Iridium Antennas Continue to Perform After 3.6 Billion Component Hours
(TEWKSBURY, Mass., Jan. 29, 2007) -- A recent study says that Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN)-designed and manufactured antennas launched on communications satellites between 1997 and 2002 are anticipated to operate well past their original eight-year in-orbit design life, saving costs and exceeding expectations.
Iridium Satellite LLC commissioned Raytheon to conduct a longevity study of its satellite constellation's phased array main mission antenna to analyze component operating data for making failure and lifetime predictions. Given that the antennas have been on orbit for an average of eight-and-a-half years, the study predicts that they will continue to operate for at least another decade.
"We are delighted with the performance of our satellite antennas," said Alan Rohwer, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems' lead engineer for the main mission antenna study. "All indications are these antennas are in great shape and have plenty of life remaining."
"The transmitters and receivers in these main mission antennas are essentially the same technology used in other Raytheon radars, missile, electronic warfare, and other communications systems," said Mark Russell, vice president of IDS Engineering. "This is a slightly different application.
What's significant is their performance speaks well of their design and fabrication -- a characteristic acquired from meeting stringent design specifications and manufacturing process controls."
Iridium is the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data communications solutions with complete coverage of the earth. Iridium delivers essential communications services to and from remote areas where no other form of communication is available. Its service is ideally suited for industries such as maritime, aviation, government/military, emergency/humanitarian services, mining, forestry, oil and gas, heavy equipment, transportation and utilities.
Iridium's constellation consists of 66 low-earth-orbiting, cross-linked satellites with in-orbit spares. The satellites operate as a network and form the largest commercial satellite constellation in the world. Iridium's first satellites were launched in 1997 and began worldwide service in 1998.
Integrated Defense Systems is Raytheon's leader in Joint Battlespace Integration providing affordable, integrated solutions to a broad international and domestic customer base, including the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Armed Forces and the Department of Homeland Security.