Louisville, Colorado. April 30, 2014 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has completed the ORBCOMM Generation 2 (OG2) Pre-Ship Review and shipment of six satellites from the company’s Space Systems’ location in Louisville, Colorado. SNC is the prime contractor for this upgraded communication constellation, leading all development and integration efforts for the ORBCOMM Mission 1 launch in May.
“SNC is pleased to complete this critical milestone in upgrading ORBCOMM’s global network,” said Pat Remias, SNC’s Space Systems senior director of programs. “Due to their high efficiency and modular design, these satellites have substantially more capacity to service a larger number of subscribers, thus making the network more efficient with fewer satellites than the OG1 satellites that are currently on-orbit. SNC has established a satellite production line in our Louisville facility to integrate and test each vehicle rapidly, with up to six satellites processing simultaneously.”
SNC conducted a thorough OG2 Pre-Ship Review to verify the completion of all functional and environmental testing, validating the performance of all systems and software for the six satellites. Upon completion of the OG2 Pre-Ship Review, the satellites were shipped to Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft are currently undergoing final testing and fueling in preparation for a May launch aboard a dedicated Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
“Despite the age of the current constellation, ORBCOMM has shown strong growth under the leadership of CEO Marc Eisenberg, recording 15 percent growth in revenue and over 100,000 new subscriber communicators last year over the previous year,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of SNC’s Space Systems. “OG2 will provide the path for continued growth and quality performance for the customer, which are hallmarks for SNC and ORBCOMM. Together with the superb technical team of ORBCOMM, SNC is raising the bar for the next generation of low-Earth orbit satellites.”
The total OG2 constellation is comprised of 17 satellites. The remaining 11 satellites in the constellation are in final integration at SNC’s facility in Louisville, and are on track to support the next launch (OG2 Mission 2) scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2014. In addition to developing the satellite buses, SNC has directed the development and integration of the advanced communication payload and is assisting in the key roles of launch planning and launch mission operations for the OG2 constellation, including developing a Satellite Operations Center that will support essential communications with the OG2 satellites prior to launch and during early on-orbit checkout and operations. SNC is currently housing the first fully functional small satellite production line in the U.S.