Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Orbcomm launches six next-gen satellites for enhanced M2M

Iain Morris
July 17, 2014
Satellite player Orbcomm has launched the first six of its OG2 next-generation satellites designed to improve the quality of the M2M services it provides.

The new constellation is to comprise 17 satellites in total and is aimed at boosting the performance, coverage and efficiency of Orbcomm’s (Rochelle Park, NJ, USA) asset-tracking services.

Orbcomm says it anticipates launching the remaining 11 satellites and making enhancements to its services by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014.

“The successful launch of the first OG2 mission is a testament to the entire OG2 team at Orbcomm, SpaceX [Hawthorne, CA, USA], Sierra Nevada Corporation [Sparks, NV, USA], Boeing [Chicago, IL, USA] and Moog [East Aurora, NY, USA], and I’d like to thank them for their hard work and dedication,” said Marc Eisenberg, Orbcomm’s chief executive, paying tribute to Orbcomm’s technology partners. “OG2 will enable our customers to send and receive more data, with greater speed, more efficiently than ever before.”

Orbcomm plans to carry out an initial health check on the satellites before they undergo more extensive in-orbit testing to ensure that all the various subsystems are working properly.

The company expects the satellites to be providing full commercial M2M messaging and automatic identification system (AIS) services within the next 60 days.

The operator has previously indicated that its OG2 satellites will support faster message delivery, larger message sized and better coverage at higher latitudes than its OG1 satellites.

They are also designed to increase network capacity and come equipped with a so-called AIS payload for receiving and reporting transmissions from maritime vessels.

The AIS payload will allow Orbcomm to support ship tracking and other maritime navigational and safety efforts, increasing asset visibility and the probability of detection for AIS customers.

Orbcomm provides monitoring and tracking services to a wide range of commercial and government customers.

Earlier this month it announced that Swing Transport (Salisbury, NC, USA), a logistics company based in the southeastern US, had chosen it to provide a trailer tracking service for a fleet of more than 1,000 dry van trailers.
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