Satellite Technology Feature Article
Lockheed Martin Software Completes Critical Design Review for Iridium NEXT Satellites
By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer
Lockheed Martin, a global security and aerospace company, recently completed a major software design milestone for the Iridium (News - Alert) NEXT constellation of global communications satellites. The company's application software for the Iridium NEXT constellation has completed the Critical Design Review, demonstrating that its design is at a "high level of maturity," ensuring that this new generation of communications satellites is on schedule for its first launch in 2015.
The Iridium NEXT satellites are meant to replace those currently in the Iridium constellation, which is comprised of 66 cross-linked low-Earth orbiting satellites. Iridium NEXT will provide continuous coverage to 100 percent of the Earth's surface, while substantially enhancing Iridium's mobile communications services.
"Successfully completing this milestone verifies that the Iridium NEXT application software will operate as promised to deliver greatly enhanced telecommunications services," said Bob Kramer, vice president of Operational Systems and Services for Lockheed Martin (News - Alert) Information Systems and Global Solutions-Defense. "The new software supports all capabilities currently available to Iridium subscribers and its modular design will allow 3G services to be seamlessly implemented into the new constellation."
The Critical Design Review Lockheed Martin's application software underwent in September consisted of rigorous review from Iridium, Thales (News - Alert) Alenia Space and Lockheed Martin itself. The goal was to ensure that the application software, which performs the primary role in supporting subscriber services to user terminals, will properly support all functions needed for the satellites.
Lockheed Martin's architecture is designed to take full advantage of a high performance multiprocessor hardware platform and can easily be added to via insertion of software modules. This allows the Iridium NEXT satellites to be modular and reconfigurable as well as cost effective.
In June, Lockheed Martin provided the National 4-H Council with a three-year, $1.5-million gift in support of 4-H's science programs, particularly the robotics program.
In January, Lockheed Martin acquired Procerus Technologies, a privately held avionics company based in Orem, Utah.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman