ANNAPOLIS, MD -- TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. announced that it has entered into a contract with Planet Labs to supply a global network of X/Y Tracking Antenna Systems. These precision systems are designed specifically for low-Earth orbit (LEO) and medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellites used for Earth observation, remote sensing, as well as telemetry, tracking and control applications. Planet Labs is utilizing TCS' antenna systems to track "Flock-1", the world's largest, single constellation of Earth-imaging satellites.
• More than 100 satellites are launching over a 12-month period to allow for a continuous 365-day imaging of the Earth.
• Humanitarian, environmental and commercial entities use the captured images for a variety of mapping, planning, monitoring and detection applications.
• TCS X/Y antenna terminals enable data reception and uplink satellite command of the Planet Labs satellite constellation. The antenna terminals are in constant motion as they move from satellite to satellite to provide imaging data reception from the large LEO constellation.
• TCS' reliable, field-proven X/Y Tracking Antenna Systems can be securely operated from anywhere in the world through the systems' control and monitoring capability.
• The systems' X/Y axis configuration eliminates the keyhole (lost data) effect that occurs with other tracking antennas when satellites pass directly overhead.
• Through TCS' simplified design and advanced manufacturing techniques, a wide selection of antenna reflectors and X/Y pedestal sizes in both fixed and deployable configurations is available, enabling customization while maintaining cost and delivery advantages.
Planet Labs Director of Engineering Strategy Kevin Meissner said: "TCS' tracking antennas have yielded us excellent results. Operating a large fleet of small spacecraft creates unique ground station requirements. We needed a high-speed, high-performance system at a competitive price, and TCS was able to put together a winning solution for us in a very short time period. We're very pleased with the service and performance the TCS team has provided. We're happy to have TCS on our team to help us collect critical data about our changing planet."
TCS Government Solutions Group President Michael Bristol said: "Capturing these high-resolution views of the earth at significant volume is a major milestone in the space industry. Planet Labs is leading the transformation of Earth imaging systems for high-value monitoring applications, such as global environmental protection, distributed commercial assets or humanitarian relief. TCS' X/Y Tracking Antenna Systems are playing a vital role in the transmittal of imaging data from these satellites."
TCS' Government Solutions Group has a 27-year track record as a proven, trusted provider of communication technology solutions to the government's toughest technical challenges, under conditions that demand the highest level of reliability, availability and security. Our Space & Component Technology (SCT) division provides comprehensive engineering and electronics solutions for the aerospace, military and industrial markets. SCT's Ground Systems business unit supplies engineering services in all aspects of ground systems design; development and integration; launch support and satellite telemetry; tracking and control systems; site surveys; civil engineering; skyline analysis; frequency allocation analysis and approvals; mobilization/demobilization of field support and materials; facility construction; and facility operations and maintenance. Learn more at http://www.telecomsys.com/products/Space-and-Component-Technology/default.aspx
About Planet Labs
Planet Labs Inc. is a purpose-driven space-information company based in San Francisco, California, Earth. The company operates Earth imaging satellites to image the entire planet at an unprecedented frequency, collecting data and insight to encourage global action. Planet Labs aims to provide universal access to information about the changing planet to enable both commercial and humanitarian applications.