ESAIL is already installed in the Small Spacecraft Mission Service, the new dispenser for small satellites of the new generation light rocket Vega, which is scheduled to launch this week from the European spaceport of Kourou, in French Guiana.
Sharing the ride in the SSMS with six more microsatellites and 46 CubeSats, ESAIL must be delivered in a synchronous orbit to the Sun, at an altitude of more than 500 km.
Its mission is to assist in the management of maritime traffic, by tracking ships around the world, detecting messages sent by radio transmission, with its automatic identification systems (AIS).
The 100 kg microsatellite was built by LuxSpace in partnership with ESA with the Canadian operator exactEarth. The project was supported by the Luxembourg Space Agency and other ESA member states.