Early Thursday morning six Orbcomm satellites were successfully launched from Kapustin Yar in Russia. The satellites have separated from the launch vehicle and are in the proper orbit. In-orbit testing is underway and the satellites should enter commercial service within the next three months.
A Coast Guard bird and five Quick Launch satellites will be positioned to augment the existing Orbcomm constellation and will provide additional capacity and improved message delivery speeds for current and future Orbcomm users. The satellites are equipped with Automatic Identification System (AIS) payloads that will allow them to be used for ship tracking and other navigational activities.
“This is an important step for us and our customers,” said Marc Eisenberg, Orbcomm CEO. “With the successful launch of these six new satellites, we expect to both improve the quality of our service and enter the AIS data services business. The AIS capability onboard these satellites make ORBCOMM the only company capable of providing space based worldwide commercial AIS data services.”
Orbcomm’s Space Segment Vice President Tony Robinson said, “We are pleased with the efficiency and thoroughness of the launch operation. The Russian Space Forces, OHB-System, Polyot, and ROSCOSMOS provided superior support in helping us to launch these satellites.”
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Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.