Inmarsat to Demonstrate Space-Based BGAN Terminal
Inmarsat Navigation Ventures, Ltd. in London, England recently received an $18 million firm-fixed-price demonstration contract to develop and certify a transceiver terminal for their 3-satellite I-4 constellation’s Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service. The terminals must be capable of operation from on-board low Earth orbit satellites, and the BGAN network will require modifications to support space-based terminal equipment. Under the contract, Immarsat will support the integration of the space-based BGAN terminal with a government demonstration satellite, and support the on-orbit connectivity via the BGAN network for the demonstration satellite mission.
Work is to be performed in London, England (20.60%); Golden, CO (64.76%); Aylesbury, England (11%); Norresundby, Denmark (2.15%); and Ontario, Canada (1.49%), with an estimated completion date of Sept 13/15. One bid was solicited with one bid received by DARPA in Arlington, VA (HR0011-10-C-0149).
Inmarsat currently operates a fleet of 11 satellites, and their customers include governments and the military. In November 2009 they bought managed secureIP provider Segovia, whose clients include the US military. The I-4 constellation is based on EADS Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 bus, but in August 2010, Immarsat announced a $1.2 billion contract with Boeing for 3 702HP-based satellites, in order to field a more advanced I-5 constellation delivering up to 6.25MB/s (50 megabits) each.