Globalstar launched six more satellites using the Soyuz rocket vehicle… lifting off from the Baikonur cosomodrome on July 13, 2011.
The last six satellites were launched in October.
Globalstar is replacing its failing constellation of satellites with a second generation of satellites. Globalstar’s goal is to launch twelve more satellites before the end of the year.
The first generation Globalstar satellite constellation was deployed in the late 1990s. Since then these satellites have suffered what is believed to be radiation damage to their S-band duplex transmitters. These transmitters handle all the two way satellite communications which includes all voice communication.
This has greatly caused concern for the Globalstar customer base. To compensate, Globalstar has grown its simplex or one way satellite messaging service which includes their SPOT satellite messenger. Globalstar’s satellite messaging service uses small devices that can be carried by anyone. It can relay simple information on location and short messages back to a receiver.
Globalstar’s one billion dollar investment will restore their satellite network to full capability and will enhance their other services like the SPOT satellite messenger which will continued to be offered in the future.
Unfortunately, North American Globalstar customers have not seen improved service with the second generation satellites. The United States FCC will not permit Globalstar to communicate with the next generation satellites within its jurisdiction until the system has been registered with the United Nations. Globalstar believes this will happen soon.