, radar/sensor arrays, hangars, mobile missile shelters and point defenses.

6 February 2018: large underground structures likely intended to house munitions and other essential materiel have been completed and entirely buried.

Synergistic tipping and cueing over Antarctica

Following the recent developments in Antarctica, Deimos Imaging launched a campaign to monitor the Larsen C ice shelf and the freshly calved A68 iceberg with Deimos-1 and Deimos-2. It is specially complicated to get pictures of Antarctica because of its long winter nights and the frequent cloud cover. Scientist had to rely mainly on polar satellites such as Sentinel-1, which use radar to see through dense cloud cover and regardless light conditions. Nonetheless, Deimos Imaging managed to capture exclusive optical imagery with Deimos-1 and Deimos-2.

Deimos-1 was specifically designed to timely monitor vast regions, thanks to its very wide 650-km wide swath. Additionally, Deimos-2 very-high resolution data is a key source of information to detect changes in incredible detail that complement ground assessment information. Thanks to the very high revisit frequency of both sensors, 2 days average revisit time worldwide for Deimos-2 and 3 days for Deimos-1, a synergistic use of both sensors ensures a remarkable capacity of imaging the Earth’s surface cloud-free.

The images captured over Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf since the calving of the Iceberg A68, allowed to perform a change detection and a multitemporal comparison of the berg’s trajectory.

In this campaign, a synergistic tipping and cueing was carried out, collecting information and coordinating activities between Deimos Imaging’s sensors. Thanks to its wide swath and high revisit time, Deimos-1 pinpointed where the main developments were going on in the Larsen C ice shelf and its surroundings; then, this information was used to task the very-high-resolution Deimos-2 over the identified areas, to get much more detailed imagery that allowed a very accurate measurement of the crack’s extension. This procedure of tipping and cueing was applied reversely too, when Deimos-2 captured a fraction of a large area and thereupon Deimos-1 was tasked to cover its whole extent.

Larsen C Ice Shelf and iceberg A68 pictured by DEIMOS-1 on July 31 and by DEIMOS-2 on July 28, 31

Deimos Imaging's solution for maritime