SEAKR Engineering, Inc., a privately held company, announced that Thales Alenia Space (TAS), the Iridium NEXT prime contractor, has awarded the communication processor for the Iridium NEXT constellation to SEAKR Engineering. The Iridium NEXT constellation will ultimately replace the existing Iridium constellation providing enhanced mobile satellite communication services worldwide, with the first Iridium NEXT satellite launches scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.
The communication processor plays the critical role in the Iridium NEXT constellation of providing MOD/DEMOD for the user RF links, the satellite-to-satellite cross links, and the satellite-to-gateway links on Earth. It is also responsible for managing the network and routing user traffic. The processor will support existing waveforms to provide a seamless replacement of the existing constellation while also providing advanced capabilities to improve speed, bandwidth, and flexibility.
The scalability and flexibility of the Iridium NEXT communication processor will also have the potential for new applications beyond voice communications and is being developed with government and commercial cooperative relationships in mind which could leverage Iridium's unique constellation architecture.