Iridium Completes Ground Station Infrastructure Upgrade

Iridium NEXT

Artist rendition of an Iridium NEXT satellite.
Photo: Iridium

[Via Satellite 04-30-2014] Iridium completed an upgrade to its ground station infrastructure in preparation for the launch of its next generation satellite constellation, Iridium Next. This upgrade affected five ground stations and 21 antennas, helping with enhanced reliability, added capacity for more customers, faster re-routing of traffic, increased redundancy and amplifier enhancements for Iridium’s infrastructure. It targeted several major design components, focusing on both connectivity to the Iridium Next satellites and backward compatibility to the Iridium network.

Iridium has also deployed a new TelePort Network (TPN) architecture for routing traffic in place of the legacy “fixed” network design. For this upgrade, Iridium replaced ground station hardware and software, and the company’s partner in the Next constellation, Thales Alenia Space, verified that the system had passed the TPN factory acceptance test.

As part of the ground network upgrade, Iridium added feeder link terminals to incorporate new antennas and pedestals designed by L3 Datron, along with other enhancements such as including high availability Radisys T-Series platforms with autonomous failover capability.

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