OHB-System awarded contract for ORBCOMM satellite
Work commenced on modernizing the ORBCOMM satellite network
Bremen-based space technology company OHB-System AG has been awarded a contract by U.S. satellite operator ORBCOMM Inc. to participate in the development and construction of an ORBCOMM satellite with a secondary U.S. Coast Guard payload.
This ORBCOMM satellite will provide standard ORBCOMM service, and will also have a U.S. Coast Guard payload to support their Automatic Identification System (AIS). This satellite will receive signals emitted from vessels, enhancing U.S. Coast Guard monitoring techniques as part of their homeland security initiatives. This satellite is scheduled to be launched in early 2006 on board the Russian COSMOS 3M carrier rocket from the Plesetzk Cosmodrome.
OHB will be integrating and function-testing the satellite in Bremen as the system manager with the recently incorporated joint Venture COSMOS Space Systems AG. The Russian partner Polyot from Omsk will be supplying the satellite bus and handling the launching procedures. Orbital Sciences Corporation based in Dulles, Virginia is also under contract with ORBCOMM to develop and manufacture the payload that incorporates ORBCOMM services with reception of AIS signals. ORBCOMM will process and deliver vessel identification and location directly to the U.S. Coast Guard.
“With this contract, OHB is demonstrating our expertise as we position ourselves to work on future satellite development projects,” says Marco R. Fuchs, CEO of OHB Technology AG.
Adds Jerry Eisenberg, CEO, of ORBCOMM Inc.: "In addition to assisting the U.S. Coast Guard receive the AIS transmissions, this launch is the first of a planned series of replenishment satellites to ensure long-term availability of our services for our customers."