Globalstar

NEWS

Globalstar Updates
Start of Commercial Operations
Back on Track
Zenit failure loses 12
Globalstar launches
Globalstar Constellation
Globalstar Frequencies
Control Gateways

LINKS

Globalstar corporate webpage

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GLOBALSTAR UPDATES
  • Globalstar launches six second-generation satellites in July 2011. One of these satellites is placed into commercial service in August 2011. A second is placed into commercial service in October 2011.

    One of the twelve secon-generation satellites experienced a problem with two momentum wheels, preventing it from entering service.

    • Globalstar launches six second-generation satellites in October 2010.

    • Globalstar launched four "spare" satellites on May 29, 2007 and another four on October 21, 2007. All eight were in regular service by end of June 2008. There are no more spare satellites on the ground. Ten of the original 52 satellites have been decommissioned as of the end of September 2008.

      All prior satellites have experienced "anomalies" (read, problems). One common problem is degraded output from the S-band (downlink) SSPAs (solid state power amplifiers), making two-way communication more difficult. Apparently the L-band uplink is unaffected.

      Globalstar is predicting that "sometime in early 2009" that all of early satellites will be unable to support two-way communication.

      Globalstar claims 329,000 customers at the end of September 2008, up from 285,000 the year before. However, service revenue is down due to a change in subscriber service plans.

    • Thermo Capital Partners completed their $43 million investment in Globalstar in April 2004, giving them 81% of the firm. Globalstar is now out of bankruptcy protection and is planning on launching additional satellites and building an earth station gateway in Florida.

    • In February 2003 an offer of $55 million was rejected by Globalstar's creditors, leaving the future of the satellite constellation in doubt.

    • Globalstar had an estimated 80,000 mobile and fixed-site customers as of the end of September, 2002. As of that date two satellites had been declared failed, and three were out of service undergoing diagnostics.

    • Globalstar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2002. Customer count was reported as 66,000. The company reported a net loss of $3.8 billion in 2001.

    • In July 2001, Qualcomm declined to be the lead investor in a financial restructuring plan to help save Globalstar. Apparently Qualcomm's due diligence determined that the costs to save the system were just too high.

      This came just days after Globalstar reported having 51,600 subscribers and a total of 5.4 million minutes of use for the previous three months.

      Globalstar is also expecting to lay off staff, maintaining only the minimum number necessary (about 175) to keep things running.

    • So far two satellites have been declared failures in 2001, and on-orbit spares were maneuvered into position to replace them. Globalstar is publically blaming "a temporarily severe space environment" for the failures.

    • In May 2001, Bernard Schwartz resigned as President and CEO of Globalstar, handing the reins over to Olof Lundberg, a former INMARSAT and ICO CEO.

    • Results for the first quarter ending March 2001, Globalstar reported 40,700 customers and 4 million minutes of use for the previous three months. Data services made up 4 percent of that usage.

    • In January 2001, running short on cash and having only 31,200 customers, Globalstar announced it would no longer make debt payments, at least for the forseeable future.

    • At the end of 2000, Globalstar had a reported 30,583 subscribers and 2.6 million minutes of use for the previous three months. Total net loss for the year was $3.8 billion.

    • In October 2000, Globalstar reported having 21,300 customers, far short of the 770,000 needed to reach break-even.

GLOBALSTAR IN COMMERCIAL OPERATION

As of February 28, 2000, Globalstar is in full commercial operation, at least in the United States and Canada.

The Globalstar phones have a list price of $1500, with airtime rates somewhere between $1 and $2 per minute.

Coverage isn't global as of yet, presumably due to a lack of functioning gateways. A coverage map can be found here.

On February 8, 2000, Globalstar launched four more satellites, bringing the total in orbit to 52. Forty-eight of them are operational satellites, with four as spares.

GLOBALSTAR BACK ON TRACK

Globalstar now has 40 satellites in orbit, and in October announced a "soft rollout" to friendly users as they work out the bugs prior to full commercial service in 2000.

Fifty-two satellites are expected to be in orbit at the end of the 1999. After their disastrous launch failure in September 1998 Globalstar has gotten a little more conservative and is launching satellites four at a time on proven rockets.

Four satellites were orbited on October 18, 1999, launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz-Ikar rocket.
Total satellites in orbit: 44.

Four satellites were orbited on September 22, 1999, launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz-Ikar rocket.
Total satellites in orbit: 40.

Four satellites were orbited on August 17, 1999, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Station aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket.
Total satellites in orbit: 36.

Four satellites were orbited on July 25, 1999, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Station aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket.
Total satellites in orbit: 32.

Four satellites were orbited on July 10, 1999, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Station aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket.
Total satellites in orbit: 28.

Four satellites were orbited on June 10, 1999, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Station aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket.
Total satellites in orbit: 24.

Four satellites were orbited on April 15, 1999, launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz-Ikar rocket.
Total satellites in orbit: 20.

Four satellites were orbited on March 15, 1999, launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz-Ikar rocket.
Total satellites in orbit: 16.

Four satellites were orbited on February 8, 1999, launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz-Ikar rocket.
Total satellites in orbit: 12.

LAUNCH FAILURE DEALS GLOBALSTAR A SETBACK

Globalstar suffered a setback in their launch plans when a Zenit rocket failed during launch on September 9, 1999, destroying all 12 satellites aboard.

Globalstar has announced a service start in third quarter 1999 rather than first quarter, and will attempt to make up the loss with launches using Soyuz and Delta rockets.

By May 1999 Globalstar expects to have launched 24 satellites, joining the eight already in orbit and reaching the 32 it needs to begin service.

GLOBALSTAR LAUNCHES

Date Launch Site Vehicle Count
February 8, 1999 Cape Canaveral
Florida
Boeing Delta II 4
November 22, 1999 Baikonur Cosmodrome
Kazakhstan
Soyuz-Ikar 4
October 18, 1999 Baikonur Cosmodrome
Kazakhstan
Soyuz-Ikar 4
September 22, 1999 Baikonur Cosmodrome
Kazakhstan
Soyuz-Ikar 4
August 17, 1999 Cape Canaveral
Florida
Boeing Delta II 4
July 25, 1999 Cape Canaveral
Florida
Boeing Delta II 4
July 10, 1999 Cape Canaveral
Florida
Boeing Delta II 4
June 10, 1999 Cape Canaveral
Florida
Boeing Delta II 4
April 15, 1999 Baikonur Cosmodrome
Kazakhstan
Soyuz-Ikar 4
March 15, 1999 Baikonur Cosmodrome
Kazakhstan
Soyuz-Ikar 4
February 8, 1999 Baikonur Cosmodrome
Kazakhstan
Soyuz-Ikar 4
September 9, 1998 Baikonur Cosmodrome
Kazakhstan
Zenit-2 12
FAILED
April 24, 1998 Cape Canaveral
Florida
Boeing Delta II 4
February 14, 1998 Cape Canaveral
Florida
Boeing Delta II 4

GLOBALSTAR CONSTELLATION

Globalstar plans a total of 52 satellites in orbit, 48 primary in eight planes, with four spares. The satellites will operate at an altitude of 750 nautical miles, with an orbital period of 113 minutes.

GLOBALSTAR FREQUENCIES

User uplinks operate in L-band between 1610 MHz and 1626.5 MHz.
User downlinks operate in S-band between 2483.5 MHz and 2500 MHz.

Feederlinks up to the satellites operate in C-band between 5091 and 5250 MHz.
Feederlinks down from the satellites also operate in C-band, between 6875 and 7055 MHz.

All transmissions are Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA).

GLOBALSTAR CONTROL GATEWAYS

There are six telemetry command gateways:

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Updated April 19, 2004
Quick update November 22, 2011