Orbcomm counting down to launch date for new satellites

July 10, 2014

While most industry eyes are focused on Earth-bound issues such as the surface transportation  infrastructure and  continued funding for same, Orbcomm, Inc. has been looking skyward for months, counting down to the launch date for its new LEOs –Low Earth Orbiting Satellites. According to the official countdown website, the six new OG2 satellites are “encapsulated and ready to launch” next Monday, July 14 at 9:21 EDT from Cape Canaveral, FL to be precise. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will carry them aloft.

It is an important event for machine to machine (M2M) communications here below and for industries like trucking that increasingly depend upon those communications to get the job done.

According to the company, Orbcomm’s OG2 satellites are far more advanced than its current OG1 satellites (launched in 1999) and “will provide existing customers with significant enhancements, such as faster message delivery, larger message sizes and better coverage at higher latitudes, while drastically increasing network capacity. The OG2 satellites are also equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) payload to receive and report transmissions from AIS-equipped vessels for ship tracking and other maritime navigational and safety efforts, increasing asset visibility and the probability of detection for ORBCOMM’s AIS customers.”

“This is an unbelievable point for us, a very exciting time,” Marc Eisenberg, Orbcomm CEO, told Fleet Owner in an interview earlier this year. The company has been  expanding its M2M monitoring capabilities from its beginning tracking locomotives to in-cab, reefer, dry van, rail cars, containers and cargo monitoring.

As the price to monitor assets drops, it enables companies to monitor lower-cost assets, Eisenberg noted. As the need for total supply chain visibility expands (consider the pending FDA food safety regulations, for instance) this matters.

Orbcomm was founded in 1993 by Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, VA.

About the Author

Wendy Leavitt

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

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