Iridium (News - Alert) Communications has successfully completed the first end-to-end test call using Iridium NEXT hardware, along with Alenia Space. The test call was initiated to validate the L-band hardware and processing software that will be used in the Iridium NEXT constellation.
The test call was placed using an Iridium satellite phone and routed via a call path using Iridium NEXT satellite hardware components. The test call simulated a connection to a satellite that was made using Iridium’s upgraded ground network, via the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to a cell phone.
Scott Smith, chief operating officer at Iridium said, “Placing the first call through Iridium NEXT hardware is a big step for our team as they work to ensure high quality satellites will be ready for launch.”
Officials explained that this test was critical for Iridium’s system integration and testing efforts. Also the test call marks the first time that a full end-to-end verification of the call flow was completed successfully. The excellent call quality has been attributed to the long hours of design and development work undertaken by the partner teams.
Also this test is the first step in a comprehensive effort that has been launched to fully validate service capability using the Iridium NEXT system. The system is undergoing tests before its first scheduled launch in 2015.
Iridium NEXT constitutes the next generation satellite constellation which features augmented bandwidth and data speeds in addition to the global coverage. The system will also include a hosted payload for Aireon, a global aircraft tracking and surveillance capability. This feature extends ADS-B coverage for different flight paths.
In addition, the Iridium NEXT satellite network will be a platformfor Iridium PRIME which serves as a turn key solution for hosted payloads and is cost effective for civil, commercial and government payload customers, said officials.
Iridium announced that its application to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the provision of mobile satellite communications in the global maritime distress and safety system or GMDSS was reviewed by the IMO sub-committee on navigation, communications and search and rescue (NCSR). The application will now proceed to the maritime safety committee (MSC (News - Alert)) at its next meeting in November, before advancing to a group of experts for comprehensive technical and operational evaluation.