Monday, August 14, 2006

Space Systems/Loral to Build TerreStar-2 Satellite for Mobile Services

Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) was awarded a contract to build the TerreStar-2 MSS (mobile satellite services) satellite for TerreStar Networks Inc.

TerreStar's two satellite system, which includes the TerreStar-1 satellite currently under construction at SS/L, together with an Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC), is designed to provide next-generation, 2-GHz mobile voice and data communications, monitoring and messaging services throughout the United States and Canada.

Scheduled for delivery in 2009, TerreStar-2 will have a service life of 15 years and carry a state-of-the-art MSS payload featuring a large unfurlable reflector. The satellite will generate hundreds of spot beams covering the Continental U.S., Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


  • Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) technology allows existing satellite phone spectrum to also be used over dedicated terrestrial networks, with call capacity managed and reallocated, in real time, between satellite and terrestrial networks via a common control center. Calls can be made over either network using the same phone handset. ATC technology could be used to supplement satellite phone service with a ground-based network to provide a "back-up" signal in and around buildings where satellite signals cannot reach.