Ymir-1, a satellite equipped with Saab technology, was launched into space on November 11 aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9. The launch marks a new era in maritime communication.
Ymir-1 is a test satellite and part of the development of the next generation Automatic Identification System (AIS), a system used by ships to communicate position, speed, course and other data. AIS is a requirement for all large ships and vessels in civilian traffic. Saab TransponderTech is a leading manufacturer of AIS transponders and built the advanced transponder on board the satellite.
“Saab’s focus is on innovation and being at the forefront of technology. By using the space domain, we can strengthen and improve the existing products in our portfolio. The launch of the satellite is an important step in our investment in space and demonstrates our ability to use the available Saab technology to, together with our partners, create new and unique space applications,” says Christian Hedelin, Saab’s Chief Strategy Officer.
Due to the increasing number of ships at sea, the AIS will be upgraded to a new technology known as VDES (VHF Data Exchange System). With VDES, capacity will increase significantly and there will be the possibility of secure two-way communication via satellites, providing global coverage compared to current systems, which are limited to coastal communication.
In the long term, the new VDES navigation and communication system will connect land, sea, air and space, combining advanced transponders with modern software and satellites.
The Ymir-1 satellite, built in Sweden, is a research and development tool, developed in collaboration between Saab, AAC Clyde Space and ORBCOMM within the AOS consortium. The project will continue until 2024.