The satellite has been shipped from Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Integration and Test Facility in Louisville to the launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US, and will be prepared for a launch on the Cargo Re-supply Services (CRS) mission aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket currently targeted for October 7, 2012.
As well as the AIS payload, which will be used to receive and report transmissions from AIS-equipped vessels for ship tracking and other maritime navigational and safety efforts, this satellite will also be used to evaluate performance for subsequent OG2 satellite launches.
In mid-2013, ORBCOMM says that it plans to launch an additional eight satellites, which will be placed into orbits that are optimised to deliver the best coverage for its enhanced OG2 messaging services.
The remainder of the constellation of 18 satellites is expected to be launched in 2014.
“The deployment of this first OG2 satellite marks a historic milestone in the evolution of our global M2M network and solidifies ORBCOMM as the standout leader in providing integrated M2M communications services to customers around the world,” said Marc Eisenberg, ORBCOMM’s chief executive officer.
“The launch of our first OG2 satellite will bring us one step closer to our goal of delivering an even higher level of functionality, performance and service.”