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Satnews Daily
January 14th, 2019

Horizon Technologies' £500,000 Grant from Innovate UK for Space-Based RF Monitoring

An award of £500,000 was given to Horizon Technologies as a grant from Innovate UK, a part of UK Research and Innovation funded by the UK government.

The project is being carried out in collaboration with their partners in the UK and will receive the funding over a one-year period, and will establish the X/S and L-Band ground exploitation station for the upcoming CubeSat launches with their partner Spire Global. Once launched, their commercial signals intelligence payload called AMBER will classify, identify, fingerprint, and geolocate maritime radars as well as geolocate and monitor Sat Phone traffic (Thuraya/ISAT/Iridium). Our proprietary technology is based on our proven FlyingFish™ family of SIGINT systems flying on many NATO and non-NATO platforms worldwide.

John Beckner, Founder and CEO of Horizon Technologies, stated that the generous award of this funding allows them to fund development of a key part of our AMBER data product, and shows the faith and support of the UK Government in our endeavors.” RF signal collection from space is a key component in detecting so-called “dark targets” at sea—those who turn off their AIS transponders to engage in illicit behavior. Beckner added, “Unlike our competitors who seem to be focusing on expensive solutions for VHF radio detection from space, our current international government customers have specifically requested detection of these two types of emitters. The Innovate UK grant allows us to fully develop, test our technology, and get the ground station set up before the first launch.”

When AMBER is operational in 2019, Horizon Technologies and its investors will sell data to governments around the world who want to augment SIGINT data currently being provided via manned and unmanned aircraft as well as strategic SIGINT stations.

“We have the advantage of a mature customer base which already operates our terrestrial SIGINT systems and integrates our data into their national intelligence networks. AMBER data will be an adjunct to the current data set our customers are already collecting and utilizing 24/7 today.

Our partnership with Spire allows us to leverage their current Lemur satellite constellation and AIS data (for maritime applications) as well as utilize their extensive network of ground stations providing unparalleled refresh rates.

This award (won with the help of our partner Ixion) marks the first step in transforming Horizon Technologies into a global data services provider. Our AMBER product, once operational, will operate alongside our thriving and growing legacy FlyingFishTM SIGINT business and move our company into a new direction. Our partnership with the UK Government has been essential to our work to date, and our efforts going forward.”

Horizon Technologies airborne satellite (SAT) phone monitoring systems for ISR applications, equips governments worldwide by enhancing their SIGINT capabilities. They are the OEM for the FlyingFish™ SIGINT system which is flying on numerous platforms worldwide.

They participate daily in SAR missions via NATO and FRONTEX in the Mediterranean Sea, counter-piracy operations off the coast of East Africa and are heavily involved in international operations in the Levant, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. They have offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, USA, Taiwan, along with a worldwide network of sales representatives.