From VHF Data

To Safer, Healthier Oceans



The Ymir-1 satellite serves as an in-orbit demonstrator with a specific mission – to provide essential data, laying the groundwork for data exploration and the development of VDES application services. The Swedish built Ymir-1 satellite successfully launched November 2023.

The satellite is part of the collaborative AOS project, a project that is developing the next generation of space based VDES, bringing together AAC Clyde Space, Orbcomm and Saab. The ultimate aim of the AOS project is to create a global maritime communication network enabling ship to ship and ship to shore communication everywhere on the globe. We will do this through our next-generation space-based VDES (VHF Data Exchange System) spacecraft and integrating data into distribution centres for maritime communications service deployment. 

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.


The use of VDES provides much needed improvements to current AIS-based Vessel Traffic Services (VTS). With up to 32 times more bandwidth than AIS, VDES will enable a broader array of applications in maritime surveillance, encrypted communications, fishery, 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.

This added space capability will increase VDES’s range from the shoreline to anywhere in the ocean, turning what is a largely coastal system into a global maritime system. With up to 32 times more bandwidth than the widely used Automatic Identification System (AIS) communication, VDES can also be integrated with e-navigation systems, to improve navigation, increase safety and enable savings of up to 25%.

VDES is not merely an evolution but a revolution in maritime communication and navigation. Its multifaceted applications promise to enhance safety, environmental stewardship, operational efficiency, and global connectivity, positioning VDES as a transformative force in the maritime industry’s future

More than 80% of all goods transported between countries are carried by ships, and maritime traffic is increasing: according to a study by the American Geophysical Union, traffic on the world’s oceans increased by 300% in the two decades to 2014.

As our oceans become more congested, we need better tracking systems and emissions management. Space is helping to provide the answer.

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.