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Iridium Satellite system | Iridium satellite constellation

This page describes Iridium Satellite system basics with features and Iridium Satellite constellation. It mentions basics of Iridium satellite constellation, location, operating frequency and working with satellite phone.

It is the first satellite communication system which operates globally with one single world wide number. It helps business professionals travelling across the globe. It also helps to provide communication to undeveloped, rural and unaccessible areas. It is used for maritime communications, defense and disaster teams.

Iridium Satellite Operating Frequencies

The Iridium satellite system consists of three major elements viz. 66 Low Earth Orbit Satellites, Iridium Phone and earth stations or gateways. It uses L Band for communication between terminal and satellite, Ka band for communication between satellite to earth station and between two satellites (inter-satellite links). Refer Iridium Satellite Operating frequencies>>.

Features Description
Location Above the surface of earth at altitude of 780 Km in 6 polar planes. There are about 11 operational satellites in each of these six planes.
Number of Satellites 66 operational and 9 spare satellites
Operating Frequency L band for Iridium terminal (1616 to 1626.5 MHz uplink and downlink)
, Ka band for inter satellite (from 23.18 to 23.38 GHz) link
Ka band for gateway links (uplink from 29.1 to 29.3 GHz and downlink from 19.4 to 19.6 GHz).
Coverage area per satellite 4000 Km
Signaling Gateway to International Switching Center: PCM transmission and SS7-ISUP/MFCR2
Iridium telephone: FDMA/TDMA with D-QPSK.
Data rate 2.4 KBPS
Applications Voice (2.4 Kbps vocoder), Paging (4 lines with upto 80 characters display) , Data (2.4 Kbps two-way), Fax etc.

Iridium Satellite Constellation

Iridium Satellite Constellation

The figure-2 depicts Iridium Satellite Constellation. As mentioned in the table constellation consists of 66 satellites orbiting in 6 unique planes. Orbit is located at the height of 780 Km above the earth. Orbital planes are inclined with angle of 86.4 degrees. It takes about 100 minutes and 28 seconds to complete one period around the Earth. This is referred as orbital period.

Iridium Satellite System Related Links

Iridium Call Setup
Operating frequency of Iridium
Iridium Satellite Phone country codes
Iridium Satellite Phone Manufacturers
Iridium NEXT


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