In this bonus episode, we’re discussing the IOD-3 Amber satellite. Amber is a partnership between the Satellite Applications Catapult and Horizon Technologies. Built by AAC Clyde Space in Scotland, it will be launched by Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne on its historic flight from Spaceport Cornwall later this year – a mission that will mark the first ever orbital launch from a UK spaceport.
Amber is expected to be the first of a constellation of satellites to provide Maritime Domain Awareness data to users. Using unique, patented technology, the system will geolocate and demodulate radio frequency data from ships around the world, including listening for the presence or absence of a ships Automatic Identification System (AIS).
Amber forms part of the Satellite Applications Catapult’s In-Orbit Demonstration programme, also known as IOD. The In-Orbit Demonstration Programme offers partners a fast-track, low-cost opportunity to test their service or technology on a CubeSat mission (a small satellite ranging from the size of a loaf of bread to the size of microwave) launched into low Earth orbit. IOD helps accelerate to ‘proof of concept’ stage by providing an affordable in-orbit testbed and a range of operational and business support services to exploit the commercial potential of the mission.
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