Lockheed, Thales Subsidiary Helping Iridium Develop 'Switchboard in the Sky' Satellite; Bob Kramer Comments

Lockheed Martin is developing application software for an Iridium satellite constellation scheduled to launch in 2015, Lockheed announced Monday.

Iridium’s NEXT constellation, which Lockheed calls a “switchboard in the sky,” will consist of 66 cross-linked low-Earth orbiting satellites providing mobile communications services worldwide.

Iridium President and CEO Matt Desch spoke with ExecutiveBiz in 2010 about the NEXT project, where he said the company started the development phase and wanted to decide what to carry into space by this year (click here to read the full executive spotlight).

“The new software supports all capabilities currently available to Iridium subscribers,” said Bob Kramer, vice president of operational systems and services for Lockheed’s information systems and global solutions-defense unit.

Lockheed said it completed a design review phase earlier this month with teams from Iridium and Thales Alenia Space, a joint subsidiary of Thales and Finmeccanica.

Kramer added the Next constellation has a modular design for integrating 3G services.

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