CENTENNIAL, Colo. and CANNES, France, March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Iridium is replacing its existing communications constellation by sending 75 Iridium NEXT satellites into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket over 8 different launches. On January 14, 2017, Iridium and Thales Alenia Space team achieved the first milestone launching ten Iridium NEXT satellites and deploying them successfully into Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). This highly successful launch took place from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Thales Alenia Space is the System Prime Contractor for the program. SEAKR is a subcontractor to Thales Alenia Space and provides the On-Board Processor (OBP).
The SEAKR designed and built OBP is a reconfigurable RF communication Processor and consists of a reconfigurable channelizer, MODEM, a packet router for L-band subscriber links, Ka-band feeder links, and cross links. SEAKR's OBP is a landmark achievement in reconfigurable Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processing systems for space. The OBP is testament to SEAKR and distinctly marks them as the leader in space based processing.
Utilizing an array of Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA Co-Processors (COPS) and PowerPCs, each OBP can support a significant number of L-band subscriber links, which communicate with satellite phones and data terminals. All communication hosted by the Iridium NEXT constellation is routed by the OBP. SEAKR will deliver a total of 81 units for the Iridium NEXT program; SEAKR's largest space production to date.
"The Iridium OBP represents the highest performance reconfigurable on-orbit processor available today. It will connect people and provide data at an unparalleled rate and SEAKR is proud of OBP's critical communications role on the Iridium NEXT constellation," said Scott Anderson, President and Co-Founder of SEAKR Engineering, Inc.
Since the launch on January 14, the first Space Vehicles (SVs) have gone through extensive testing by Thales Alenia Space. Most recently, one of the SVs, SV106, was turned over to Iridium control. On Sunday February 19, 2017 the L-Band was powered on the vehicle and a call from Thales in Toulouse France was made to Iridium CEO Matt Desch. The call was made using an Iridium handset when the SV was above Toulouse. Mr. Desch was noted as saying, "It just made my day. It was so clear!!! Thank you for doing that!" Anderson said, "This successful call symbolizes the success of our OBP product and moreover, the great achievement of the entire Thales Alenia Space Team!"
While earlier this month, SpaceX announced the launch of the second group of next-generation satellites will move from mid-April to mid-June, the Thales Alenia Space teams remains in full rate production of the remaining SVs.
SEAKR's David Anderson presented "The Terabit-per-second Satellite: Fully Processed Digital Payload Introduction" at Satellite 2017, on Monday, March 6. For more information, please contact SEAKR for a briefing of the lecture.
About Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space brings over 40 years of experience to the design, integration, testing and operation of innovative space systems for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies' "Space Alliance", which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space has built up unrivaled expertise in dual (civil-military) missions, constellations, flexible high-throughput payloads, altimetry, meteorology, and high-resolution radar and optical observation, as well as space exploration. The company capitalizes on its strong legacy, while also making innovation a key to its strategy. By offering a continuous stream of new products and expanding its global footprint, Thales Alenia Space has established its leadership in today's fast-evolving space sector. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues exceeding 2.1 billion euros in 2015 and has 7,500 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com
About SEAKR Engineering, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, SEAKR has delivered over hundred and fifty flight units. Over one hundred and thirty of these systems have launched and are operating as designed. SEAKR's leading edge space electronics includes IP routers, reprogrammable MODEMS, high-performance payload processors, modular command and data handling systems, solid state recorders, and manned space avionics. SEAKR has a reputation for high-level performance and reliability in severe environments. SEAKR is a small business proud to serve its customers and country.
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SOURCE SEAKR Engineering, Inc.