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  • Satellite Evolution

Horizon Technologies commissions Amber™ Data Centre In Lincoln for first Amber™ launch in Cornwall

Horizon Technologies and its partner, LN Systems (LNS). recently commissioned the Amber™ Data Centre (ADC) in a new facility in Lincoln in the UK.

John Beckner, Horizon Technologies CEO in front of the initial Amber™ Ground Station

In anticipation of the first Amber™ launch in October from Cornwall via Virgin Orbit, the ADC was commissioned in a new facility by both Horizon Technologies and LNS as they both to prepare for the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) data to start coming from the first Amber™ CubeSat. As part of the Satellite Applications Catapult (SAC) IOD-3 mission, the Amber-1 launch consists of many firsts:

  • Part of the historic First UK Space Launch

  • First UK commercial SIGINT CubeSat

  • First RF CubeSat constellation designed solely for MDA

  • Amber™ will be a first-of-its-kind mission in the UK, providing “always on” commercial RF signal geolocation and monitoring for government and commercial end-users.

Amber™ data will be used by governments to provide information on tracking and prevention of illegal fishing, smuggling, trafficking, piracy, etc. Amber™ is a non-cooperative system in that it doesn’t depend on a ship’s AIS transponder to be active. Amber™ CubeSats will geolocate and monitor signals such as ship’s radars, sat phones, and other RF emissions. The current conflict in the Ukraine has clearly shown the value of commercial space-based data sources. Once active, Amber™ will be another tool to combat illegal oil and gas smuggling and transshipments.

Horizon Technologies CEO, John Beckner said, “Horizon Technologies is incredibly proud of our partnership with LNS. Amber™ is a data service, the ADC is one of the key components of Amber™ and without it, there would be “no Amber™. The team at LNS has worked tirelessly over the past few years constantly improving our capabilities to ingest data and provide it out to our government customers in the manner they have requested. The work on the ADC ensures that once the first Amber™ satellite is operational, our customers will get the data they need, and in the right format.”

LN Systems team in front of the historic Lincoln Cathedral

Beckner also gave special thanks to Innovate UK (IUK) who provided the seed funding under a generous 2019 grant which started the work on the ADC. “Without the support of Innovate UK, and the Satellite Applications Catapult (SAC), the whole ADC would have taken far longer to establish. This support has been key in making sure the ADC is ready to process Amber™ data on Day One.”

Marcus Jones, CEO of LN Systems said, “LN Systems is proud to be a partner of Horizon Technologies on this innovative and exciting program. LN Systems is looking forward to continued cooperation with Horizon Technologies and the expansion of the Amber™ constellation and its capabilities to include additional data analysis and AI.”

Beckner added, “the basis of the Amber™ CubeSat constellation will be in operation by mid-2024. It is unlikely that anyone else in this arena will be able to offer the same type of demodulated, high-fidelity, commercial maritime intelligence data Horizon Technologies offers.”


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