Satnews Daily
December 31st, -0001

EMS Technologies... NEXT Up Is FSM (Satellite)

[SatNews] L-band hardware in the form of of the fast switch matrix is now set for a major role...

EMS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELMG) has announced that the company’s Defense & Space Division will provide cost-effective L-band communications hardware for Iridium NEXT, Iridium Communications Inc.’s nexgen constellation of low-earth orbiting (LEO) cross-linked satellites. Thales Alenia Space, the satellite prime contractor, awarded EMS a contract to provide the fast switch matrix (FSM) for the Iridium NEXT payload. The Iridium NEXT launch is expected to occur in 2015.

Upon completion of the project, Iridium NEXT will support L-band data speeds of 1.5 Mbps or 11 times faster than the current network, with global coverage (including regions not served by geostationary satellites) and a capacity of up to three million subscribers. EMS’s heritage with fast switch matrix systems, as well as its ability to meet the demands of performance requirements, put the company in a leading position to provide equipment on the satellite. Additionally, EMS’ approach to manufacturing the FSM improves upon the previous constellation and will support Iridium’s critical hardware delivery schedules in order to meet its aggressive launch timetable. EMS is leveraging its technological strengths in commercial airborne product design, its considerable space experience from Iridium’s current network and previous work with Thales on Intelsat IX, to deliver signal routing hardware that is critical to Iridium’s next-generation system. EMS’s extensive knowledge of the function of the transmit/receive modules on the main mission antenna will also help to optimize the performance of the fast switch matrices within the communications system architecture. First deliveries of the hardware are scheduled to begin in 2012.