Globalstar, a leading provider of mobile satellite voice and data services to businesses, governments and consumers, and satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space today announced the signing of an agreement to develop satellite software to enhance operations of the Globalstar second generation satellites. As Globalstar has previously announced, one of twelve new second-generation satellites that have been launched is not currently providing service due to an issue with two of its momentum wheels. According to the agreement announced today, Thales Alenia Space will develop and provide the software necessary to adapt the in-flight configuration for this satellite, allowing it to return to service and sustain operations compliant with the objectives of its 15-year mission. This solution is expected to be implemented in stages over the coming months and is intended to be available for other satellites, if they experience similar issues in the future.
“Following weeks of simulations, design analysis and discussions with Thales Alenia Space, we welcome Thales’ agreement to develop a solution that should enable the affected satellite to return to full service and accomplish its primary mission of providing 15 years of high quality mobile satellite voice and data services,” said Tony Navarra, President of Global Operations for Globalstar, Inc.
“Thales Alenia Space has allocated major skilled resources to this development, which would allow Globalstar to operate the satellite even with this wheel anomaly. This software, after full validation on Thales Alenia Space Software and Avionics test benches, will be then uploaded in flight, thanks to on board computer capability. It will also be available for other satellites, if needed, to help ensure their expected lifetime,” said Michel Fiat, CTO of Thales Alenia Space.
Globalstar is also in the final decision-making period for its third satellite launch currently scheduled for December and expects to announce updated launch information shortly.