Production, Testing Begins on Globalstar Constellation
[Satellite Today 08-27-08] Thales Alenia Space has begun production assembly, integration and testing of the first Globalstar second-generation flight model satellites, Globalstar, Thales Alenia Space and Arianespace announced on Aug. 27.
The new satellites, scheduled for delivery beginning in less than a year, will be used to provide Globalstar’s next-generation of advanced mobile satellite voice and data services.
Globalstar’s current constellation is suffering from degraded performance that is leading to some loss of service. The new constellation and ground network are expected to provide faster data speeds to support a variety of IP based services as well as commercial and consumer wireless services including push-to-talk, multicasting, duplex SMS, advanced messaging and mobile video applications.
Globalstar signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space in November 2006 for the design, manufacture and delivery of 48 second-generation satellites. Globalstar signed a contract with Arianespace in September 2007 to launch the satellites beginning in the second half of 2009.