Horizon Technologies’ transformational Xtender (Pat Pending) technology has allowed us to work with our commercial and governmental partners to meet their expanding requirements for detection of RF signals from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) CubeSats. Our technology for UAV SIGINT platforms is finding new applications. Our new spaced-based data product is called AMBER, and together with our TEAM AMBER (consisting of our worldwide technology partners) we are addressing other signals such as X/S Band Maritime radars, and AIS in addition to L-Band sat phones. Customers will be provided with varying levels of data depending on their requirements.
Today, all ships above 300 tons are tracked worldwide by their AIS transponders which provide their GPS positions. AIS transponders can be tracked from space, and every ship can be tracked essentially at all times. However, for those ships which are engaging in illegal activity, they turn off or disable their AIS systems. These are the so-called “dark targets”.
At Horizon Technologies, we believe no vessel can really be really “dark.” Vessels emit electronic signals, whether it be their radar, sat phones, or radios. Horizon Technologies’ Amber Constellation will use small satellites to identify and locate a wide range of RF signals to locate these “dark targets”.
The Amber space-to-cloud data analytics system delivers insights into all shipping worldwide. With generous funding from the UK Government, Amber will be able to correlate the AIS positions of ships, detect the usage of sat phones, and detect, classify, and geolocate ships’ maritime radar emissions. Every ship which wants to navigate safely has radar. And every ship with its radar turned on emits signals which can be detected by Amber CubeSats. Since every radar is unique, it’s characteristics can be stored in a database, and every time that radar is active, it can be identified. 99% of the world’s shipping will have their AIS on and their radar active. Amber will detect the 1% of ships which have their AIS turned off, and only turn on their radar for a short time, or make a quick sat phone call. These are the so-called “dark targets” which, with Amber in orbit, are not really dark at all.
In 2019, Horizon Technologies was awarded a contract to launch of our first Amber CubeSat via Innovate UK’s Satellite Applications Catapult. Our ground station (GES) has already been partially funded by the UK Government, and Amber is a great example of a successful public/private partnership. Our first Amber launch will be in 3Q 2020, and our first customer will be the UK National Maritime Information Center in Portsmouth. Our GES will be co-located with NMIC. Amber Maritime Intelligence data will be available to customers around the world via Horizon and the UK Government. Future Amber launches to provide timely refresh rates are scheduled now for late 2020.
Outside of the maritime environment, many of our current customers are interested in the detection (and tracking) of a variety of military RF emitters. Our 2nd General 2Gen Amber will be addressing this market as our constellation grows in the future.
For more information about Amber contact us below: