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 late 2018, Horizon Technologies was awarded a £500K Innovate UK Grant to develop our Amber Ground Exploitation Station (GES) which will process the signals received from our Amber CubeSats. The GES program will also allow us to test our unique Amber Geolocation Technology (Pat Pending) before our first launch. Together with our partners, and with UK Government support, we will be launching our first Amber CubeSats in 2020. These launches will start with our Validation Mission Launch in 3rd QTR 2020, and we now have funding for additional launches at the same time. Besides our UK government customers, we are already working with a select group of initial governmental end-users around the world who will get data from our GES to help refine and improve our Amber product.
Joining Virgin Space, Horizon Technologies has chosen to base our GES in Newquay in Cornwall. The GES will contribute greatly to the local economy in providing jobs and the highest levels of technology to the Cornwall region.
Outside of the maritime environment, many of our current customers are interested in the detection (and tracking) of a variety of military RF emitters. Amber will be addressing this market as our constellation grows in the future.
For more information about Amber contact us below: