Six New ORBCOMM Satellites Successfully Launched
OHB-System AG responsible for building the satellite buses and integrating and launching the satellites
Six new communications satellites have been successfully launched on board a Cosmos 3M carrier, which lifted off from Kasputin Yar in Russia today at 08:36:38 CET. They are to be used to augment and modernize the communications network operated by US satellite operator ORBCOMM Inc., which currently comprises 29 satellites.
One of the six new satellites, known as the ORBCOMM CDS, is a fully equipped demonstration satellite for the US Coast Guard. In addition to handling the previous communications activities, i.e. the transportation of data packets, it is also able to transmit Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals, thus offering the means of monitoring international shipping on a global basis for the first time.
Going by the name of ORBCOMM Quick Launch, the other five satellites have been developed on the basis of the ORBCOMM CDS but are even more powerful due to their greater payload capacity. Thanks to an improved redundancy concept, their life expectancy has been increased to between eight and ten years.
Bremen-based space technology company OHB-System AG, a subsidiary of OHB Technology AG (ISIN: DE0005936124, Prime Standard), was responsible for building the satellite buses and integrating and launching the satellites.
Commenting on today’s launch, the CEO of OHB-System AG, Prof. Manfred Fuchs, had this to say: “With the development and construction of the new ORBCOMM satellites, OHB has impressively demonstrated its abilities in the commercial satellite market as well. In addition, we are very proud of the success of this unique international venture with our Russian and US partners.”
OHB-System performed integration and function-testing of the satellites in Bremen. The satellites were constructed in conjunction with the COSMOS Space Systems AG joint venture, with Russian partner Polyot from Omsk supplying the satellite bus and handling the launch operations. Based in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital Sciences Corporation developed and constructed the six communication payloads.