[Via Satellite 09-15-2014] Orbcomm has confirmed that all six of the company’s second-generation satellites, OG2, have begun providing Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) services. The satellites, which were launched on July 14 by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, are now processing more than 20 percent of Orbcomm’s M2M traffic.
Five of the six OG2 spacecraft have been positioned in what is now referred to as Plane K, where they fill the coverage gap in the OG1 constellation. All OG2 spacecraft are fully backwards compatible with their predecessors. The sixth satellite is on its way to a lower elliptical orbit where it will drift to a new orbital plane 90 degrees from Plane K. From this location the sixth satellite will be the first member of Plane L, where Orbcomm plans to locate more future satellites.
“While we’ve come a long way with the inaugural launch of OG2 service, we are now focused on the second phase of the OG2 constellation and launching the last 11 satellites as part of our second mission, which will enable us to provide new OG2 features and services around the clock and continue to bring AIS ship visibility down from hours to minutes,” said Marc Eisenberg, CEO of Orbcomm.