The Swedish built Ymir-1 satellite has been successfully launched on November 11, 2023 from the Vandenberg Space Force base in California, USA aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on the Transporter 9 mission.
The satellite is housed inside the D-Orbit orbital transfer vehicle, In Orbit Now (ION), which successfully separated from the launcher into a 525-kilometer Sun Synchronous Orbit. The satellite will remain in the dispenser for approximately 3 months during the orbit transfer process and will be deployed once reaching its operational 640-kilometer orbit. After deployment, the satellite will undergo its commissioning phase ahead of starting the operational phase.
Ymir-1 is part of the collaborative AOS project between AAC Clyde Space, Saab, and ORBCOMM. The project is developing a next-generation space-based VDE (VHF Data Exchange) system. The flight proven AAC Clyde Space EPIC LINK CubeSat hosts Saab’s advanced R6 VDES PAYLOAD transponder for two-way communication between satellite and ground. ORBCOMM will integrate data into its distribution center for the maritime navigation and communications service deployment.
Space-based VDES represents a technological leap forward in maritime communication, offering vessels the capability to exchange data in real-time on a global scale. It provides much needed improvements to current AIS-based Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) offering up to 32 times more bandwidth than AIS. VDES will enable a broader array of applications in maritime surveillance, encrypted communications, fishery management, logistics, search and rescue and marine integrated applications. By adding space-based capability to VDES, the use of the system is extended from the shoreline to anywhere in the ocean.
“Ymir-1 represents a significant milestone for the world-wide maritime community, offering improved navigation and communications. Together with our partners AAC Clyde Space is helping to make maritime operations safer, better connected, and greener,” says AAC Clyde Space CEO Luis Gomes.
“Saab’s focus is innovation and to be at the forefront of technology. By using the space domain, we can strengthen and improve already existing products in our portfolio. The satellite launch is an important step in our investment in space and demonstrates our ability to utilise available Saab technology to, together with our partners, create new unique space applications,” says Christian Hedelin, Chief Strategy Officer at Saab.