FAIRFAX, Va., 16 June 2008. Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) has selected Argon ST Inc. to develop and deliver the satellite payloads for the ORBCOMM Generation 2 (OG2) satellite constellation.
The contract, valued at $44.7 million, includes development and delivery of 18 payloads over a 30-month period of performance. The contract contains options for additional payloads that would add to the initial award value. Argon ST's work will be performed primarily at its San Diego facility and the facilities of its development partners throughout California.
Terry Collins, chairman and chief executive officer, Argon ST says, "We have worked closely with ORBCOMM and MicroSat Systems for over two years, and more recently directly with SNC, to develop an efficient, powerful solution for ORBCOMM's OG2 satellite constellation."
Argon ST's OG2 payload development team includes ATK Space Systems of Goleta, Calif.; Aitech Defense Systems of Chatsworth, Calif.; and Aethercomm of San Marcos, Calif.
The payload team will design, develop, and deliver an enhanced communications payload designed to increase subscriber capacity by up to 12 times over the current ORBCOMM satellites.
ORBCOMM customers will be able to transmit data over the OG2 satellites at greater speeds and send larger data packets using future modems. All OG2 satellites will be designed with Automatic Identification System (AIS) payloads to receive and report transmissions from AIS-equipped maritime vessels.
ORBCOMM intends to market this AIS data to U.S. and international coast guards and government agencies, as well as companies engaged in security or logistics businesses for tracking shipping activities or for other navigational purposes.
"Argon ST's approach brings an innovative architecture that extends our software defined radio capabilities into space. Combining the company's in-depth knowledge of ORBCOMM operations, partners with extensive space heritage, and advanced communications systems expertise, we are committed to deliver a very capable, cost effective solution," states Jay Grove, vice president, Network Systems, Argon ST. "We believe our selection for this award in the mainstream low-earth orbit payload market signals that opportunities in space are abundant for those driving an operationally responsive approach."