Saab in space, that's already a tradition. On January 26, 1986, an Ariane rocket from the Kourou space station launched the Swedish-built Viking satellite into space. Saab Space, later Saab Combitech, was the main supplier for the satellite, which was completed in 1985.
Ymir-1 also follows this tradition. A satellite equipped with Saab TransponderTech technology was launched into space on November 11th aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It probably marks the beginning of a new era in maritime communications.
Ymir-1 is the harbinger of new technology
Ymir-1 is a test satellite and part of the development of the next generation of maritime Automatic Identification System (AIS). A system that allows ships to communicate their position, speed and course, as well as other data. AIS is mandatory for all larger ships and boats in civil traffic. Saab TransponderTech is a leading manufacturer of AIS transponders and built the advanced transponder onboard the satellite.
People in Sweden are proud of that. Saab AB's focus is on innovation and being at the forefront of technology. By leveraging the space domain, we can strengthen and improve existing products in our portfolio. The launch of the satellite is an important step in our investment in space.
It demonstrates the ability to use available Saab technology to create new, unique space applications together with our partners, reports Christian Hedelin, Chief Strategy Officer at Saab during the rocket launch.
Due to the increasing number of ships at sea, AIS is being upgraded to a new technology called VDES (VHF Data Exchange System). With VDES, the capacity of communication is significantly increased. There is the possibility of secure two-way communications via satellites, providing global coverage compared to today's systems that are limited to coastal communications.
In the long term, the new navigation and communication system VDES is intended to connect land, sea, air and space by combining advanced transponders with modern software and satellites.
The Swedish-built Ymir-1 satellite is a research and development tool. It was created in collaboration between Saab AB, AAC Clyde Space (Link) and ORBCOMM (Link) developed within the AOS consortium. The project will continue throughout 2024.
With images from Saab AB