Orbcomm Orbits VesselSat1; VesselSat2 to Launch by 2012
[Satellite TODAY 10-13-11] M2M satellite data communications company Orbcomm has successfully launched its VesselSat1, an Automatic Identification Service (AIS) enabled satellite built by OHB System affiliate LuxSpace Sarl (LuxSpace) onboard an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) PSLV rocket, the company announced Oct. 12.
Orbcomm said the satellite was successfully separated from the PSLV launch vehicle and placed in a proper equatorial orbit.
Orbcomm is the exclusive licensee for the AIS data collected by VesselSat1, which will be used for ship tracking and other maritime navigational and safety efforts.
VesselSat1 said it would expand the coverage of Orbcomm’s satellite AIS service in the equatorial region after successful completion of in-orbit testing and check out. VesselSat1 and VesselSat2, which is planned to launch later this year, will supplement Orbcomm’s next-generation (OG2) constellation of 18 AIS-enabled satellites that currently are under construction. VesselSat1 is expected to enter into commercial service before the end of 2011.
“The successful launch of VesselSat1 into an equatorial orbit is a significant milestone in providing broader coverage, expanded data collection capabilities and higher detection rates for Orbcomm’s AIS service. These two AIS-only satellites will have equatorial and polar orbits, respectively and provide ideal complements to the OG2 constellation,” Orbcomm CEO Marc Eisenberg said in a statement.