Monday, November 30, 2009

Iridium's NEXT satellites to carry science payloads

Iridium's next generation of satellites will increase the available data rate on their system to over 1 Mbps and will utilize IP protocols vs. the current voice-based format.  They will also allocate space and power to science payloads, which would most likely used by Earth resources applications.  Although the resources will be small, around 50 kilograms and 50 watts, and their orbits aren't optimized for science applications, this is a first.  It will be interesting to see who flies what on them. (via IEEE Spectrum)