Enabling Commercial Satellite Constellations


PTR Partners with ORBCOMM

ORBCOMM, Inc. is a leading global provider of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication solutions and operates the only commercial satellite network dedicated to M2M  ORBCOMM's unique combination of global satellite, cellular and dual-mode network connectivity, hardware, web reporting applications and software is the M2M industry's most complete service offering.  Our solutions are designed to remotely track, monitor, and control fixed and mobile assets in core vertical markets including transportation and distribution, heavy equipment, industrial fixed assets, oil and gas, maritime and government. The PTR Group has worked in concert with ORBCOMM to enhance their satellite network for over a decade.  The PTR Group's unique understanding of the ORBCOMM business needs, embedded software, and the challenges of flight software development have made The PTR Group an ideal partner for space-based software development. PTR Group engineers are now entrusted with maintaining the on-orbit software, and are working on several new development programs.

ORBCOMM Generation 2 (OG2)
In July of 2014, a new era of ORBCOMM's business began with the initial launch of the OG2 satellites. These satellites comprise a whole new constellation of satellites, satellites that will far outperform their predecessors, while maintaining backward compatibility with existing Subscriber Communicators and ORBCOMM terrestrial gateways while also providing satellite-based AIS services. The PTR Group defined the high-level software architecture of the communication subsystems and provided the core network software library used within the satellites.  The PTR Group's software was designed from the outset to support multiple platforms allowing ORBCOMM to continue network growth far into the future.  The success of this complex software development effort is evident in both the performance of these satellites as well as the proven ability to introduce new network features at a rapid pace without sacrificing quality.

ORBCOMM Generation 1 (OG1)
The ORBCOMM OG1 constellation of 33 satellites were launched between 1997 and 1999 with a design life of five years.  Since that time, the customer base has grown one-hundred fold.  With hardware upgrades impossible, the ORBCOMM team must be ever more creative in the use of in-orbit resources to meet the rising customer demand.  The PTR Group has been instrumental in providing both systems engineering and software engineering expertise to extend the lifetime of the satellites and increase the effective capacity of the satellites. 

ORBCOMM System Software Support
The PTR Group's detailed understanding of the network has led to our selection as the provider of multiple tools used by both the ORBCOMM engineering staff and the ORBCOMM sales team.  The PTR Group created a suite of analysis tools used for monitoring the ORBCOMM AIS business.  These tools have been used in sales presentations and are even used to provide historical data to ORBCOMM AIS customers.  Additionally, the suite is critical for the validation of ORBCOMM AIS system upgrades.  In order to assist the system development and subscriber sales team, the PTR Group has provided web-based utilities to illustrate the system coverage and latencies provided by varying constellations.