ORBCOMM Inc. (Nasdaq: ORBC), a global satellite data communications company focused on two-way Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications, today announced that the first prototype of ORBCOMM’s second generation (OG2) of satellites has completed testing and was shipped from Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Integration and Test Facility in Louisville, CO, and arrived at the launch site in Cape Canaveral, FL. The OG2 prototype satellite will be prepared for a launch on the Cargo Re-supply Services (CRS) mission aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket currently targeted for October 7, 2012.
The completion of the satellite’s testing verifies that all equipment meets ORBCOMM’s technical specifications and safety requirements. The OG2 prototype is the first of ORBCOMM’s next generation of satellites, which will add new features and services, enhance network performance and improve global coverage. This satellite will be used to evaluate performance for subsequent OG2 satellite launches and in addition, will be equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) payload to receive and report transmissions from AIS-equipped vessels for ship tracking and other maritime navigational and safety efforts.
In mid-2013, ORBCOMM plans to launch an additional eight satellites, which will be placed into orbits that are optimized to deliver the best coverage for the enhanced OG2 messaging services. The remainder of the constellation of 18 satellites is expected to be launched in 2014.
“The deployment of this first OG2 satellite marks a historic milestone in the evolution of our global M2M network and solidifies ORBCOMM as the standout leader in providing integrated M2M communications services to customers around the world,” said Marc Eisenberg, ORBCOMM’s Chief Executive Officer. “The launch of our first OG2 satellite will bring us one step closer to our goal of delivering an even higher level of functionality, performance and service.”
The OG2 constellation is specifically designed for ORBCOMM’s customers in key vertical markets such as heavy equipment, transportation, maritime, agriculture, oil & gas, energy & utilities, and government. ORBCOMM’s customers will benefit from the faster communications speeds, improved coverage, increases in allowable message sizes, better power management, and other features that will increase the markets they can serve, while continuing to support the efficient, reliable mission-critical communications available today.