A €9 M contract has been awarded to Alcatel Alenia Space by Globalstar Inc., a provider of mobile satellite voice and data services, to upgrade its control network facility. The upgraded facility will enable the provider to monitor and control its second-generation satellite constellation and provide support for satellite operations through 2025.

The contract covers several parts of the control network facility: the Satellite and Operation Control Center (SOCC) in Milpitas, CA, and the backup satellite ground control facility in El Dorado Hills, CA, together with upgrades to the Telemetry and Command Units (TCU) and In Orbit Test Equipment (IOTE) located in several ground stations worldwide. A preliminary version of the upgraded control network facility is to be installed by the end of 2008 for use with first-generation satellites. Final delivery is expected by mid-2009 to prepare for the second generation of satellites, slated for launch from year-end 2009.

The new contract is in addition to the initial €661 M contract awarded by Globalstar in December 2006 to design, manufacture and deliver 48 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, coupled with launch and mission support services. Starting in 2009, these second-generation satellites will be launched in clusters of six to eight at a time.

Dimitri Savescu, senior vice president for ground business activities at Alcatel Alenia Space, commented, “This latest contract fully reflects Globalstar’s confidence in our company and in the ability of our ground segment solutions to meet the specific requirements of a LEO satellite constellation. Going forward, it also provides clear proof of our end-to-end capabilities in this market.”